Merrifield on Lefebvre in London

Reposted from crit-geog-forum. I’m speaking in Newcastle that night so will unfortunately miss it. 

UCL Urban Laboratory/CITY Journal Annual Lecture with the support of Bartlett School of Planning

Henri Lefebvre and Planetary Urbanization

Lecture by Andy Merrifield

05 October 2011

Christopher Ingold Auditorium

University College London

20 Gordon Street London WC1H 0AJ


In Le droit a la ville and La revolution urbaine, Henri Lefebvre projected the urban trajectory of his day into the sci-fi imaginary of Isaac Asimov’s remarkable Foundation saga. Lefebvre had already begun hinting at a new reality: not just of expanding cities, nor even of a new urban reality, but something vaster and more immense again: planetary urbanization.

Today, four decades on, Asimov’s extraterrestrial universe seems closer than ever to home: planetary urbanization is creating a whole new spatial world (dis)order. But how to reclaim the shapeless, formless, and apparently boundless metropolis as a theoretical object and political object of progressive struggle?

The  template for Andy Merrifeld’s forthcoming book is his essay, ‘The right to the city and beyond: Notes on a Lefebvrian re-conceptualization‘, recently published in CITY (15.3-4, 2011). Merrifield’s use of Asimov’s fiction is another example of how he likes to use literature to frame certain ideas, as he did with Marquez and Joyce’s Finnegans Wake in Magical Marxism, for thinking about the politics of encounter. Dr Andy Merrifield’s recent publications have included  Metromarxism: A Marxist Tale of the City (2002), Guy Debord (2005),  Henri Lefebvre : A Critical Introduction (2006) and  Magical Marxism: Subversive Politics and the Imagination (2011).

This public lecture will be the third in a series jointly organised by thejournal CITY in conjuction with UCL Urban Laboratory and the support of the Bartlett School of Planning.

No reservation required; seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please see for directions.

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