Global Port Cities: Logics, Challenges, Creativity

Brian T. Edwards, in conversation with Patrick McGuinness, discusses his new multisited project on Global Port Cities. The project—a collaboration with Moroccan author Driss Ksikes and a multinational network of partners—brings together scholars, curators, artists and activists based in port cities on five continents—including New Orleans, Tangier, Naples, Saint-Louis, Beirut, Barcelona, Havana, Doha, Mumbai, and Rio de Janeiro—to engage with two central premises. First, port cities share certain characteristics, both positive and negative, such as high levels of complexity, multilingualism, environmental crisis, income disparity, and particularly rich cultural sectors. Second, there is a special potential for such cities to mobilize their creative economy for positive change, and individuals we call “organic connectors” are uniquely positioned as agents of transformation.


Brian T. Edwards is Professor of English and Dean of the School of Liberal Arts at Tulane University, New Orleans (USA). His publications include the books: Morocco Bound: Disorienting America's Maghreb, from Casablanca to the Marrakech Express (Duke, 2005); Globalizing American Studies (Chicago, 2010); On the Ground: New Directions in Middle East and North African Studies (NU-Q, 2013); After the American Century: The Ends of U.S. Culture in the Middle East (Columbia, 2016), and a wide range of essays, articles, and Op-Eds in both scholarly and mainstream venues.