City Talks : Timothy Mitchell on the Materialities of Political Economy and Colonial History
Encore sur Jadaliyya, pour ceux que l’anglais ne rebute pas, cet entretien passionnant avec Timothy Mitchell
In this first installment of City Talks, Omar Jabary Salamanca and Nasser Abourahme discuss with Timothy Mitchell his latest work and his ongoing thinking around questions of urban political economy and political theory. More specifically, we learn about his use of the term capitalization and what it might mean for thinking about the built environment. Mitchell also reflects on the role of public space during the Arab uprisings, issues of urban and rural informality, as well as the ways the ‘material turn’ and close attention to the technical help us see colonialism in different ways.
Timothy Mitchell is a political theorist and historian. His areas of research include the place of colonialism in the making of modernity, the material and technical politics of the Middle East, and the role of economics and other forms of expert knowledge in the government of collective life. Much of his current work is concerned with ways of thinking about politics that allow material and technical things more weight than they are given in conventional political theory. Educated at Queens’ College, Cambridge, where he received a first-class honours degree in History, Mitchell completed his Ph.D. in Politics and Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University in 1984. He joined Columbia University in 2008 after teaching for twenty-five years at New York University, where he served as Director of the Center for Near Eastern Studies. At Columbia, he teaches courses on the history and politics of the Middle East, colonialism, and the politics of technical things.