Overview of my ERC Inhabiting Radical Housing for Job Applicants (post-docs advert in late 06/21)

I will soon start hiring for my European Research Council (ERC) Inhabiting Radical Housing project, which is now ready to start at the DIST (Polytechnic of Turin) and will last until August 2025.

The available positions include 4 post-doctoral fellowships, plus 1 research-admin post, each lasting for 36 months. I have prepared a prospectus expanding on the info reported below, which can be downloaded by clicking here.

Researchers will have to move to Turin, where they will be able to work with me, in English, on an extremely exciting research project around the global fight against housing precarity.

I am willing to hire scholars working in the fields of Geography, Anthropology, Sociology and Urban Studies at large, who are interested in ethnographically exploring the struggle for inhabitation at the intersections where housing meets forms of structural violence. The project will explore geographies worldwide but will be moved by a commitment to situated knowledge production and willingness to support localised struggles.

The hiring is open to politically driven scholars from around the world, dedicated to high-quality scholarship and engagement, who I will support in the development of their intellectual and career goals. Researchers will be able to join a newly established Beyond Inhabitation Lab, which greatly expands on the remit of the project, and will allow for meaningful exchange and knowledge production across geographies.

The positions will become available in late June, and the application process will stay open roughly until mid-July (a new post on this blog will signal the page for application). Selection will include titles and colloquia, and I envisage a starting date around late September 2021 (to allow visa proceedings and other paperwork). Salary starts at a minimum of €1.770 per month, after-tax, and generous research funding will be available.

Please feel free to circulate this info, and to get in touch if you need any clarification.


Issue 3.1 of the Radical Housing Journal out now!

Our fifth issue of the Radical Housing Journal is now out.

Featuring 300+ pages of outstanding content, including 2 special issues, & southern conversations on housing/COVID in Lagos, Jakarta, Argentina, Manila, Lebanon & Brazil

Peer-reviewed, open-source: grab it here!

This is the result of a year-long collective work (much work!) by the following group of editors: Ana Vilenica Erin MC EL Alejandra Reyes, Hung-Ying Chen, Samantha Thompson, Solange Muñoz & yours truly.

The Issue 3.1 Editorial team would like to extend special thanks to the RHJ copy-editing team, Melissa García, Andrea Gibbons, Samantha Thompson and Solange Munoz, and to Felicia Berryessa-Erich for wonderful cover design, as well as for setting up the website together with Mara Ferreri, and Camila Cociña for the layout of the articles.

Our Editorial: https://radicalhousingjournal.org/2021/editorial-3/

Please support: https://radicalhousingjournal.org/donate/

In memory of Moussa Balde

Today I am turning 38, and all I can think about is that the city I have chosen to live in, the city where my life is continuing and extending, is the same place where last Sunday Moussa Balde had to take his life as the only possible choice, the only possible way forward.

For the international friends, here we are talking about a 23 years old young Guinean man, who travelled across deserts and sea to reach this place – where he got jailed, then beaten up by fascists on the streets, then incarcerated again in one of the ‘centres for repatriation’ (Cpr).

The silencing of the potential of his life – the shutting down of all possible reverberations of his becoming – is a violent act that came before Moussa’s decision to commit suicide in the CPR’s cell where he was locked in. It is ingrained in European migration politics, in its Italian implementation, and in the everyday life of a city that does not simply ‘turn its back’ away, but it fires against, its so-defined ‘other’.

What kind of inhabitation is this? What kind of home?

Rest in power, Moussa Balde.

Seminario su studi spaziali e metodi geografici – Cagliari

Seminario online di ricerca dottorale di Alice Salimbeni
Mercoledì, 26 maggio 2021, ore 16.30

L’evento si terrà online via MS Teams.
Il link all’aula virtuale sarà pubblicato 24 ore prima dell’evento.


“Minor Research Politics”
Michele Lancione

“Una metodologia nomade di ricerca spaziale”
Alice Salimbeni

Coordina Maurizio Memoli

Dibattito aperto con la partecipazione di Ivan Blečić, Gianmarco Chiri, Anna Maria Colavitti, Francesco Viola

Studiare la complessità dello spazio nelle fluidità della vita quotidiana contemporanea pone sfide metodologiche originali per le discipline della geografia, dell’urbanistica e dell’architettura. Negli studi spaziali il dibattito metodologico si è interessato ai temi della replicabilità del metodo, della significatività delle scelte di campo, del posizionamento e della rappresentatività, o della rilevanza, dei risultati delle ricerche. Questo seminario metodologico propone un focus sugli approcci qualitativi e sulla loro applicazione alla lettura della “produzione dello spazio”, specialmente di quello 1urbano. Le metodologie qualitative permettono di indagare la vita quotidiana e le relazioni socio-spaziali attraverso l’esperienza diretta delle persone. Si avvalgono, per questo, anche di modalità fluide, strumenti e approcci che sconfinano in altre discipline e intercettano significati salienti dello spazio urbano nella dimensione molteplice, affettiva ed emozionale della relazione fra le persone e i luoghi.

Durante il seminario, Michele Lancione, geografo urbano, etnografo e professore di Geografia Economico Politica al DiST di Torino, rifletterà sugli approcci teorici e metodologici del suo percorso di ricerca qualitativo.

Poi, Alice Salimbeni, dottoranda dell’Università di Cagliari presenterà l’ipotesi di una metodologia femminista nomade per studiare lo spazio urbano.

Global Urbanism – edited with Colin McFarlane is out now

Copies arrived of “Global Urbanism. Knowledge, Power and the City”, which is now out for Routledge (order at http://routledge.pub/Global-Urbanism -20% with code SMA03).

This is a book that took a lot of work, since 2018, when the truly wonderful Colin McFarlane invited me to think it through with him. We were joined by 50+ authors from all over the world (scholars, but also activists and practitioners) and asked them to reflect on the foundational relationship between the ‘global’, the ‘urban’, and the situated ‘political’ arising in-between – through a series of short chapters and engaging interviews.

The result is a book we – Colin and myself – are genuinely proud of. Global Urbanism does not try to build ‘a’ theory. Instead, it argues for an incremental, fragile and in-the-making emancipatory urban thinking – providing a heterodox set of approaches and theorisations to probe and provoke rather than aiming to draw a line under a complex, changing and profoundly contested set of global-urban processes.

I am pasting below the table of content because I think it’s truly impressive — and another good thing is that we fought hard to make Routledge publish this in paperback from day 1, so this 370 pages book is now £27.99 with the above code. And with the paperback edition, you also get the cover with a picture I took in Delhi, in 2019, during a trip shared with Colin that inspired some of the book’s ideas. That view to me is also a way to express solidarity to that beautiful city and its wonderful people in these hard days.

If you want to hear more about this project, later this summer the Scottish man and myself will be joined by some of the book’s authors for a series of panels at the RGS-IBG in London. Stay tuned. Peace!

Edited By Michele Lancione, Colin McFarlane

Copyright Year 2021
May 6, 2021 – 370 Pages 31 B/W Illustrations

Table of Contents



1. Navigating the global-urban – Lancione and McFarlane

Rethinking global urbanisms
2. Thinking urban grammars: An interview with Ash Amin
3. Decentering global urbanism: An interview with Ananya Roy
4. Hinterlands of the Capitalocene – Neil Brenner and Nikos Katsikis
5. Making space for queer desire in global urbanism- Gavin Brown and Dhiren Borisa
6. Seeing like an Italian city: questioning global urbanism from an “in-between space” in Turin – Francesca Governa
7. Theorising from where? Reflections on De-centring Global (Southern) Urbanism – Hyun Bang Shin
8. Postsocialist Cities: A Comparative Urbanism Research Agenda – Liviu Chelcea, Slavomíra Ferenčuhová and Gruia Badescu
9. Beyond the Noosphere? Northern England’s ‘Left Behind’ Urbanism – John Flint and Ryan Powell
10. Footnote urbanism: the missing East in (not so) global urbanism – Martin Müller

11. Comparative urbanism and global urban studies: theorising the urban – Jennifer Robinson

Everyday global urbanisms
12. Global Urbanism Inside/Out: Thinking Through Jakarta – Helga Leitner and Eric Sheppard
13. Tiwa’s morning – Grace Adeniyi-Ogunyankin and Linda Peake
14. “Out there, over the hills, on the other side of the tracks”: a horizon of the global urban – AbdouMaliq Simone
15. Constructing the Southeast Asian Ascent: Global Vertical Urbanisms of Brick and Sand – William Jamieson, Katherine Brickell, Nithya Natarajan and Laurie Parsons
16. Nairobi City, Streets and Stories: Young lives stay in place while going global through digital stages – Tatiana Thieme
17. Rethinking global urbanism from a ‘fripe’ marketplace in Tunis – Katharina Grüneisl
18. Liminal spaces and resistance in Mexico City: towards an everyday global urbanism – Alicia Lindón
19. Death and the City. Necrological Notes from Kinshasa – Filip De Boeck
20. Pathways toward a dialectical urbanism: thinking with the contingencies of crisis, care and Capitalism – Suraya Scheba

21. Global self-urbanism: self-organisation amidst the regulatory crisis and uneven urban citizenship – Francesco Chiodelli and Margherita Grazioli


Governing global urbanisms
22. Unlocking political potentialities – Edgar Pieterse
23. Climate Changed Urbanism? – Harriet Bulkeley, Laura Tozer and Emma Lecavalier
24. The global urban condition and politics of thermal metabolics: the chilling prospect of killer heat – Simon Marvin
25. On the deployment of scientific knowledge for the new urbanism of the Anthropocene – Vanesa Castan Broto
26. Global cities and bioeconomy of health innovation – Donald McNeill
27. Hacking the Urban Code: Notes on Durational Imagination in City-Making – Swati Chattopadhyay
28. Global Urbanism: urban governance innovation in/for a world of cities – Pauline McGuirk
29. Corridor Urbanism – Jonathan SIlver
30. Beyond-the-network Urbanism: Everyday Infrastructures in States of Mutation – Yaffa Truelove
31. Still construction and already ruin – Mariana Cavalcanti
32. The Migration of Spaces: Monumental Urbanism Beyond Materiality – Morten Nielsen

33. Land as situated spatio-histories: A dialogue with Global Urbanism – Wing Shing Tang and Solomon Benjamin

Contesting global urbanism
34. Women organising, advocacy and Indian cities in-between informal dwelling and informal economies: and interview with SEWA’s Renana Jhabvala
35. From a Neapolitan perspective, reaching out beyond prevailing cultural models: an interview with Emma Ferulano
36. Urban struggles and theorising from Eastern European cities: a collective interview with Ana Vilenica, Ioana Florea, Veda Popovici and Zsuzsi Pósfai
37. Planning, community spaces and youth urban futures: from Accra, in conversation with Victoria Okoye and Yussif Larry Aminu
38. A Counter-Dominant Global Urbanism? Experiments from Lebanon – Mona Harb
39. Living in the city beyond housing: urbanism of the commons – Belen Desmaison

Going back ‘home’

Tempo di tornare a casa…

2020 has been hard on my family, and so, after 13 years abroad, from 1st April (no fool!) I’ll return to Italy & take up a full professorship/Professore Ordinario in Geography at the Interuniversity Department of Urban Studies at the Polytechnic of Turin (DiST, http://dist.polito.it/en/).

Above, a shot of the countryside I grew up in (& the only bridge we had to do tagging as kids).

Sure, Italy is sexier than that bridge. But ‘home’ is what it is and rarely one to choose. So if those northern flatlands of ricefields and wasted industrial warehouses, the FIAT factory were my father worked, the house my mother Marina cared for with devotion, and the one my beautiful, strong and inspirational sis Silvia & I grew up in, pushed me to move around — like many, many of my friends…

… those same fields and those same people pull back, demand a renewed care and attention, implicitly so, because it is not a matter of asking or complying, but just of redirecting a flow.

Plus, let’s be honest: this is as well a thrilling move for me, ’cause as my bro & sis know very well, I never exactly loved the Queen and her island!

And yet, I am grateful for what it provided. For the people I encountered in Durham, in Cambridge, in London, in Cardiff, overseas in Sydney & especially to those who really made a difference & always supported me to this very move at the University of Sheffield. Including, above all, Leo.

I will retain a visiting professorship at the Urban Institute at Sheffield & continue to enjoy the vibe. I will also soon re-load my ERC project & hire internationally in Turin —

— so it appears the move is just the iteration of a vantage point. My intention is to exploit all my privilege to maintain it radical.

To conclude, two more shots: 1/9/08 departing for my PhD at Durham — 1/4/21 packing to coming back ‘home’.


A little news…

A little news decided in early 2020 but effective as of 1/21…
I am now full Professor/Chair in Urban Studies (Professore Ordinario in Studi Urbani) at the Urban Institute, University of Sheffield. Keep me in check for a wilder ride, for how I’ll exploit this position, for the collectivities I am indebted to & future ones.
There are too many to thanks – Francesca Governa sent me to do my PhD at the Geography Department at Durham Uni, where Ash Amin and Joe Painter started being my supervisors in 2008. There, I have learnt a lot from many, including the wonderful Colin McFarlane. I then moved to UTS in Sydney in 2011 (Stewart Clegg and his great bunch there!!), post-doc in Cambridge thanks to the Urban Studies Foundation in 2013 (sharing much with the great Tatiana Thieme and Esztiki Kovacs) and then a brief experience as lecturer in Geography at Cardiff in 2016. Thanks to all the ones I’ve encountered in this journey. At Sheffield I met so much support and so many wonderful people I can’t really thank them all here. It has been really a transformative place for me to be in. I will be forever in-debt with the support I received from John Flint and Ryan Powell, among many others, and most of all for the ones taken from my brother, friend and wild teacher AbdouMaliq Simone. Thank you, Maliq. And a huge thanks also to my USP colleagues, and in particular to that crazy bunch at the Urban Institute. Thank you, Simon Marvin, Beth Perry, Vanesa Castan Broto, Jonathan SIlver, Aidan While, for making it collective.
A massive thanks goes also to ‘my’ PhD students, Stephanie Lacey, Martyna Piliszewska, Sri Suryani, Francesca Guarino, Victoria Ogọegbunam Okoye, Eirini Glynou-Lefaki for teaching me so much and to Rowland Atkinson, Ryan Powell, Paula Meth and Alberto Vanolo for teaching me how to supervise! I also want to thank the AMAZING community of ECRs in Urban Studies we set up at Sheffield: too many, too strong, to mention you all. But what we achieved there, in terms of horizontal solidarities across post-docs is really important, so thank you for that.
There are collectives I shared pickets with, others inspired a journey (Institute on Inequality and Democracy), some I spent so much love to set up (Radical Housing Journal) or revamp (City – Analysis of Urban Change, Theory and Action) or live through streets (Frontul Comun pentru Dreptul la Locuire) — thank you, Nicoleta Visan, Veda Popovici, Ioana Florea & many more) —
— These are the reasons to continue.
Finally, 2020 has been a year of much family loss and pain. I am blessed, in my every day, to have Leo with me. In 2021 there will be changes, to stay closer to my sis and to life, to open new errands. I’ll keep on reminding myself of the privilege I have —
— Avanti!

Dwelling in Liminalities – A lecture @CriticalUrbanisms

Since the beautiful people at the Critical Urbanisms lab in Basel recorded it… let me share.

In this lecture I try to make sense of underground inhabitation, and the propositional politics of the uninhabitable in contemporary Bucharest. This is work I started in 2003, and it continues to evolve, at its own tempo. The main aim is to encompass the colonies of home/homelessness and think about the margins as site of resistance (hooks) and as site of otherwise dwelling assembled through praxis of radical care. The latter is not there to accept the status quo – it ain’t resilience. Instead, it signals more profound and radical challenges to the entrenched violence of our anti-ecological, racist, gendered and extractive ideals of ‘home’.

Beyond the stuff I’ve published around the tunnels in Cultural Anthropology and the IJURR, there is a now under-review book for Duke on the politics of home(lessness). And then, of course, the work of many others who have inspired mine, the struggle of my comrades Frontul Comun pentru Dreptul la Locuire, and this small video above. Avanti!



Beginning my ‘Inhabiting Radical Housing’ ERC Starting grant project

After some personal and COVID-19 delay, today we start my European Research Council (ERC) project on “Inhabiting Radical Housing”!

I look forward to the next 5 years of fieldwork, decolonial housing research & undercommons building and praxis across the globe. The project will allow for collaborations with old and new comrades, scholars and networks in several regions of the world. You can find a short presentation of the main aim of this work below.

In the next months, we’ll start hiring & launch new tools for engagement and direct support for action, at the Urban Institute in Sheffield. Also, some new manoeuvrings to be expected with my dear friend AbdouMaliq Simone. More info soon!

Project’s aims
According to UN-Habitat, each year millions of people face forced eviction from their homes, while a staggering 1.6 billion are inadequately housed. Forecasts suggest housing precarity will continue to grow in future, worldwide. In response, grassroots housing movements are becoming increasingly common. Crucially, these groups fight for more than just housing, often advancing critiques of wider societal inequalities. Yet little is known of the broader significance of these struggles, and research has failed to offer an understanding of geographically dispersed movements. The ways in which the fight for the right to housing operates is essential to understand contemporary urban life. The project will fill these critical gaps through a decolonial Inhabiting Radical Housing Approach and empirical research at a global scale.

First, the project identifies the importance of a historical understanding of dwelling precarity, to appreciate the relevance of housing struggles worldwide (Objective I). Second, it investigates and profiles prominent grassroots networks in the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia to analyse their goals and organisational culture (Objective II). To appreciate the wider significance of radical housing resistance, the project deploys an ambitious ethnographic encounter with grassroots struggles in eight emblematic cities (Objective III). It then brings selected participants and activists together in a series of innovative action-oriented activities (defined from below), fostering the exchange of peer-to-peer knowledge and offering support to direct action (Objective IV). Finally, the project will gather these insights into an innovative critical and decolonial framework, which will lead to agenda-setting publications, interventions, and academic scholarship (Objective V).

The project will contribute to housing, urban and geographical studies, as well as to grassroots knowledge, opening a new phase in understanding the global fight against housing precarity.


Relaunching City: the culmination of 8 years of editorial work, and moving on!

After 8 years of work within City – Analysis of Urban Change, Theory and Action, the last two of which as one of the main Editors, it is time for me to move on and focus the (few) remaining energies on other collective projects (primarily Radical Housing Journal)

City is a great Journal. One of the few in Urban Studies that really tries hard to question its own makings and politics, and genuinely reaches beyond the inner circles of academic debates.

In the past three years, we worked HARD to relaunch it – devising a new Collective structure and a renewed critical spirit. The culmination of this work is a terrific relaunch issue, containing cutting-edge content from academics and activists from all over the world: https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/ccit20/current

It has been an honor for me to work with many great colleagues to achieve this, and a huge thanks go to my comrades in the City Editors team, Andrea Gibbons, Anna Richter, Antonis Vradis, David Madden, Debbie Humphry, and not least, Melissa Fernandez-Arrigoitia, who is also leaving with me to focus more energies on the RHJ. We will keep on supporting City’s work within the main City Collective.

If you are interested in working with a fantastic team, for a publication worth doing and reading, check out the call for Editors here.