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Ananya Roy

Before Theory: In Memory of Janet Abu-Lughod

[Janet Abu-Loghod. Image Courtesy of Deena Abu-Loghod.]

There is a lively debate in urban studies nowadays about the Eurocentricity of the field’s canonical theories. The efforts to trace new geographies of theory are heterodox and heterogeneous, but they have often relied on postcolonial thought and its critique of the universal histories and categories produced by liberal historiography. In urban studies, these efforts exist under various names, from Southern theory to comparative urbanism. What is striking to me is that the ...

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Ananya Roy


Ananya Roy is Professor of City and Regional Planning and Distinguished Chair in Global Poverty and Practice at the University of California, Berkeley. Roy teaches in the fields of urban studies and international development. She also serves as Education Director of the Blum Center for Developing Economies, where she is founding chair of the undergraduate program in Global Poverty and Practice. She is the author of City Requiem, Calcutta: Gender and the Politics of Poverty (University of Minnesota Press, 2003), co-editor of Urban Informality: Transnational Perspectives from the Middle East, South Asia, and Latin America (with Nezar AlSayyad; Lexington Books, 2004); The Practice of International Health (with Daniel Perlman; Oxford University Press, 2008) and Worlding Cities: Asian Experiments and the Art of Being Global (with Aihwa Ong, Blackwell 2011). Her book, Poverty Capital: Microfinance and the Making of Development (Routledge, 2010) was the recipient of the 2011 Paul Davidoff Book Award of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning. Roy is currently completing a co-edited book, with Emma Shaw Crane, titled Territories of Poverty (forthcoming, University of Georgia Press, 2014).