lorenzo veracini on suburbia and settler colonialism


Lorenzo Veracini, ‘Suburbia, Settler Colonialism and the World Turned Inside Out’, Housing, Theory and Society 1 (2011).

While its primary aim is to explore possibilities for new research, this article contends that suburban and settler colonial imaginaries are related. It suggests that an awareness of the settler colonial “situation” and its dynamics can help an original approach to the interpretation of suburban forms (and vice versa). References to the suburban “frontier” have been frequent in both public discourse and scholarly debate, and suburban phenomena characterize in one way or another all settler societies. This connection, however, has not been the subject of sustained investigation. Thus, this article focuses on shared traditions of anti-urban perception and on a determination to pre-emptively secede from the metropole/metropolis in the presence of growing tensions and contradictions. Similarly, while settler colonial projects constitute separate political entities via an “outward” movement towards various “frontiers of settlement”, independent suburbs are also established via an “outward” movement and in an attempt to maintain local control over local affairs. In both instances displacement is a response/the only response to crisis.

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