Glissant and Black Urbanism

Date and time
Thursday 27 February 2020
17.00 – 18.30

Centre Building Room CBG.1.06
London School of Economics and Political Science
Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE

Glissant and Black Urbanism

Garth A. Myers, Trinity College Hartford CT USA

Jennifer Robinson, UCL

Hyun Bang Shin, LSE

The poems, essays and novels of the late Edouard Glissant rely on both a keen spatiality and a postcolonial sense of relationality. Glissant’s work is often difficult to decipher or contradictory, and engagement with his work in geography is still rare – albeit increasing in works tied to the study of Black Geographies and Black urbanism. I see many opportunities for urban geographers to engage with his thinking productively. Over his long career, he created what Nesbitt (2013: 239) called the ‘single most developed and philosophically sophisticated body of work in the tradition of Caribbean critique’. In this talk, I examine how Glissant’s take on transversality, submarine relationality, planetarization and his own notions of the ‘whole-world’, ‘creolization,’ ‘archipelagic thought,’ and the importance of landscape can create new visions for rethinking urbanism from the global South. The talk is built from my forthcoming book, Rethinking Urbanism: Lessons from Postcolonialism and the Global South (June 2020, Bristol University Press), which relies on Glissant in significant ways.

Speaker Bio

Garth A. Myers, associated with the Center for Urban and Global Studies, is the Paul E. Raether Distinguished Professor of Urban International Studies. Garth Myers earned a Ph.D. in Geography (1993) from UCLA with an allied field in Urban Planning. Myers has an M.A. (UCLA, 1986) in African Area Studies, with Geography and Urban Planning as the major and minor fields, and a BA with Honors in History from Bowdoin College, with concentrations in African and African-American History. He has taught at the University of Kansas, University of Nebraska-Omaha, Miami University (Ohio), California State University at Dominguez Hills, and UCLA. Myers is comfortable with large lecture classes and small seminars. His teaching philosophy rests on a belief in student engagement; the best learning takes place in engaged classrooms, where the professor facilitates student discussion and debate. Myers has conducted research in Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, South Africa, Finland, and the UK over the past 20 years, and he regularly uses his research to inform his teaching.

Living Through Uncertain Times

Date and time
Wednesday 19 February 2020
17.30 – 19.30

Queen Mary University of London
 2.22 Graduate Centre
Mile End Campus
London E1 4DH

Living Through Uncertain Times

Michele Lancione (University of Sheffield), Constance Smith (University of Manchester)

RSVP on Eventbrite

Across the world, cities are facing crisis on multiple fronts, putting the conditions for everyday life under tremendous pressure. Urban inhabitants are forced to recon with abstract processes of change in part by establishing informal networks of care and social infrastructures of support. Exploring the emergence of such improvisatory practices, networks, collectives and gatherings, this seminar asks: How can critical urban scholarship develop more rigorous approaches to conceptualise, question and contribute to improving the conditions for urban life to flourish in times of uncertainty?

The Urban Salon with The QMUL City Centre invites Michele Lancione (University of Sheffield) and Constance Smith (Social Anthropology, University of Manchester) to address these topics. Following their talks, there will be an open discussion on the theme of living through uncertain times.


More about the speakers:

Michele Lancione is an urban ethnographer and activist interested in issues of marginality, diversity, and radical politics. His most recent writing has focused on homelessness, racialised displacement and underground life in Bucharest, Romania. Michele is member of the Common Front for the Right to Housing (FCDL), and corecipient of two Antipode Awards. He is also one of the founders and Editors of the open-source Radical Housing Journal (RHJ), an Editor of City, and Corresponding Editor for Europe at IJURR. He is based at the Urban Institute, University of Sheffield (UK), where he is commencing work on a 5-year European Research Council funded program on ‘Radical Housing’.

Michael’s talk will be: Recentering the politics of home. Notes from within and from below

Constance Smith is a UKRI Future Leader Fellow in Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester, where her research focuses on the anthropology of architecture, time and urban change. Exploring shifting landscapes of buildings, planning and infrastructure, her work examines how urban materialities influence temporal engagements. She holds a PhD from UCL and an MA from Columbia University.

Connie’s talk will be: Nairobi in the making: precarious architecture, ‘world-class’ futures and urban belonging

Urban green space: reflections on ecological design

Date and time
18 February 2020
6 – 7.30 pm

Bartlett School of Planning UCL
Room G01 – Central House
14 Upper Woburn Place
London, WC1H 0NN

Urban green space: reflections on ecological design

Matthew Gandy (University of Cambridge – panel chair), Ingo Kowarik (TU Berlin), Bianca Maria Rinaldi (Politecnico di Torino) and Henriette Steiner (University of Copenhagen)

Open and free for all, no need to RSVP.

In recent years many European cities have developed innovative park designs that combine environmental objectives such as healthier air, cooler microclimates, and the enhancement of biodiversity with novel approaches to the creation of public space. In this panel event with some of Europe’s leading experts on urban nature we explore some of the latest developments and challenges for enhancing urban nature in contemporary landscape design.

Revisiting Displacement in Urban Studies

Date and time
Thursday 28 February 2019
17.00 – 20.00

Room CLM.7.02, Clement House, 7th Floor
London School of Economics and Political Science
265 Strand
London WC2R 1DH
View LSE Maps

Revisiting Displacement in Urban Studies

The full programme and registration for the event can be found on Eventbrite:

Full programme & Registration

The Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre, in collaboration with the Urban Salon, will be hosting a roundtable discussion on displacement, incorporating Southeast Asia and beyond.

Displacement has been at the core of a number of critical studies that address problems associated with gentrification, infrastructure development, armed conflicts, and so on, which result in socio-spatial restructuring of existing inhabitants. Displacement is not to be confined to last remaining, direct, physical displacement only: it can be further expanded to look at, for example, what Peter Marcuse in Colombia University was trying to say when he refers to chain displacement, displacement pressure or exclusionary displacement. It would also involve what Rowland Atkinson was trying to highlight in his discussion of symbolic displacement, or what Mark Davidson and Loretta Lees were referring to as phenomenological displacement, all of which involve the experience of displacement effect even if you stay put. At the same time, it will be important to understand how displacement itself will be a longitudinal process, begging the questions of when it starts and ends. Displacement may also be thought of in terms of displacement from histories, memories and subjective attachment to one’s affectionate places.

The workshop brings together speakers who will offer reflections on the meaning of ‘displacement’ in their ongoing and past research, helping us to critically revisit what displacement means for urban studies in general.

This event represents the #urbanisation theme, one of SEAC’s three key focus areas.