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Laura Cesafsky and Kate Derickson

We have reached, as we are often reminded, a geographic tipping point in which the majority of people live in cities for the first time in human history. How is urban theory coming to terms with this new, apparently ‘global’ urban condition? Some have argued the new ‘urban age’ is an expression of ‘planetary urbanization’, or the ‘complete urbanization of society’ that Henri Lefebvre predicted in the 1970s. For yet other urbanists, the political possibilities of city life lie not at the cosmic scale of the planetary but in embodied and everyday practices of urban social reproduction and livelihood strategies. After a brief review of the literature, we show how comparative urbanism and worlding cities, as postcolonial approaches, seek to side-step totalizing narratives of universal capitalist globalization by deploying ethnographic and collaborative methods to generate alternative 'transurban' threads and solidarities that do – or potentially could – hold disparate urban worlds together.

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Robin Wright, Eric Goldfischer, Aaron Mallory and Kate Derickson

Using the contemporary racial conjuncture in the U.S., this chapter investigates three spatial technologies through which racialized knowledge is produced: the law, visuality, and measurement. In so doing, we argue that ways of knowing are centrally implicated in the relationship between power, race, and, by extension, policing, and can thus be mined for insights into how power operates. We situate this work in a more general shift in geography toward situating contemporary struggles in the broader context of white supremacy. To ground our argument, we engage the work of Third World feminism and Black geographies to articulate a theory of power grounded in critical epistemology, tacking back and forth between the discursive and material effects of spatial technologies of knowledge.