Abstract: The third and last lecture of this series points to two somewhat opposing trends that are likely to sculpt our understanding of cities in the near future. On the one hand, urban theory has tended in recent decades to emphasize the city as a place of consumption and/or social reproduction whereas the recent economic crisis, triggered by a predatory commodification of housing in the US has highlighted the question of city building and especially the role of construction. We will explore this connection between construction and commodification especially in the context of the crisis and the burgeoning cities of Asia. On the other hand, the revolts of the last few years have been heavily focused in and about cities, and I argue that with the future of social and political change now radically open, it is imperative to understand how political struggles are likely to change urban landscapes. We examine some recent movements and uprising as a means to think through quite different, and opposed, trajectories from those of the city commodified.
Speaker: Professor Neil Smith, The Graduate Center, City University, New York
Biography: Neil Smith is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Geography at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York where he was the founding Director of the Center for Place, Culture and Politics. He is also Sixth Century Chair in Geography and Social Theory at University of Aberdeen. His numerous authored and edited books include "American Empire: Roosevelt=s Geographer and the Prelude to Globalization" which won several awards including the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Biography, 2004; " The Endgame of Globalization" (2005); " New Urban Frontier" (1996); and "Uneven Development" (3rd edn, 2008). He has written more than 200 articles, chapters and essays, and his work is translated into more than a dozen languages. He has received numerous honors including a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship.
Venue: Edmond Safra Lecture Theatre at Saïd Business School
Attendance is free, but registration is required. Register at www.futureofcities3.eventbrite.com
Drinks reception to follow.