On structures and events

David Hugill*, Michael Simpson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review


Patrick Wolfe's description of settler-colonialism as a "structure, not an event" has made a lasting impact on the field of settler-colonial studies and beyond. This short intervention considers what the metaphors of "structure" and "event" reveal and what they conceal when they are deployed in the service of understanding settler-colonial urbanism. It emphasizes the point that settler-colonial cities are multi-scalar entities produced by an intersecting range of forces and asks whether an over-reliance on Wolfe's most famous phrase might sometimes relieve analysts of the burden of accounting for the complexity of these entanglements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)278-280
Number of pages3
JournalUrban Geography
Issue number2
Early online date8 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2023


  • Settler-colonialism
  • Settler-colonial urbanism
  • Urban geography


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