Neil Brenner’s inaugural lecture as Professor of Urban Theory at Harvard University is now available on video (h/t Stuart Elden). It is titled “The Urbanization Question, of the Field Formally Known as Urban Studies.”
Brenner offers eight theses about urban studies, the first being the apparently contradictory one that urban studies has not considered its subject matter, ie the urban.
As I mentioned in a previous post, Harvard is doing some interesting stuff with new/critical geographies/cartographies, and certainly this first thesis could be applied to cartography as well. What is the study of mapping but maps? Seems self-evident. So you do empirical work on maps without problematising them. In particular I would argue without problematising them as political technologies of government. So yes an interesting provocation by Brenner here. Watch the video for more.