by Micaela di Leonardo

About Micaela di Leonardo

Micaela di Leonardo is Professor of Anthropology and African American Studies at Northwestern University. Among her works are Exotics at Home, The Gender/Sexuality Reader, and Black Radio/Black Resistance: The Life & Times of the Tom Joyner Morning Show.


Raymond Williams (1973) demonstrated the overarching significance of the keywords “city” and “country,” establishing the simultaneously positive and negative inflections of urbanity and rurality. For urbanity, on the positive side were the values of learning, light, progress, civilization, cosmopolitanism, tolerance and civil liberties, excitement, and sophistication; on the negative lay the countervalues of sin, darkness and noise, corruption and devolution, danger and violence, irreligion, mob rule, and anomie—in short, urban modernity and its discontents.