Glissant and Black Urbanism

Date and time
Thursday 27 February 2020
17.00 – 18.30

Centre Building Room CBG.1.06
London School of Economics and Political Science
Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE

Glissant and Black Urbanism

Garth A. Myers, Trinity College Hartford CT USA

Jennifer Robinson, UCL

Hyun Bang Shin, LSE

The poems, essays and novels of the late Edouard Glissant rely on both a keen spatiality and a postcolonial sense of relationality. Glissant’s work is often difficult to decipher or contradictory, and engagement with his work in geography is still rare – albeit increasing in works tied to the study of Black Geographies and Black urbanism. I see many opportunities for urban geographers to engage with his thinking productively. Over his long career, he created what Nesbitt (2013: 239) called the ‘single most developed and philosophically sophisticated body of work in the tradition of Caribbean critique’. In this talk, I examine how Glissant’s take on transversality, submarine relationality, planetarization and his own notions of the ‘whole-world’, ‘creolization,’ ‘archipelagic thought,’ and the importance of landscape can create new visions for rethinking urbanism from the global South. The talk is built from my forthcoming book, Rethinking Urbanism: Lessons from Postcolonialism and the Global South (June 2020, Bristol University Press), which relies on Glissant in significant ways.

Speaker Bio

Garth A. Myers, associated with the Center for Urban and Global Studies, is the Paul E. Raether Distinguished Professor of Urban International Studies. Garth Myers earned a Ph.D. in Geography (1993) from UCLA with an allied field in Urban Planning. Myers has an M.A. (UCLA, 1986) in African Area Studies, with Geography and Urban Planning as the major and minor fields, and a BA with Honors in History from Bowdoin College, with concentrations in African and African-American History. He has taught at the University of Kansas, University of Nebraska-Omaha, Miami University (Ohio), California State University at Dominguez Hills, and UCLA. Myers is comfortable with large lecture classes and small seminars. His teaching philosophy rests on a belief in student engagement; the best learning takes place in engaged classrooms, where the professor facilitates student discussion and debate. Myers has conducted research in Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, South Africa, Finland, and the UK over the past 20 years, and he regularly uses his research to inform his teaching.