"Starting from my own research experience in and on post-apartheid South African cities, I will use the South African case as an optical instrument to critically interrogate issues of theory, epistemology and positionnality. Building on Southern Urbanism and Southern Theory, we will investigate the all-too-frequent binaries our scholarship uses uncritically. Exceptional cities vs. ordinary cities, and private/public space will be examined more in-depth.
The situatedness of knowledge requires that conceptual work - e.g. on public space as a notion - navigates dis-locations (or de/reterritorialization) carefully. It also requires reflexivity on one’s own positionnality - our positionnality as individual researchers, e.g. my own, as a white French woman doing fieldwork in South African cities, or the positionnality of our disciplines, as framed by national histories and positions. "
This session is offered as part of the M2 Trust international lecture series.