Below are sections of my reading list that I compiled for my preliminary/qualifying exams in Human Geography at University of Wisconsin-Madison. I am indebted to many professors and colleagues in graduate seminars and conferences who directed me to these excellent sources. This is not meant to be an exhaustive or definitive list. I have selected sources that I wanted to read and those that closely resonated with my own research interests. I hope it is useful for other students and scholars of Human Geography and allied disciplines. Many thanks to Prof. Kris Olds for his comments and guidance.


Key Debates in Urban Geography

  • Harvey, D. (2009[1973]). Social Justice and the City.
  • Jonas, A.E.G., McCann, E., & Thomas, M. (2015).  Urban geography: A critical introduction. Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Mumford, L. 1996[1937]. What is a City, In: LeGates, R. and Stout, F. eds. The City Reader. London: Routledge, 183-188 P
  • Wirth, L. 1938. ‘Urbanism as a way of life’. The American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 44, No. 1, pp. 1-24
  • Ogborn, Miles (1998) Spaces of Modernity: London’s Geographies 1680-1780, New York: Guilford Press.
  • Dear, M., 2002. Los Angeles and the Chicago School: invitation to a debate. City & Community, 1(1), pp.5-32.
  • Merrifield, A. (2002) Metromarxism, London: Routledge.
  • Brenner, N. 2009. What is Critical Urban Theory? City 13 (2–‐3): 198–207.
  • Christophers, B.2011. Revisiting the Urbanization of Capital. Annals of the Association of American Geographers. 101 (6):1347–1364.
  • Simone, AbdouMaliq, and Edgar Pieterse (2017) New Urban Worlds: Inhabiting Dissonant Times, Cambridge: Polity Press.
  • Brenner, Neil (2019) New Urban Spaces: Urban Theory and the Scale Question, New York: Oxford University Press.

World/Global Cities and Ordinary/Postcolonial/Southern Cities

  • Friedmann, J., and Wolff, G. (1982) ‘World city formation: an agenda for research and action’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 3: 309-344.
  • King, A. (1990) Urbanism, Colonialism and the World-Economy, London: Routledge.
  • Sassen, S. 1996. Whose City Is It? Globalization and the Formation of New Claims, Public Culture, 8, 205-223
  • AMIN A. and GRAHAM S. (1997) The ordinary city, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 22, 411–429. doi:10.1111/j.0020-2754.1997.00411.x
  • Abu-Lughod, Janet (1999) New York, Chicago, Los Angeles: America’s Global Cities, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press.
  • Robinson, J. (2002) ‘Global and world cities: a view from off the map’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 26(3): 531-554.
  • Mbembe, A, Nuttall, S (2004) Writing the world from an African metropolis. Public Culture 16: 347–372.
  • Robinson, J. (2006). Ordinary Cities: Between Modernity and Development.
  • Legg, S., & McFarlane, C. (2008). Ordinary Urban Spaces: Between Postcolonialism and Development. Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, 40(1), 6–14.
  • Roy, A. 2009. The 21st Century Metropolis: New Geographies of Theory. Regional Studies 43, 819-830
  • Bunnell, T., & Maringanti, A. (2010). Practising urban and regional research beyond metrocentricity. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research,34(2), 415–420. doi: 1111/j.1468-2427.2010.00988.x
  • Roy, A., and A. Ong (eds) (2011) Worlding Cities: Asian Experiments and the Art of Being Global, Wiley Blackwell.

  • Susan Parnell & Jennifer Robinson(2012) (Re)theorizing Cities from the Global South: Looking Beyond Neoliberalism, Urban Geography, 33:4, 593-617, DOI: 2747/0272-3638.33.4.593

  • Eric Sheppard, Helga Leitner & Anant Maringanti(2013) Provincializing Global Urbanism: A Manifesto, Urban Geography, 34:7, 893-900, DOI: 1080/02723638.2013.807977
  • Leitner, H. and Sheppard, E. (2016), Provincializing Critical Urban Theory: Extending the Ecosystem of Possibilities. Int J Urban Regional, 40: 228-235. doi:1111/1468-2427.12277
  • Robinson, J. and Roy, A. (2016), Debate on Global Urbanisms and the Nature of Urban Theory. Int J Urban Regional, 40: 181-186. doi:1111/1468-2427.12272
  • Roy, A. (2015), Who’s Afraid of Postcolonial Theory?. Int J Urban Regional, 40: 200-209. doi:1111/1468-2427.12274
  • Lawhon, M. and Truelove, Y.(2019). Disambiguating the southern urban critique: Propositions, pathways, and possibilities for a more global urban studies. Urban Studies. DOI 10.1177/0042098019829412.
  • Keil, Roger (2017) Suburban Planet: Making the World Urban from the Outside In, Medford, MA: Polity Press.
  • Oswin, Natalie (2019) Global City Futures: Desire and Development in Singapore, Athens: University of Georgia Press.

Urban Marginality/Informality/Politics

  • Harvey, D. 2003. “The right to the city.” International Journal of Urban and Regional Research.

  • Davis, M. (2004) ‘Planet of slums’, New Left Review, Mar-Apr: 5-34.

  • Roy, A. (2011). “Slumdog cities: Rethinking subaltern urbanism”. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research

  • Hsing, You-tien (2012) The Great Urban Transformation: Politics of Land and Property in China, New York: Oxford University Press.

  • Ghertner, Asher (2015) Rule By Aesthetics: World-Class City Making in Delhi, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Bou Akar, Hiba (2018) For the War Yet to Come: Planning Beirut’s Frontiers, Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Urban Assemblages, Networks, and Infrastructures

  • Kaika, M. and Swyngedouw, E. (2000), Fetishizing the modern city: the phantasmagoria of urban technological networks. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 24: 120-138. doi:1111/1468-2427.00239
  • Graham and Marvin, 2001. Splintering Urbanism. London: Routledge.
  • McFarlane, C, Rutherford, J (2008) Political infrastructures: Governing and experiencing the fabric of the city. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 32(2): 363–374.
  • Kooy, M. and K Bakker. 2008. “Technologies of Government: Constituting Subjectivities, Spaces, and Infrastructures in Colonial and Contemporary Jakarta”. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 32 (2): 375-391.
  • Larkin, B. 2008. Signal and Noise: Media, Infrastructure, and Urban Culture in Nigeria. Durham &London: Duke University Press.
  • McFarlane, C. (2011). “Assemblage and critical urbanism”. City, Volume 15-Issue 2.
  • Brenner, N., Madden, D. and Wachsmuth, D. 2011. Assemblage Urbanism and the Challenges of Critical Urban Theory, City, 15(2), 225-240 P

  • Chattopadhyay, A. 2012. Unlearning the City: Infrastructure in a New Optical Field. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
  • Amin, Ash. 2014. “Liv`ely Infrastructure.” Theory, Culture & Society 31 (7–8): 137–61.
  • Easterling, Keller. 2014. Extrastatecraft: The Power of Infrastructure Space. Verso Books

  • CHU, J.Y. (2014), When infrastructures attack: The workings of disrepair in China. American Ethnologist, 41: 351-367. doi:1111/amet.12080
  • Mitchell, T. 2014. “Introduction: life of infrastructure.” Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East 34:3, 437-439.


  • Harvey, P. & Knox, H. 2015. Roads: An Anthropology of Infrastructure and Expertise. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
  • Howe, Cymene, Lockrem, Jessica, Appel, Hannah, Hackett, Edward, Boyer, Dominic, Hall, Randal, Schneider-Mayerson, Matthew, Pope, Albert, Gupta, Ahkil, Rodwell, Elizabeth, Ballestero, Andrea, Durbin, Trevor, el-Dahdah, Farès, Long, Elizabeth and Mody, Cyrus (2015) Paradoxical infrastructures: ruins, retrofit, and risk, Science, Technology, & Human Values, 41: 547–65.
  • Shelton, Taylor, Matthew Zook, and Alan Wiig (2015) The ‘actually existing’ smart city, Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, 8, 13-25.
  • Addie, Jean-Paul (2016) Theorising suburban infrastructure: a framework for critical and comparative analysis, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 41(3), 273- 285.
  • Amin, A., and N. Thrift (2017) Seeing Like a City, Cambridge: Polity Press.

  • Anand, N. 2017. Hydraulic City: Water and the Infrastructures of Citizenship in Mumbai. Durham & London: Duke University Press.
  • Anand, N., Gupta, A. & Appel, H. (eds.). 2018. The Promise of Infrastructure. Durham: Duke University Press.


  • Arefin, M. R. (2019), Infrastructural Discontent in the Sanitary City: Waste, Revolt, and Repression in Cairo. Antipode, 51: 1057-1078.
  • Michael R. Glass, Jean-Paul D. Addie & Jen Nelles(2019)Regional infrastructures, infrastructural regionalism,Regional Studies,53:12,1651-1656

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