Anna Selmeczi is a Senior Lecturer and Programme Convener: MPhil in Southern Urbanism, at the African Centre for Cities. Her urban studies research is grounded in social and political theory, and focuses on the connections between orders of urban space and knowledge production, and how various forms of popular politics contest and change these orders. Extending these themes through the lens of her teaching practice over the last few years, she’s also been thinking about the transformative and even emancipatory possibilities of pedagogical and research methods that emerge through creative experimentation.

Selmeczi received her PhD in Political Science at the Central European University in 2012. She is a senior lecturer and the convener of the ACC”s Southern Urbanism masters programme and the pedagogical lead of the Urbanisms from the South track of the University of Basel’s Critical Urbanisms MA. Currently, she is in the final stages of a book project with Professor Sophie Oldfield (Cornell & UCT), co-edited with the late Clive Barnett (University of Exeter, UK) and titled _Knowing the City: Urban Scholarship from Apartheid to Democracy_. The book 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.



  • shine choi, Anna Selmeczi and Erzsébet Strausz (eds.) 2020. Critical Methods for the Study of World Politics: Creativity and Transformation. London and New York: Routledge. 
  • Louiza Odysseos and Anna Selmeczi (eds.) The Power of Human Rights/The human Rights of Power. ThirdWorlds Series, London and New York: Routledge. 

Book chapters: 

  • Anna Selmeczi. 2022. ‘The people: Between populism and the masses.’ In Clive Barnett and Richard Ballard (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Social Change. London and New York: Routledge. 
  • Zayd Minty, Laura Nkula-Wenz, Vaughn Sadie, Anna Selmeczi and Rike Sitas. 2020. ‘doual’art: Art, publics, and the city as a “field of experience.” In: Forces of Art: Perspectives from a Changing World. Carin Kuoni et al. (eds.), pp. 203-306. 
  • Erzsébet Strausz, Anna Selmeczi, and shine choi. 2020. ‘Studying in world politics: A reading guide.’ In: Critical methods in world politics: Creativity and transformation. shine choi, Anna Selmeczi and Erzsébet Strausz (eds.), pp. 7-21. 
  • Aragorn Eloff and Anna Selmeczi. 2017. ‘Powers of the Uncivil: Notes from South Africa’ In Why Don’t the Poor Rise Up? Organizing the Twenty-First Century Resistance. Chico, CA: AK Press.. 

Journal articles: 

  • Richa Nagar and Anna Selmeczi. 2021. ‘The labour of political theatre as embodied politics: A conversation.’ AGITATE! (3). 
  • Anna Selmeczi. 2016. ‘Art/work: Fabricating Freedom or, Thinking about Instrumentality in Relation to Political Art.’ Parallax 22, no. 2: 219-234. 
  • Anna Selmeczi. 2015. ‘Haunted by the Rebellion of the Poor: Civil Society and the Racialized Problem of the (Non-)economic Subject.’ Foucault Studies, no. 20 (December). 
  • Anna Selmeczi. 2015. ‘Who is the Subject of Neoliberal Rights? Governmentality, Subjectification, and the Letter of the Law.’ Third World Quarterly 36, no. 6: 1076-1091. 

Other output: 

  • shine choi, Anna Selmeczi and Erzsébet Strausz. 2021. ‘Talking book, creating methods’. Position Politics | Paideia (2). 
  • Urban Revolt: State Power and the Rise of People’s Movements in the Global South ed. by Trevor Ngwane, Imannuel Ness and Luke Sinwell’ (review essay). Transformation: Critical Perspectives on Southern Africa 101, no. 1: 162-164. 
  • Anna Selmeczi. 2018. Iolanda Pensa et al., Public Art in Africa: Art and Urban Transformation in Douala’ (book review). Africa: Journal of the International African Institute 88, no. 4.