Criminality and power in the postcolonial city : mapping the mean streets of Mumbai and Naples / Maria Ridda.

Ridda, Maria, 1978- [Browse]
  • New York, NY ; Abingdon, Oxon : Routledge, 2023.
  • ©2023
ix, 239 pages ; 24 cm.


Routledge research in postcolonial literatures [More in this series]
Biographical/​Historical note
Maria Ridda is Lecturer in Postcolonial Literature and Director of the Centre for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies at the University of Kent. She specialises in contemporary South Asian writing, Mediterranean studies, and the intersection between the idea of Europe and Empire today. She is the author of Imagining Bombay, London, New York and Beyond: South Asian Writing from 1990 to the Present (2015), and has published widely in journals such as Interventions, Postcolonial Studies, and Postcolonial Text. She is the co-editor of 'Decolonising the State' (Laursen et al., 2020).
Summary note
This book investigates the literary imaginings of the postcolonial city through the lens of crime in texts set in Naples and Mumbai from the 1990s to the present. Employing the analogy of a black hole,' it posits the discourse on criminality as a way to investigate the contemporary spatial manifestations of coloniality and global capitalist urbanity. Despite their different histories, Mumbai and Naples have remarkable similarities. Both are port cities, gateways' to their countries and regional trade networks, and both are marked by extreme wealth and poverty. They are also the sites and symbolic battlegrounds for a wider struggle in which the North exploits the South, and the South fights back.' As one of the characters of the novel The Neapolitan Book of the Dead puts it, a narrativisation of the underworld allows for a discovery of a different city from its forgotten corners.' Crime provides a means to understand the relationship between space and society/culture in a number of cities across the Global South, by tracing a narrative of postcolonial urbanity that exposes the connections between exploitation and the ongoing coloniality of power.'
Bibliographic references
Includes bibliographical references and index.
  • 9781138303874 (hardcover)
  • 1138303879 (hardcover)
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