Tropical Imaginaries in Living Cities

Anita Lundberg


This is the second part of the eTropic special issue theme on Tropical Imaginaries and Living Cities. While the first part of this series concentrated predominately on concrete cities and the material imagination, this second issue explores notions of the tropics and cities through literary and artistic works. Thus in this collection of papers the tropical imaginary comes to the forefront while the metropolis provides the space or canvas for the imagination.

Many of the cities called up in this collection have physical presence, places such as Darwin, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Paris, Berlin, Venice, Havana, and Kuching. Other cities conjured here may morph into various otherworldly forms such as haunted spaces or spaceships; or dissolve into a hazy backdrop as memory and imagination take the stage. Yet these urban spaces are nevertheless always alive, their virtual presence becomes the matrix that holds the imagination. The literary and creative works examined here flow from martial arts, through literary works including novels, short stories, poetry, and speculative fiction, and then transition into visual art through science-fiction magazine covers, art on walls and heritage arts spaces, to come to a close with film.


tropics; cities; urban; imagination; feminism; literature; poetry; martial arts; visual arts; digital humanities; ecology; film

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Lundberg, A. (2018). Living Cities: Tropical Imaginaries. eTropic: electronic journal of studies in the tropics. 17 (1), 1-5.

Lundberg, A. (2008). Material poetics of a Malay house. The Australian Journal of Anthropology, 19(1), 1-16.



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