Re-thinking the spatial politics of global urbanization processes: the contested relationalities of port cities past and present

Dr Lazaros Karaliotas, Dr Andy Davies, and Dr Matina Kapsali

Funding period: 1 December 2021 – 1 November 2022
Type of funding: Seminar Series

Host institutions: School of Environmental Sciences, University of Liverpool (UK), School of Architecture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece), and School of Geographical and Earth Sciences, University of Glasgow (UK)
Dates: January 2022 (Liverpool), May 2022 (Thessaloniki), and October 2022 (Glasgow)
Lead organisers: Dr Lazaros Karaliotas (lead organiser, Lecturer in Urban Geography, University of Glasgow), Dr Andy Davies (Senior Lecturer in Human Geography, University of Liverpool), and Dr Matina Kapsali (Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki)
Team member: Dr David Featherstone (Reader in Human Geography, University of Glasgow)
Contact: Dr Lazaros Karaliotas

Abstract: This seminar series aims to contribute to debates around global urbanization, decolonialization and the (urban) political by using the contested relationalities of port-cities in both the past and present as distinctive entry points into the exclusions and spatial politics of global urbanization processes. The series will historicize, situate and politicize debates around global urbanization by tracing different aspects of the contested trajectories and interconnections of port-cities. Having historically served as key nodes in world-making processes driven by the forces of capital and empire, port-cities are today re-ordered again as part of extensive migration flows and the mega infrastructure projects and the intricate logistics networks that shape and maintain contemporary global urbanization. Simultaneously, their articulation with maritime networks and the flows of people and ideas they facilitate has diachronically posited port-cities as key sites for negotiating racialized relations, enabling multi-ethnic encounters and trans-local connections, as well as the forging of different forms of solidarity, political agency and antagonism. Bringing together an inter-disciplinary and international group of scholar, practitioners and activists the series will host three workshops – in Liverpool, Thessaloniki and Glasgow – which will provide distinctive cuts through which we can better grasp and theorize the spatial politics and global dynamics of urbanization processes as well as decolonize geography and urban studies curricula.

The themes of the three workshops are as follows:

Workshop 1 (Liverpool): The spatial politics of port-cities, maritime labour struggles, and decolonization.
Workshop 2 (Thessaloniki): The politics of infrastructure and emancipatory political Infrastructures.
Workshop 3 (Glasgow): Port-cities and decolonizing geography and urban studies curricula.