Dr Colin McFarlane
Colin McFarlane is an urban geographer concerned with theorising the intersections between urban inequality, materiality and knowledge. He has pursued this principally through a focus on the sociomaterial politics of infrastructure in Mumbai's informal settlements, and by examining two central questions: first, what does a focus on urban materiality reveal about the nature and production of urban inequality? Second, how do different forms of knowledge and learning enable and limit people's capacities to negotiate urban material inequalities? As part of this, he leads an Economic and Social Research Council ethnographic project on the everyday cultures and contested politics of sanitation and water infrastructures within two informal settlements in Mumbai. He has recently completed a book on the intersections between urban inequality, materiality, resistance and learning entitled 'Learning the city: translocal assemblage and urban politics' (Blackwell), and has recently completed a forthcoming co-edited book entitled 'Urban Navigations: Politics, Space and the City in South Asia' (Routledge).
In 2010, he was awarded the Gill Memorial Award from the Royal Geographical Society for contributions to urban geography, and in 2009 he was awarded a fellowship for his work on sanitation from Berlin's Irmgard Coninx Foundation in conjunction with Humboldt University. He is developing a comparative project on the politics of informality in Mumbai and Rio based on a British Council exchange he undertook to Brazil, which is part of a larger set of concerns he has with rethinking comparison as a mode of thought and theory building in urban scholarship. In addition to these main research themes, he is involved in a collaborative project that seeks to theorise contemporary geographies of enclosure, which focusses on the changing relations between neoliberalism, violence and everyday life. He currently convenes the department's Urban Worlds research cluster.
Journal papers: academic
- McFarlane, C. From sanitation inequality to malevolent urbanism: the normalisation of suffering in Mumbai. Geoforum. 2013;43:1287-1290.
- Graham, S., McFarlane, C. & Desai, R. Water wars in Mumbai. Public Culture. 2013;25:115-141
- Anderson, B., Kearnes, M., McFarlane, C. & Swanton, D. On assemblages and geography. Dialogues in Human Geography. 2012;2:171-189.
- Jeffrey, A., McFarlane, C. & Vasudevan, A. Rethinking enclosure: space, subjectivity, and the commons. Antipode. 2012;44:1247-1267.
- McFarlane, C. Rethinking informality: politics, crisis and the city. Planning Theory and Practice. 2012;13:89-108.
- McFarlane, C. The entrepreneurial slum: civil society, mobility, and the co-production of urban development. Urban Studies. 2012;49:2926-2947.
- McFarlane, C. Assemblage and critical urbanism. City. 2011;15:204-224.
- McFarlane, C. Encountering, describing and transforming urbanism: concluding reflections on assemblage and urban criticality. City. 2011;15:731-739.
- McFarlane, C. On context: assemblage, political economy and structure. City. 2011;15:375-388.
- McFarlane, C. The city as a machine for learning. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. 2011;36:360-376.
- McFarlane, C. The city as assemblage: dwelling and urban space. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. 2011;29:649-671.
- McFarlane, C. The Comparative City: Knowledge, Learning, Urbanism. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. 2010;34:725-742.
- Jazeel, T. & McFarlane, C. The limits of responsibility: a postcolonial politics of academic knowledge production. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. 2010;35:109-124.
- McFarlane, C. Translocal assemblages: space, power and social movements. Geoforum. 2009;40:561-567.
- McFarlane, C. Governing the contaminated city: infrastructure and sanitation in colonial and postcolonial Bombay. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. 2008;32:415-435.
- McFarlane, C. Postcolonial Bombay: decline of a cosmopolitan city?. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. 2008;26:480-499. Reprinted with permission in the South Asian Journal for Culture (2010).
- McFarlane, C. Sanitation in Mumbai's informal settlements: state, 'slum' and infrastructure. Environment and Planning A. 2008;40:88-107.
- Vasudevan, A., McFarlane, C. & Jeffrey, A. Spaces of Enclosure. Geoforum. 2008;39:1641–1646.
- McFarlane, C. Urban Shadows: Materiality, the 'Southern city', and Urban Theory. Geography Compass. 2008;2:340-358.
- Jazeel, T. & McFarlane, C. Responsible Learning: Cultures of Knowledge Production and the North-South Divide. Antipode. 2007;39:781-789.
- McFarlane, C. Crossing Borders: development, learning and the North-South divide. Third World Quarterly. 2006;27:1413-1437.
- McFarlane, C. Knowledge, learning and development: a post-rationalist approach. Progress in Development Studies. 2006;6:287-305.
- McFarlane, C. Transnational development networks: bringing development and postcolonial approaches into dialogue. The Geographical Journal. 2006;172:35-49.
- McFarlane, C. Geographical Imaginations and spaces of political engagement: Examples from the Indian Alliance. Antipode. 2004;36:890-916.
- McFarlane, C. Learning the city: knowledge and translocal assemblage. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell; 2011.
- McFarlane, C., Desai, R. & Graham, S. Everyday Sanitation: Informal Settlements in Mumbai. Durham University/AlphaGraphics; 2011.
- McFarlane, C. & Waibel, M. Urban Informalities: Reflections on the Formal and Informal. Ashgate; 2012.
- Anjaria, J.S. & McFarlane, C. Urban Navigations: Politics, Space and the City in South Asia. London and New Delhi: Routledge; 2010.
- McFarlane, C. & Vasudevan, A. Informal Infrastructures. In: Adey, P., Bissell, D., Hannam, K., Merriman, P. & Sheller, M. Handbook of Mobilities. Routledge; Forthcoming.
- McFarlane, C. Studies in Comparative Urbanism. In: Desai, V. & Potter, R. Companion to Development Studies. Hodder Education; Forthcoming.
- Anjaria, J.S. & McFarlane, C. Conceptualising the City in South Asia. In: Anjaria, J.S. & McFarlane, C. Urban Navigations: Politics, Space and the City in South Asia. New Delhi and London: Routledge; 2011:1-22.
- McFarlane, C. Sanitation in Mumbai's Informal Settlements: Governance, Infrastructure, and Cost Recovery. In: Bade, K.J, Lorentz, B. & Pries, L. Migration and Integration: Reflections on Our Common Future. Europaische Verlagsanstalt, Leipzig; 2011:123-136.
- McFarlane, C. Entries for 'Mumbai' and 'Squatter Movements'. In: Hutchison, R., Aalbers, M., Beauregard, R. & Crang, M. Encyclopedia of Urban Studies. London: Sage; 2010.
- McFarlane, C. Everyday interruptions: urban life in the global South. In: Graham, S.D.N. Disrupted Cities: When Infrastructure Fails. New York: Routledge; 2010.
- McFarlane, C. Cosmopolitanism’s Geographies: A Review of David Harvey’s Cosmopolitanism and the Geographies of Freedom. Review Essay for Symposium. Dialogues in Human Geography. 2011;1:107-110.
- Jeffrey, A., McFarlane, C. & Vasudevan, A. State, spectacle and modernity: a commentary on Retort's Afflicted Powers. Geopolitics. 2007;12:206-222.
Edited works: journals
- McFarlane, C. & Robinson, J. Experiments in Comparative Urbanism. Urban Geography, 33 (6, 765-773): 2012.
- Anderson, B. & McFarlane, C. Introduction and Conclusion to Special Issue on 'Assemblage and Geography'. Area, 43 (2): 2011.
- Jeffrey, A., McFarlane, C. & Vasudevan, A. Guest Editors Introduction: Debating Capital, Spectacle and Modernity. Public Culture, 20 (3, 531-538): Duke University Press; 2008.
- Jeffrey, A., McFarlane, C. & Vasudevan, A. Introduction: A Symposium on Global Shadows. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, 29, 251-253 2008.
- Legg, S. & McFarlane, C. Ordinary urban spaces: between postcolonialism and development. Environment and Planning A, 40 (1, 6-14): 2008.
- Jeffrey, C. & McFarlane, C. Performing Cosmopolitanism: Introduction to the Special Issue. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 26 (3, 420-427): 2008.
- McFarlane, C. & Rutherford, J. Political Infrastructures: Governing and Experiencing the Fabric of the City. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 32 (2, 363-74): 2008.
Available for media contact about:
- Citizenship, state and governance: Cities; urban development; urban politics; urban India.
- 2011: 'Assembling Smart Cities'. Durham Energy Institute Small Grants Programme, £4,700.
- 2009: ESRC Grant, 'Everyday Sanitation: A Comparative Study of Mumbai's Informal Settlements', £186,000
- 2007: British Council Researcher Exchange Programme "Everyday infrastructure: inequality, informal settlements and the megacity" £3,532