Professor Jennifer Robinson
UCL Department of Geography
University College London
26 Bedford Way
Tel: 020 7679 7569 (ex 27569)
Fax: 020 7679 7565
to watch Jennifer Robinson's Inaugural Lecture in December 2011.
- BA (Hons), MA (Natal), PhD (Cambridge)
Courses taught include:
- GEOG1007 International Problems in Geography
- GEOGG001 Social Theory and Geography
- GEOGG085 Global Crisis: The future of cities
- GEOG2023 Urban Geography
Current research builds on my book, Ordinary Cities: Between Modernity and Development (Routledge, 2006) which develops a postcolonial critique of urban studies, presenting resources for cutting across the thinking which has divided understandings of Western and Third World Cities. I argue against perspectives which categorize cities as Global, Third World, Mega, African etc. and suggest instead an attentiveness to the diverse trajectories of 'ordinary cities'. This work has strong implications for the practices of urban studies internationally, and invites a regrounding of comparative urbanism in rigorous practices able to encompass both wealthier and poorer cities so as to generate approaches to understanding cities which are properly international. Future plans include an empirical project to exemplify comparative methods incorporating wealthier and poorer cities, taking as the object of study the ubiquitous technology of developing city strategies and visions. This will also enable an investigation of the international circulation of urban policy to understand how policy arrives in and is adopted or adapted in different localities. The research will press an engagement with analyses of neoliberalism in urban studies to incorporate perspectives from cities in poorer contexts. It contributes to conceptualisations of the spatialities of circulation, reflecting my wider interests in general theoretical accounts of space.
Previous research has centred on the relationship between power and space, specifically in cities and mostly in relation to South African politics. For example, I have written on the 1936 Empire Exhibition in Johannesburg to explore spaces of racial interaction in South African cities. I have also written on issues in feminist politics, including questions of difference and methodology, and more recently on the implications of Julia Kristeva's psychoanalytic writing for feminist theorizations of space. More broadly, I have explored ways of postcolonializing the theoretical and empirical practices of Geography.
2011. 'Cities in a World of Cities: The comparative gesture' International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 35, 1: 1-23.
2011. (with Sue Parnell). Travelling Theory: Embracing post-neoliberalism through Southern Cities, in G. Bridge and S. Watson (eds) New Companion to Urban Studies. Oxford: Blackwells.
2011. The Spaces of Circulating Knowledge: City Strategies and Global Urban Governmentality in E. McCann and K. Ward (eds) Mobile Urbanism. Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press.
2010. 'Living in Dystopia: Past, present and future in Noir Urbanisms, (ed) Gyan Prakash. Princeton: Princeton University Press, pgs 218-240.
- 2008. Continuities and Discontinuities in South African Local Government. In M. van Donk, Swilling, M, Pieterse, E. and Parnell, S. (eds) Consolidating Developmental Local Government: Lessons from the South African Experience. Cape Town: Isandla and UCT Press. Pgs 27-50.
- 2008. Geographies of Globalisation: A Demanding World. (Edited with Gillian Rose and Clive Barnett) London: Sage and The Open University.
- 2008. Developing Ordinary Cities: City visioning processes in Durban and Johannesburg, Environment and Planning A 40, 74-87.
- 2007. The Handbook of Political Geography (Edited with Kevin Cox and Murray Low). London: Sage.
- 2007. Development and new forms of democracy in Durban. Urban Forum. 18, 265-287. [Reversioned and translated for publication in French in Revue Tiers-Monde, edited special issue by Claire Bénit, 2008]. (with Richard Ballard, Debby Bonnin and Thokozani Xaba)
- 2006. Ordinary Cities: Between Modernity and Development. London: Routledge.
- 2006. Development and Urban Policy: Johannesburg’s City Development Strategy (with Sue Parnell), Urban Studies 43, 2: 337-355.
- 2006. Inventions and Interventions: Transforming Cities (Special Issue edited with Edgar Pieterse) – An Introduction, Urban Studies, 43, 2: 251-258.
- 2005. In the tracks of comparative urbanism: difference, urban modernity and the primitive Urban Geography, 25, 8: 709-723.
- 2005. Urban Geography: World cities, or a world of cities, Progress in Human Geography, 29 (6): 757-765.
- Robinson, J. (2004) Cities Between Modernity and Development South African Geographical Journal 86, 1: 17-22.
- Robinson, J. (2003) Postcolonialising Geography: Tactics and Pitfalls Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography. vol. 24, no. 3, pp. 273-289.
- Robinson, J. (2003) Cities as spaces of interaction: African Participation in Johannesburg's 1936 Empire Exhibition. Journal of Southern African Studies. vol. 29, no. 3, pp. 761-791.
- Robinson, J. (2002) Global and World Cities: A view from off the map, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, vol. 26, no. 3, pp. 531-554.
- Robinson, J. (2000) Feminism and the spaces of transformation, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, vol. 25, no. 3, pp. 285-301.
- Robinson, J. (2000) 'Power as friendship: spatiality, femininity and "noisy surveillance"' in Philo, C., Routledge, P. and Sharp, J. (eds) Entanglements of Power, London, Routledge, pp. 67-93.
- Robinson, J. (1998) 'Spaces of democracy: re-mapping the apartheid city', Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, vol. 16, no. 5, pp. 533-48.
- Robinson, J. (1998) '(Im)mobilising space - dreaming (of) change' in Judin, H. and Vadislavic, I. (eds) Blank_____ : Architecture, Apartheid and After, Rotterdam, NAi publishers (D7).
- Robinson, J. (1997) 'The geopolitics of South African cities: states, citizens, territory', Political Geography, vol. 16, no. 5, pp. 365-86.
- Robinson, J. (1996) The Power of Apartheid: State, Power and Space in South African Cities, London, Butterworth-Heinemann.