Urban Ruins: Reframing Repair in Cities of the Global South (for MLA 2023)

deadline for submissions: 
March 15, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Rituparna Mitra / Emerson College

This panel examines literary and cultural urbanisms in the Global South in the context of reframing repair. Until recently, cities in the Global South have been examined mainly as models of crisis, dysfunction, and brokenness. The urgent work of repairing their imperfect conditions has, in turn, been perceived solely in terms of rapid and uneven development in official discourse. Scholars such as Ann Laura Stoler, Filip de Boeck, Ananya Roy, Achille Mbembe, and others, have instead urged us to rethink ruins, lacks, lags, and gaps as origin sites for emergent forms and practices that alter conditions of the possible. Our proposed panel takes its cue from these scholars to ask what aesthetic, social, and political reshapings of individual and collective life become possible when we rethink repair. 

 Topics of interest include but are not limited to:

 Working conditions of infrastructures of collective life

Literary form and/as urban representation

Urban informality and precarity

Urban planning and literature

Sustainability and energy futures

Multispecies cities

Alternate temporalities of the urban modern

Uneven urbanisms

Urban conflict and warfare

The work of care and repair

Crisis and disaster capitalism


Interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches are especially welcome.

Deadline for submissions: March 15, 2022

Please send a 250-word abstract and brief bio to rituparna_mitra@emerson.edu