Taubman College

Faculty Directory

Teaching Areas:

  • Comparative Urban Policy
  • Infrastructure
  • Transnational Urbanism

Martin Murray is a tenured full professor of the Taubman College urban planning faculty. He began his academic career as sociologist with a strong foundation in urban geography. His current research engages the fields of urban studies and planning, cultural geography, distressed urbanism, development, historical sociology, African studies, and transnational urbanism.

In addition to six books and three co-edited volumes, he has produced over sixty journal articles and book chapters that focus on diverse geographical areas of the world at different historical periods. After his first book on French colonialism in Indochina (University of California Press), Professor Murray pursued a deep and abiding interest in the politics of South Africa and has published on a range of topics including class formation and rural transformation, the transition from apartheid to parliamentary democracy, city building, and urban planning.

Besides chapters in edited volumes, his research has appeared in a number of influential journals, including the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Cultural Geography, the Canadian Journal of African Studies, International Sociology, Journal of Southern African Studies, and the Journal of African History. He has completed a book manuscript called "Commemorating and Forgetting: Challenges for a New South Africa" (University of Minnesota Press, 2013).

Professor Murray is engaged in completing three books on city building and spatial politics in Johannesburg after apartheid. The first – Taming the Disorderly City (Cornell University Press, 2008) – examines the challenges for urban planning in Johannesburg after the end of apartheid. The second – City of Extremes: Spatial Politics in Johannesburg (Duke University Press, 2011) – looks at the spatiality of wealth and poverty in Johannesburg. The third manuscript – Panic City: Johannesburg in the Popular Imagination – investigates the intersection of public policing and private security in contemporary Johannesburg.

His most recent research focuses on questions related to holistic, master-planned "private cities" currently under construction or in the planning stages in in urban Africa.

In Taubman College, Professor Murray contributes significantly to the "Planning in Developing Countries" concentration offered by the Urban and Regional Planning Program. Professor Murray allows the Urban and Regional Planning Program to expand its developing-country course offerings, and affords the program expertise in African urban development policy. He is also affiliated with the Department of African-American and African Studies (DAAS) in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.

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