Anna’s urban studies research is grounded in social and political theory, and focuses on the connections between urban spatial ordering and knowledge production, and how various forms of popular politics contest and change these orders.

Anna is the convenor of the MPhil in Southern Urbanism and co-teaches the course in Urban Theory alongside Edgar Pieterse.

She also collaborates with Sophie Oldfield on a project, in partnership with Clive Barnett (University of Exeter, UK), titled ‘Knowing the City: South African Urban Research Past, Present, Future’. The project traces the dynamics of urban theory building in South Africa over the past four decades, and aims to give insight to the intergenerational tensions and transformations of the scholarly imperatives, as well as ethical, social, and/or political commitments of urban scholarship. Going beyond a disciplinary history approach, ‘Knowing the City’ attends to both how theory travels between cities, countries, and continents via mentorship and other scholarly encounters, as well as how urbanists navigate the multiple lineages of their situatedness in the urban terrain. Criss-crossing the shifting socio-political landscape of the country during and after apartheid, what are the professional, spatial, and personal trajectories that make up the shifting body of South African urban studies?


Selmeczi, Anna (co-edited with Shine Choi and Erzsébet Strausz). 2019. Critical Methods for the Study of World Politics, Interventions Series, Routledge.

Selmeczi, Anna (co-edited with Louiza Odysseos). 2017. The Power of Human Rights/The Human Rights of Power, ThirdWorlds Series, Routledge.

Selmeczi, Anna. 2016. ‘Art/work: Fabricating Freedom or, Thinking about Instrumentality in Relation to Political Art.’ Parallax 22, no. 2: 219-234.

Selmeczi, Anna. 2015. ‘Haunted by the Rebellion of the Poor: Civil Society and the Racialized Problem of the (Non-)economic Subject’. Foucault Studies, no. 20 (December).

Selmeczi, Anna. 2015. ‘Who is the Subject of Neoliberal Rights? Governmentality, Subjectification, and the Letter of the Law.’ Third World Quarterly 36, no. 6: 1076-1091.

Selmeczi, Anna. 2014. ‘Dis/placing Political Illiteracy: The Politics of Intellectual Equality in a South African Shack-dwellers’ Movement’. Interface: Journal by and about Social Movements 6, no.1.