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Required Texts:

Katherine Boo, Behind the Beautiful Forevers (2013)

Teju Cole, Open City (2011)

Aminatta Fornatta, Happiness (2018)

Amruta Patil, Kari (2008)

Latife Tekin, Berji Kristin: Tales from the Garbage Hills (1984)

Deepak Unnikrishnan, Temporary People (2017)

Ivan Vlasdilavic, Portrait in Keys (2009)

Film: Tsotsi (2005)

Still from film

Still from Anand Patwardhan's Bombay, Our City


WEEK 1: The Political Ecology of the Global City

Required Readings:

Mike Davis, Planet of Slums: Please read chapters 1 ("The Urban Climacteric") and 6 ("Slum Ecology").

Frantz Fanon, Excerpts from The Wretched of the Earth. Please read pages 35-53 (ending before paragraph beginning "The settler-native relationship").

WEEK 2: Katherine Boo, Behind the Beautiful Forevers

Recommended Critical Reading:

Anki Mukherjee, "Slums and the Postcolonial Uncanny" in Unseen City.

WEEK 3: Latife Tekin, Berji Kristin: Tales from the Garbage Hills (1984)

Recommended Critical Reading:

Michelle Ty, "Trash and the Ends of Infrastructure."

WEEK 4: Tsotsi (film)

Recommended reading:

Tsotsi (novel by Athol Fugard)

Alexandra Parker, "Crime and the Tsotsi" in Urban Film and Everyday Practice."

WEEK 5: Deepak Unnikrishnan, Temporary People

Required Critical Reading:

Ian Simpson, "Contradictions of Citizenship and Environmental Politics in the Arabian Littoral."

Recommended Critical Reading:

Priya Menon, "‘Pravasi Really Means Absence’: Gulf-Pravasis as Spectral Figures in Deepak Unnikrishnan’s Temporary People."


WEEK 7: Amruta Patil, Kari

Required Critical Reading,

Sandra Mariam Xavier, "City from the Margins: A Reading of Kari."

WEEK 8: Teju Cole, Open City

Required Critical Reading:

Delphine Fongang, "Cosmopolitan Dilemma: Diasporic Subjectivity and Postcolonial Liminality in Teju Cole's Open City."

WEEK 9: Ivan Vladislavic, A Portrait in Keys

Required Critical Reading:

James Graham, "Ivan Vladislavić and the Possible City."

WEEK 10: Aminatta Forna, Happiness

Required Critical Reading:

Molly MacVeagh, "Actual, Possible, Edible: Metabolic Description in Aminatta Forna's Happiness"