On the politics of recognition in critical urban scholarship

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In this response to Ananya Roy’s plenary talk at the Association of American Geographers annual meeting in 2015, “What’s urban about critical urban theory,” I engage the work of Nancy Fraser and feminist epistemologists to argue for the necessity of a robust critical politics of recognition in knowledge projects with emancipatory aims. I question the political utility and empirical accuracy of the increasingly popular assertion that there is no analytical outside to the category “urban,” and argue, like many feminist, post-colonial, and anti-racist scholars before me, that attempts to construct a totalizing political subject have the effect of reproducing cultural misrecognition and are thus incompatible with emancipatory politics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)824-829
Number of pages6
JournalUrban Geography
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 17 2016


  • Urban theory
  • feminism
  • recognition


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