The Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory presents a graduate student event:

Megacities: Agglomerating Culture, Media, and Infrastructures

April 14, 2008
Levis Faculty Center
919 W. Illinois St., Urbana, IL

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

With rising global populations increasingly concentrating in metropolitan areas, the megacity (metropolitan areas with populations of 10,000,000 or higher) has become a prominent figure not only in geopolitics and corporate economics, but also in the fields of ecology, history, literature, communications, and urban planning, to name but a few. This forum will concentrate on how a vast but related field of individuals, urban infrastructures, ecosystems, communications technologies, histories, and cultural identities respond to and inhabit these new urban spaces. If the megacity is a trend that will continue to grow, what specific changes will it bring about? What profound changes has it already produced? What are the cultural and political implications of megacities? How can critics, theorists, artists, and urbanists address these implications?

The panelists for this graduate student forum take up these issues with the following projects:

Crystal Thomas (english): "The (Dis)location of Culture in Chris Abani's Graceland: Towards a Metropoetic of Social Space"

Kevin Lam (educational policy): "Theorizing Asian American Youth Gangs in the Los Angeles Political Economy"

Ravi Ghadge (sociology):"Globalizing Marginality: Spatial Politics of 21st Century Mumbai"

+Aziz Khalil Ali (advertising): "Dubai: Built by Branding"