• Sign up for new title announcements and special offers.

  • Cloth: $104.95 - In Stock
    978-0-8223-4262-5
  • Paperback: $28.95 - In Stock
    978-0-8223-4284-7
  • Quantity
  • Add To Bag
  • Acknowledgments vii

    Introduction: Afropolis / Achille Mbembe and Sarah Nuttall 1

    1. Aesthetics of Superfluity / Achille Mbembe 37

    2. People as Infrastructure / Abdoumaliq Simone 68

    3. Stylizing the Self / Sarah Nuttall 91

    4. Gandhi, Mandela, and the African Modern / Jonathan Hyslop 119

    5. Art Johannesburg and Its Objects / David Bunn 137

    6. The Suffering Body of the City / Frédéric Le Marcis 170

    7. Literary City / Sarah Nuttall 195

    Voice Lines

    Instant City / John Matshikiza 221

    Soweto Now / Achille Mbembe, Nsizwa Dlamini, and Grace Khunou 239

    The Arrivants / Tom Odhiambo and Robert Muponde 248

    Johannesburg, Metropolis of Mozambique / Stefan Helgesson 259

    Sounds in the City / Xavier Livermon 271

    Nocturnal Johannesburg / Julia Hornberger 285

    Megamalls, Generic City / Fred De Vries 297

    Yeoville Confidential / Achal Prabhala 307

    From the Ruins / Mark Gevisser 317

    Reframing Township Space / Lindsay Bremner 337

    Afterword: The Risk of Johannesburg / Arjun Appadurai and Carol A. Breckenridge 349

    Bibliography 355

    Contributors 375

    Index
  • Achille Mbembe

    AbdouMaliq Simone

    Jonathan Hyslop

    David Bunn

    Frederic Le Marcis

    John Matshikiza

    Tom Odhiambo

    Stefan Helgesson

    Xavier Livermon

    Julia Hornberger

    Fred de Vries

    Achal Prabhala

    Mark Gevisser

    Lindsay Bremner

    Arjun Appadurai

    Sarah Nuttall

    Nsizwa Dlamini

    Grace Khunou

    Robert Muponde

    Carol A. Breckenridge

  • Johannesburg: The Elusive Metropolis is a benchmark text as a study of a city, a metropolis, in all its aesthetic, lived complexity.”

    “Taken together, the contributors to this edited volume . . . give Johannesburg a new visibility as a complex and vibrant city with a distinctive cosmopolitan culture all its own.”

    “The essays, both academic and anecdotal, are penetrating and evocative.”

    “The strongest contributors to Johannesburg remain those who combine expert knowledge of city history and current policy with street-level experience and the imagination of its future. . . . The volume offers illuminating snapshots and essays that render Johannesburg less ’elusive’ than it might have seemed to readers new to the city.”

    “This is a rich contribution to the literature on Johannesburg. The format of the pieces ranges across formal academic articles, opinion pieces, autobiographical accounts, interviews, and even an email exchange. Although some writing is of a more suggestive, imaginative, and exploratory nature, much is rigorous and well substantiated.”

    Reviews

  • Johannesburg: The Elusive Metropolis is a benchmark text as a study of a city, a metropolis, in all its aesthetic, lived complexity.”

    “Taken together, the contributors to this edited volume . . . give Johannesburg a new visibility as a complex and vibrant city with a distinctive cosmopolitan culture all its own.”

    “The essays, both academic and anecdotal, are penetrating and evocative.”

    “The strongest contributors to Johannesburg remain those who combine expert knowledge of city history and current policy with street-level experience and the imagination of its future. . . . The volume offers illuminating snapshots and essays that render Johannesburg less ’elusive’ than it might have seemed to readers new to the city.”

    “This is a rich contribution to the literature on Johannesburg. The format of the pieces ranges across formal academic articles, opinion pieces, autobiographical accounts, interviews, and even an email exchange. Although some writing is of a more suggestive, imaginative, and exploratory nature, much is rigorous and well substantiated.”

  • “An extraordinary exploration of what is so often left out of accounts about cities: what is beneath and what is at the edge. It goes where much of the urban scholarship leaves off or, rather, trails off. The authors’ project to write Johannesburg into today’s history will serve as a compass to enable researchers and writers to engage other cities that have been left out of history or given a narrow colonial presence.” — Saskia Sassen, author of, Territory, Authority, Rights: From Medieval to Global Assemblages

    “Taken together, the essays in Johannesburg: The Elusive Metropolis offer radically new ways of thinking about this complex city, as well as many hints about emerging or re-emerging cities elsewhere. The essays challenge dominant models of urbanism and demonstrate with force and subtlety how African cities in general and Johannesburg in particular outpace urban theory. Each essay ‘de-scribes’ the city now in order to envision the city to come. In this volume, we hear—over the droning clichés that still circulate about the African city’s ruin and decadence—another note, another cadence.” — Ackbar Abbas, author of, Hong Kong: Culture and the Politics of Disappearance

  • Permission to Photocopy (coursepacks)

    If you are requesting permission to photocopy material for classroom use, please contact the Copyright Clearance Center at copyright.com;

    If the Copyright Clearance Center cannot grant permission, you may request permission from our Copyrights & Permissions Manager (use Contact Information listed below).

    Permission to Reprint

    If you are requesting permission to reprint DUP material (journal or book selection) in another book or in any other format, contact our Copyrights & Permissions Manager (use Contact Information listed below).

    Images/Art

    Many images/art used in material copyrighted by Duke University Press are controlled, not by the Press, but by the owner of the image. Please check the credit line adjacent to the illustration, as well as the front and back matter of the book for a list of credits. You must obtain permission directly from the owner of the image. Occasionally, Duke University Press controls the rights to maps or other drawings. Please direct permission requests for these images to permissions@dukeupress.edu.
    For book covers to accompany reviews, please contact the publicity department.

    Subsidiary Rights/Foreign Translations

    If you're interested in a Duke University Press book for subsidiary rights/translations, please contact permissions@dukeupress.edu. Include the book title/author, rights sought, and estimated print run.

    Disability Requests

    Instructions for requesting an electronic text on behalf of a student with disabilities are available here.

    Rights & Permissions Contact Information

    Email: permissions@dukeupress.edu
    Email contact for coursepacks: asstpermissions@dukeupress.edu
    Fax: 919-688-4574
    Mail:
    Duke University Press
    Rights and Permissions
    905 W. Main Street
    Suite 18B
    Durham, NC 27701

    For all requests please include:
    1. Author's name. If book has an editor that is different from the article author, include editor's name also.
    2. Title of the journal article or book chapter and title of journal or title of book
    3. Page numbers (if excerpting, provide specifics)
    For coursepacks, please also note: The number of copies requested, the school and professor requesting
    For reprints and subsidiary rights, please also note: Your volume title, publication date, publisher, print run, page count, rights sought
  • Description

    Johannesburg: The Elusive Metropolis is a pioneering effort to insert South Africa’s largest city into urban theory, on its own terms. Johannesburg is Africa’s premier metropolis. Yet theories of urbanization have cast it as an emblem of irresolvable crisis, the spatial embodiment of unequal economic relations and segregationist policies, and a city that responds to but does not contribute to modernity on the global scale. Complicating and contesting such characterizations, the contributors to this collection reassess classic theories of metropolitan modernity as they explore the experience of “city-ness” and urban life in post-apartheid South Africa. They portray Johannesburg as a polycentric and international city with a hybrid history that continually permeates the present. Turning its back on rigid rationalities of planning and racial separation, Johannesburg has become a place of intermingling and improvisation, a city that is fast developing its own brand of cosmopolitan culture.

    The volume’s essays include an investigation of representation and self-stylization in the city, an ethnographic examination of friction zones and practices of social reproduction in inner-city Johannesburg, and a discussion of the economic and literary relationship between Johannesburg and Maputo, Mozambique’s capital. One contributor considers how Johannesburg’s cosmopolitan sociability enabled the anticolonial projects of Mohandas Ghandi and Nelson Mandela. Journalists, artists, architects, writers, and scholars bring contemporary Johannesburg to life in ten short pieces, including reflections on music and megamalls, nightlife, built spaces, and life for foreigners in the city.

    Contributors: Arjun Appadurai, Carol A. Breckenridge, Lindsay Bremner, David Bunn, Fred de Vries, Nsizwa Dlamini, Mark Gevisser, Stefan Helgesson, Julia Hornberger, Jonathan Hyslop, Grace Khunou, Frédéric Le Marcis, Xavier Livermon, John Matshikiza, Achille Mbembe, Robert Muponde, Sarah Nuttall, Tom Odhiambo, Achal Prabhala, AbdouMaliq Simone

    About The Author(s)

    Sarah Nuttall is Associate Professor of Literature and Cultural Studies at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WISER), University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. She is the author of Entanglement: Literary and Cultural Reflections on Post-Apartheid (forthcoming) and an editor of several books, including Beautiful/Ugly: African and Diaspora Aesthetics, also published by Duke University Press.

    Achille Mbembe is Research Professor in History and Politics at WISER. He is the author of On the Postcolony and La naissance du maquis dans le Sud-Cameroun and a co-editor of Le politique par le bas en Afrique noire.

Explore More
Share

Create a reading list or add to an existing list. Sign-in or register now to continue.


Contact Us

  • Duke University Press
  • 905 W. Main St. Ste 18-B
  • Durham, NC 27701
  • U.S. phone (toll-free): 888-651-0122
  • International: 1-919-688-5134
  • orders@dukeupress.edu