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An interdisciplinary look at metropolitanisms

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This review examines the emerging interdisciplinary field of Metropolitan Studies and its connection to recent work in modernist studies and postcolonial studies. Metropolis is a term that has been used to signify a specific type of city formation in each of the above disciplines, however these definitions differ significantly from each other. With urban studies’ recent turn to metropolitan studies as a new, interdisciplinary avenue of inquiry, this essay reviews recent works on the metropolis in each field in order to suggest that metropolis has no stable definition across fields, and that further interdisciplinary engagement with the term is imperative.
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Keywords: imperialism; metropolis; metropolitan studies; modernity; post-colonial studies; urban studies

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: SUNY Stony Brook

Publication date: 01 March 2018

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  • Cities have been increasingly at the forefront of debate in both humanities and social-science disciplines, but there has been relatively little dialogue across these disciplinary boundaries. Journals in social-science fields that use urban-studies methods to look at life in cities rarely explore the cultural aspects of urban life in any depth or delve into close readings of the representation of cities in individual cultural products. As a platform for interdisciplinary scholarship from any and all linguistic, cultural and geographical traditions, the Journal of Urban Cultural Studies prioritizes the urban phenomenon in order to better understand the culture(s) of cities.
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