European cities

Modernity, race and colonialism

Edited by Noa K. Ha and Giovanni Picker

European cities
Hardcover +
  • Price: £25.00
  • ISBN: 9781526158437
  • Publish Date: Jun 2022
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    Paperback +
  • Price: £25.00
  • ISBN: 9781526178718
  • Publish Date: Mar 2024
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    eBook -
  • Price: £25.00
  • ISBN: 9781526158420
  • Publish Date: Jun 2022
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    Book Information

    • Format: eBook
    • ISBN: 978-1-5261-5842-0
    • Published Date: June 2022


    This multidisciplinary collection of scholarship rethinks European urban modernity from a race-conscious perspective, being aware of (post)colonial entanglements. The twelve original contributions empirically focus on such varied cities as Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Cottbus, Genoa, Hamburg, Madrid, Mitrovica, Naples, Paris, Sheffield, and Thessaloniki, engaging multiple combinations of global urban studies, from various historical perspectives, with postcolonial, decolonial and critical race studies. Inspired by Dipesh Chakrabarty's notion of 'provincializing Europe', the collection interrogates dominant, Eurocentric theories, representations and models of European cities across the East-West divide, offering the reader alternative perspectives to understand and imagine urban life and politics. With its focus on Europe, it ultimately contributes to decades of rigorous critical race scholarship on varied global urban regions.

    European cities is a vital reading for anyone interested in the complex interactions between colonial legacies and constructions of 'modernity', in view of catering to social change and urban justice.


    'This long overdue conversation between urban studies and postcolonial, decolonial and critical race studies will jolt urban studies beyond its Eurocentric legacy, and into the twenty-first century. Highlighting histories of colonialism, racism and anti-Semitism alongside self-organised movements of resistance, the authors write back against a European City model that is cleansed of race and wedded to developmentalist notions of European superiority. A must-read, paradigm-shifting collection that crucially thinks together histories of colonialism, National Socialism and the Cold War.'
    Jin Haritaworn, Associate Professor of Gender, Race and Environment, University of York

    'Timely in its reminder of the historical erasures and spatial amnesia of too much urban thinking, this volume explores powerfully both the hubris and the deeply racialised traces and spaces of the European city.'
    Michael Keith, Director of the PEAK Urban Research programme, University of Oxford

    'This volume offers an immensely exciting and original intervention into (European) Urban Studies, questioning a number of assumptions around the "modernity" of European cities that tend to erase the history of colonialism and its ongoing impacts, key among them the role of race. The contributions assembled by Ha and Picker provide historical depth and geographical breadth, they deconstruct artificial hierarchies between Europe and the Global South as well as the continent's East and West, at long last including European Urban Studies in a truly global conversation. The book could not have been published at a better moment: Its insights are urgently needed in a world that is rapidly changing yet continues to be framed through flawed paradigms reiterating an understanding of progress that blocks rather than opens a path to real transformation. The work assembled here suggested alternative models that I will be certain to draw on in my work.'
    Fatima El-Tayeb, Professor of Ethnicity, Race, and Migration, Yale University

    'Overall, the book provides new material on how the prevailing narratives of Europeanization and "European culture" are materialized and challenged in the cities analyzed, as well as ways to decolonially rethink them. It should be especially emphasized that each chapter and each author has his own methodology, which is rare for most modern books. The book is intended for a wide audience, as it provides an analysis of the various opinions about European cities.'
    Mirzokhid Askarov, Ethnic and Racial Studies


    Introduction: rethinking the European urban - Noa K. Ha and Giovanni Picker

    Part I: Provincialising historicism
    1 Parochial imaginations: the 'European city' as a territorialised entity - Anke Schwarz
    2 Countermapping colonial amnesia in Parisian landscapes - Tania Mancheno
    3 Provincialising industry: hyperreal urban modernity in nineteenth-century Buenos Aires - Antonio Carbone

    Part II: Provincialising (urban) geography
    4 Provincialising conviviality: convivial boundary-making in post-Ottoman, socialist and divided Mitrovica - Pieter Troch
    5 Urban infrastructures, migration and the reproduction of colonial forms of difference - Aidan Mosselson
    6 Decolonising Cottbus: unmasking coloniality/modernity and 'imperial difference' in urban sites of remembrance - Miriam Friz Trzeciak and Manuel Peters

    Part III: Provincialising the (urban) political
    7 Decolonial migrant claims to the metropole: views from two Mediterranean cities - Mahdis Azarmandi and Piro Rexhepi
    8 Portuguese Urban Studies: between race and the absence of racism - Ana Rita Alves
    9 Between hope and despair: how racism and anti-racism produce Madrid - Stoyanka Eneva
    10 Theorising Hamburg from the South: racialisation and the development of Wilhelmsburg - Julie Chamberlain

    Coda: toward urban provisioning - AbdouMaliq Simone


    Noa K. Ha is Lecturer in Spatial Strategies at the Weissensee Academy of Art and Design Berlin.

    Giovanni Picker is Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Glasgow.

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