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Area Studies at the Crossroads - Urban or Rural Focus?

26 September 2019, 14:00-17:30
“Reconfiguring Area Studies in Urban Age: Two Decades of Land and Housing Study in India”, Dr. Urmi Sengupta, School of Natural and Built Environment, Queen‘s University, Belfast

Wider concepts of urbanisation, liberalisation and globalisation have come to dominate our societies in recent decades, but there is an increasing recognition that the application of these concepts remains uneven across different geographies. As the world shrinks in the face of the integrating forces of globalisation, diversity and uniqueness of regions and areas have received greater attention. Ironically, the needs for greater understanding of areas and regions have grown in order to identify new pathways for global integration. This is particularly apparent with the advent of urban change in India that shows a complex medley of patterns and processes that are distinctly area-specific and locally-led. Using the land and housing studies in India, the talk focusses on merging of regional/area studies with global studies in India. It is argued that the process is conflictive initially but integrative eventually creating a new order for studies, attributed to localised context and globalised vision that are overlapping and contradictory. The result is the unique defragmentation of area studies into comparative studies of local problems in global contexts. It is seen that area and urban studies in India are mutually interdependent, are non-hierarchical and an essential part of theory building. What is increasingly bringing them  closer are the global planning challenges such as climate change, housing and technologies.

Sandra Kurfürst, University of Cologne
Tamaki Endo, Saitama University

Global South Studies Center
Classen-Kappelmann-Str. 24
50931 Köln, Room R. S251

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