ABSTRACT

Informality and identity are key concepts in LUS efforts to provincialise every city, however big or seemingly ‘alpha’, and every urban region. Urbanists have long been taking anti-urban stances, stretching back to Lewis Mumford. The latest critical work in urban studies, though, exemplified here by the work of Ananya Roy, collapses distinctions as much as reinforcing them – including crucially that between the urban and the non-urban. Awareness of postcolonial literary theory aids LUS work towards a new planetary sense of literary urbanity. Known as a powerful means of critique, postcolonial literary approaches have two other foci brought out in this chapter, one on networks and the other on biographies. The case study sections apply these thoughts to read a world city in India with a partly colonial heritage, and two texts of movement and migration which link cities on Caribbean islands to others in the Global North.