1st Edition

Rethinking Life at the Margins The Assemblage of Contexts, Subjects, and Politics

Edited By Michele Lancione Copyright 2016
    266 Pages
    by Routledge

    250 Pages
    by Routledge

    Experimenting with new ways of looking at the contexts, subjects, processes and multiple political stances that make up life at the margins, this book provides a novel source for a critical rethinking of marginalisation. Drawing on post-colonialism and critical assemblage thinking, the rich ethnographic works presented in the book trace the assemblage of marginality in multiple case-studies encompassing the Global North and South. These works are united by the approach developed in the book, characterised by the refusal of a priori definitions and by a post-human and grounded take on the assemblage of life. The result is a nuanced attention to the potential expressed by everyday articulations and a commitment to produce a processual, vitalist and non-normative cultural politics of the margins. The reader will find in this book unique challenges to accepted and authoritative thinking, and provides new insights into researching life at the margins.


    1. The Assemblage of Life at the Margins

    (Michele Lancione)



    2. Grand Visions Fizzle on the Margins of the City 

    (Kavita Ramakrishnan)

    3. After a Revolution: Public Spaces and Urban Practices in the Core of Tunis 

    (Francesca Governa and Matteo Puttilli)

    4. Tasty Vehicles: Gourmet Taco Trucks, ‘Trap’ Parks and Other Planning for Zombis Fresas (Wealthy Zombies) in San Antonio, Texas

    (Mark Tirpak)

    5. Cities That Are Just Cities

    (AbdouMaliq Simone)



    6. Under Heartbeat City’s Golden Sun: Māori and the Margins of Performing the Ultimate Urban

    (Tawhanga Mary-Legs Nopera)

    7. ‘The Ghetto Will Always Be My Living Room’: Hustling and Belonging in Nairobi Slums 

    (Tatiana Thieme)

    8. From Nomads to Squatters: Towards a Deterritorialisation of Roma Exceptionalism through Assemblage Thinking

    (Gaja Maestri)

    9. The Machine and the Poet: A Tale about how the Subject goes into the Field (and how it comes back) 

    (Jean-Baptiste Lanne)



    10. Marginal Attachment and Countercycling in the Age of Recycling

    (Francisco Calafate-Faria)

    11. The ‘differentiated countryside’: Survival strategies of rural entrepreneurs

    (Eszter Krasznai Kovács)

    12. Marginality as Resource? From Roma People Territorial Practices, an Epistemological Reframing of Urban Marginality

    (Elisabetta Rosa)

    13. Citizen Participation as Microfascism: Marginalising labour in Web 2.0

    (Cheryl Gilge)



    14. Between the Fool and the World: Toward a (Re)contextualization of Assemblage Thinking in the Contemporary University 

    (Darren J. Patrick)


    Michele Lancione is Urban Studies Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, UK.

    'This excellent collection brings a new focus to an enduring and vital question: how is urban marginality produced, lived and contested? Inspired by poststructural and postcolonial accounts of the city, it provides rich accounts of how the heterogeneity of urbanity produces marginality. By investigating a wide ranging set of domains architectures, publics, infrastructures, slums, waste and others a vivid and nuanced picture emerges of how people and things are sorted into particular urban geographies and how they challenge and exceed those geographies. An important contribution to debates on urban life and inequality.’ 
    Colin McFarlane, Durham University, UK

    'Rethinking Life at the Margins demonstrates that Southern Urbanism is not a geographic concern but a much more profound epistemic act. This impressive volume, with its masterful introduction, is illuminating and essential reading for urbanists determined to rethink and remake the city anew.
    Edgar Pieterse, University of Cape Town, South Africa

    '[Th]e book offers is an excellent introduction to previous and the proposed vitalist approach to the study of social marginality. The case studies present a fantastic panorama of the politics one can uncover through vitalist thinking and contribute to a clarification of the critical purchase of the concept of assemblage. As 10 out of the 12 fine-grained and detailed case studies have an urban focus the book seems particularly useful for students and scholars interested in a vitalist perception of urban marginality.'
    Leonie Tuitjer,Durham University (UK), Society & Space