Title: Recentering the City: an anthropology of secondary cities in Africa
Authors: Cassiman, Ann
De Boeck, Filip #
Issue Date: 2009
Conference: African City Centre (Re)sourced edition:3rd location:University of Pretoria, South Africa date:25-28 September 2009
Abstract: This text summarises an ongoing research project about small cities which are usually not included in the research agenda on global cities. We aim at bridging between research focused on global or world cities and that on smaller or secondary cities in Africa. Arguing against the view of smaller Third World cities as mere towns, as “not yet cities”, and therefore irrelevant to world city theorizing, this project intends to develop an alternative analytical approach to think differently about these small cities in the South. Basing ourselves on ongoing ethnographic research in Ghana, Congo and Namibia, we argue that these secondary cities are fully urban in that they generate networks and practices that extend far beyond the local limits of these cities and their immediate rural hinterland, and that they often manage to do so in more successful ways than their larger counterparts. At the same time these secondary cities are sites in which new and different forms of urban life and imagination are being shaped, offering the perspective of an alternative African urban future.
Description: Theme 1 Session 1 Saturday 26 September 2009 The African City Centre in contemporary global context.
-Keynote/moderator Dick van Gameren
Refereed papers:
- Filip De Boeck & Ann Cassiman (KULeuven): Recentering the City: An anthropology of Secondary Cities.
- Gruffydd-jones (University of London): Cities Without Slums? Global and local architectures of power in the African city.
- Gantner (unaffiliated, USA): The Urban Market: Social and spatial configurations in the African city.
-Matsipa (University of California, Berkeley): The New Africans: Urban redevelopment in the Johannesburg City Center
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IMa
Appears in Collections:Institute for Anthropological Research in Africa
# (joint) last author

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