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Spring 2024

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January 24th
Jess Myers presents Here There Be Dragons: Urban Research Methods

In this talk, Myers will discuss her eight years working on the research, design, and production of the urbanism podcast Here There Be Dragons. HTBD starts with residents first and seeks to forefront methods from the social sciences as crucial techniques in the analysis of the built environment. The podcast covers one city per season. Myers has sat down with residents in New York, Paris, and Stockholm to discuss what inspires their feelings of belonging and tension in their cities. Through these interviews HTBD traces a post occupancy study of urban policy, design decisions, and social attitudes.

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JESS MYERS is an urbanist and assistant professor of architecture at Syracuse University whose practice includes work as an editor, writer, podcaster, and curator. In the past, Jess has worked in diverse roles—archivist, analyst, teacher—within cultural practices that include Bernard Tschumi Architects, the Service Employees International Union, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Rhode Island School for Design. Her research engages sound and multimedia platforms as a means to explore politics and residency in urban conditions. Her podcast Here There Be Dragons takes an in-depth look at the impact of security narratives on urban planning through the eyes of city residents in New York, Paris, and Stockholm. Her work can be found in Urban Omnibus, The Architect’s Newspaper, Log, l’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui, Avery Review, The Architectural Review, Places, Dwell, and the Funambulist Magazine. Her 2022 exhibition, A Pause Is Not A Break, was recently on “view” in Providence Rhode Island, Ames, Iowa, and Ottawa, Canada.

February 7th

Maya Singhal presents How to Fight a Mega-Jail

In 2017, New York City committed to a plan to close Rikers Island Jail Complex and build four smaller jails around the city in Manhattan’s Chinatown, Downtown Brooklyn, Mott Haven in the Bronx, and Kew Gardens in Queens. The Chinatown jail is planned to be built on the site of the current jail in the neighborhood, but rather than repurposing or remodeling the building, the city plans to demolish it and build a 300-foot mega-jail, which would be the tallest jail in the world. The fight against the new Chinatown jail has drawn together a diverse coalition concerned about the effects of the jail on the Chinatown population and the predominantly Black and Latine populations incarcerated inside it. This talk explores how concerned groups are working to bridge their differences and develop strategies to fight the new jail construction.

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Maya Singhal is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America and the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University. They completed their PhD in Anthropology at Harvard University, and they also hold MA degrees from the University of Chicago and New York University and a BA from NYU. Singhal’s research is interested broadly in how people navigate violence across generations. More specifically, their recent work deals with crime, capital, and mutual aid in African and Chinese diasporic populations. Singhal’s current book project is an ethnographic and historical study of African American and Chinese American self- and community defense in New York City and the histories of extralegal neighborhood protection (e.g. gangs, neighborhood patrols and associations, etc.) that inform these present-day efforts towards safety.

February 28th

A Colloquium with Dr. Mark Roseland

Details coming soon!

March 27th

Karin Bradley presents How Local Gov Can Use Grassroots Initiatives for Sustainability Transitions

In cities across the world grassroots initiatives organize alternative forms of provisioning, e.g. food sharing networks, energy cooperatives and repair cafés. Some of these are recognized by local governments as engines in sustainability transitions. In this talk, I will discuss different ways that local governments interact with, and use, such grassroots initiatives, drawing from case studies in Berlin and Gothenburg. An argument will be made for that we need to reconsider what municipal infrastructure should entail, i.e. not only the traditional infrastructure for transport and waste but also new infrastructure for repairing and sharing.

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Karin Bradley is Professor of Urban and Regional Studies at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. Her research concerns planning and policy for sustainability transitions, the role of civil society, alternative economies and justice aspects of transitions. She has been the co-director of the eight-year research programme Mistra Sustainable Consumption – from niche to mainstream that engages researchers from different disciplines as well as municipalities, civil society organizations, companies and national authorities in Sweden. She has had several assignments for the Swedish government, including leading a public inquiry on the sharing economy.

Her publications include “Community repair in the circular economy: Fixing more than stuff” (2022, with Ola Persson), “In search of sufficiency politics: The case of Sweden” (2021, with Åsa Callmer) and “Planning for sharing: Providing Infrastructure for citizens to be makers and sharers” (2017, with Anna Hult).

April 10th

A Colloquium with Dr. Imara Rolston

Details coming soon!

All colloquia are held via Zoom webinar from 12:00-1:00 pm ET

Recordings will be made available after the presentation

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