The Shehr network is an academic initiative that seeks to further
a social-historical and critical understanding of contemporary
cities and urban practices in the Middle East, South Asia and Africa. The initiative examines the efficacy of the category of the city
in modernist discourse and seeks to chart this spatial imagination
and its effects through an exploration of the complex processes
through which gendered, classed, and raced citizen-subjects have
negotiated and been the object of urban projects in these regions.
Attuned to both the legacy of modernist conceptual grammars and
their inadequacy for understanding the remaking of space and place
in the neo-liberal present, the purpose of the network is to open
up an arena in which to address the particular positioning(s)
of contemporary urban landscapes and urban practices through theme-based
workshops, publications and an on-line discussion and exchange
endeavor to be inter-disciplinary and focus on scholarship that
is empirically and theoretically comparative. For this purpose
we seek to emphasize shared histories and contemporary processes
that enable scholars to speak to the similarities and divergences
that manifest urban practices in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.
Hence, we have selected the Urdu word Shehr (city) as the name
for our network. In doing so we draw upon Urdu's ability to bridge
and exemplify the historical linkages between South Asian and
Middle Eastern languages and cultures.
Shehr network is coordinated by
Ali and Martina Rieker