Workshop 1: Modes of Generality

September – October 2019

This workshop (a) distinguishes between positivist from relational forms of generalization, and (b) explore the simultaneously conceptual and methodological elements of a relational approach.


Doreen Massey. 1994.  Space, Place and Gender. University of Minnesota Press: “General Introduction” (pp.1-9) and “A Global Sense of Place” (pp.146-156).

Gillian Hart. 2018. “Becoming a Geographer: Massey Moments in a Spatial Education.” In Doreen Massey: Critical Dialogues.  Edited by Jamie Peck, Marion Werner, Rebecca Lave & Brett Christophers.  Columbia University Press (pp. 75-87; esp. pp. 75-81).

Gillian Hart. 2002.  Introduction to Disabling Globalization: Places of Power in Post-Apartheid South Africa.  University of KwaZulu-Natal Press (pp. 1-15).

Andrew Sayer. 1991. “Behind the Locality Debate: Deconstructing Geography’s Dualisms.” Environment & Planning A 23: (pp.283-308; esp. pp. 297-301).

Doreen Massey. 1994.  Space, Place and Gender. University of Minnesota Press: “The Political Place of Locality Studies” (pp.125-145); “Politics and Space-Time” (pp.249-272).

​Andrew Merrifield. 1993. “Place and Space: A Lefebvrian Reconciliation.” Transactions of the British Institute of Geographers 18: 516-531.

Workshop 2: Critical Ethnography

Building on Workshop 1, this workshop will (a) focus on three recent examples of in-depth ethnographic research that go far beyond “case studies” to draw more general conclusions; and (b) explore the simultaneously theoretical and methodological underpinnings that enable these broader arguments.


Nomkhosi Xulu-Gama. 2017. Hostels in South Africa: Spaces of Perplexity. University of KwaZulu-Natal Press.  “Introduction: Unveiling the Hostel’s Perplexity” (esp. pp. 1-11 & 30-34).

Melanie Samson. 2019. “Trashing Solidarity: the  Production of Power and the Challenges to Organizing Informal Reclaimers.” International Labor and Working-Class History no. 95: pp. 34-48.

Bridget Kenny. 2018. Retail Worker Politics, Race and Consumption in South Africa: Shelved in the Global Economy. Palgrave McMillan: “Introduction” (esp. pp 1-22).

Combahee River Collective Statement. 1977.

Himani Bannerji. 2005. “Building from Marx: Reflections on Class and Race.” Social Justice 32(4):pp. 144-160.

Stuart Hall. 1980. “Race, Articulation, and Societies Structured in Dominance.” In Sociological Theories: Race and Colonialism. Paris: UNESCO (esp. pp. 25 ff.).

Gillian Hart 2007.  “Changing Concepts of Articulation: Political Stakes in South Africa Today.” Review of African Political Economy no. 111 (esp.  pp.89-93 – summary of Hall’s concept of articulation).

Workshop 3: Relational Comparison

This workshop distinguishes Relational Comparison from two more common approaches to comparison. In laying out the theoretical/methodological underpinnings of Relational Comparison, I will bring together threads from Workshops 1 & 2 in combination with the brief section on land/nature from Lefebvre’s The Production of Space and Coronil’s expansion of this insight.

For those interested in reading further, included are two sets of Related Readings on Marx’s Method and Conjunctural Analysis.


Henri Lefebvre. 1991. The Production of Space. Basil Blackwell: pp. 323-326. (on land and nature)

Fernando Coronil. (1997). The Magical State: Nature, Money and Modernity in Venezuela. Chapter 1 “History’s Nature.” University of Chicago Press. (Coronil expands on the fragment on land and nature in useful ways – esp. pp. 56-65)

Gillian Hart. 2006. Denaturalizing Dispossession: Critical Ethnography in the Age of Resurgent Imperialism. Antipode 38(5): 977–1004.

Gillian Hart. 2018. Relational Comparison Revisited: Marxist Postcolonial Geographies in Practice. Progress in Human Geography 42(3): 371-394 (esp. pp.376-387; 385-390).

Philip McMichael.1990. Incorporating Comparison within a World-Historical Perspective: An Alternative Comparative Method. American Historical Review 55 (3): 385–97.

Shu-Mei Shih. 2015. World Studies and Relational Comparison. Publications of the Modern Languages Association 103(2): 430-438.

Karl Marx. 1857 Introduction to the Grundrisse.

Stuart Hall. 2003 [1974] “Marx’s Notes on Method: A ‘Reading’ of the ‘1857 Introduction.’” Cultural Studies 17 (2): 113–49.

Bertell Ollman. 2003. Dance of the Dialectic: Steps in Marx’s Method. University of Illinois Press

Derek Sayer. 1989. The Violence of Abstraction: The Analytic Foundations of Historical Materialism. Oxford: Basil Blackwell (esp. Chapter 6 “The Historicity of Concepts”).

Henri Lefebvre. 1991. The Production of Space. Basil Blackwell: pp. 65-67 (on regressive/progressive method).

Antonio Gramsci. 1971. Selections from the Prison Notebooks of Antonio Gramsci.  “Analysis of Situations.  Relations of Force” (pp. 397-411 Electronic Book).

Louis Althusser. 1962. For Marx: Chapter on “Contradiction and Overdetermination”

Stuart Hall, Doreen Massey & Michael Rustin. 2013. After Neoliberalism: Analysing the Present. (the Kilburn Manifesto).

John Clarke. 2019. A Sense of Loss? Unsettled Attachments in the Current Conjuncture. New Formations 96: 132-146.

Lawrence Grossberg. 2019. Cultural Studies in Search of a Method, or Looking for Conjunctural Analysis. New Formations 96: 38-68.