Spatial Practices, Black Activism, and the City

When:  Friday, October 23, 2020, 11:30am


Category:  Center for Cultural Analysis

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A roundtable of the Urban Humanities Working Group

After the police murder of George Floyd on May 25th, 2020, an unprecedented series of protests against racial discrimination took place worldwide. These protests, whose media coverage was amplified by the concurrent pandemic lockdown, highlighted the deeply problematic interaction of black people within the U.S. urban environment and the conflictual relationship continues to reverberate till today. This roundtable of Rutgers’ Urban Humanities Working Group will explore the current Black Lives Matter movement and the space of the U.S. city, with a focus on the dynamic relationship between design, architecture, protest, social justice, and reform. Our conversation will consider how architecture aligns itself with or resists power structures; how forms of visual and aural resistance effect and interact with spatial formations of the city; the ways in which Black futures connect to urban spatial design; and the possibility that rethinking the space of the city will also allow cities and citizens to rethink race relations, forms of protest, and Black rights in the United States at a particularly fraught moment in its history. 

We are delighted to welcome Gaye Theresa Johnson, Associate Professor of African and African American Studies and Chicano/a Studies (UCLA), Amber Wiley, Assistant Professor of Art History (Rutgers), and Amina Hassen, Co-founder, BlackSpace Urbanist Collective (New York). 

Please note that University operating status may cause the need for the meetings to be done remotely.