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Teaching urban spaces and world politics: Perdido Street Station and pedagogies of production

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Matt DaviesORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Ingenta, 2021.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


This article explores teaching international politics, international political economy, and urbanism through a reading of China Miéville’s novel, Perdido Street Station. The novel as an artefact of popular culture affords a critical encounter with the production of space for students of international politics and IPE. Departing from prevailing approaches to understanding the urban in relation to the international that tend to focus on networks and circulation, the article offers a reading of the novel as demonstrating the production of space. The article links a critique of the hierarchical relations between teacher and student to critiques of the subordination of labour to design and planning, both of which render invisible the work of producing knowledge and space. Through an analysis of the political struggles over the formal and real subsumption of labour in Perdido Street Station, the article argues that studying the politics of urbanism in relation to the international through artefacts of popular culture can disrupt the invisibility of work.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Davies M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Art and the Public Sphere

Year: 2021

Volume: 10

Issue: 2

Pages: 211-224

Print publication date: 01/11/2021

Online publication date: 01/11/2021

Acceptance date: 09/09/2021

Date deposited: 15/12/2021

ISSN (print): 2042-793X

ISSN (electronic): 2042-7948

Publisher: Ingenta


DOI: 10.1386/aps_00060_1


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