ANT431H5S Special Problems in Sociocultural and Linguistic Anthropology (SSc)

Topic Title: The Promises and Perils of Planning: Ethnographic Perspectives

  • Instructor: Marianna Reis
  • Offered in the Winter 2024 "S" term at UTM
  • Prerequisite(s): ANT204H5 Sociocultural Anthropology


representation of planned community

What is planning and what does planning do? This course aims to explore such questions through an anthropological lens, to consider the relations of power, discourses, practices, materialities, technologies and actors that comprise the assemblage we call “planning”. Recent anthropological literature on planning, urbanism, and infrastructure has sought to challenge taken for granted notions of planning as a neutral technical solution-based practice, looking instead at how the “stuff of planning” – such as roads, maps, housing, sanitation, traffic, planning meetings, proposals, zoning regulations, legislation – produces difference and shapes everyday experiences of citizenship, belonging, public space, and mobility in profound ways.

Examples of weekly topics:

  • Demystifying planning
  • Governmentality and Statecraft
  • ‘Expert’ knowledges and the figure of the planner
  • The colonial laboratory
  • Constructing the nation and its margins
  • Waiting on future plans
  • Insurgent planning from the margins
  • Ruination and Redevelopment
  • Policing and public space
  • War’s plans
  • Participatory planning
  • Reimagining planning justice 

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To enrol, please visit ACORN.