Agora Speaker Series: Space, Difference, and ResistanceNovember 10, 2017 -
Location and Address
208B Cathedral of Learning
Directions and Parking Information
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Schedule of Events
“Visualizing Urban Displacement through a Lefebvrian Lens: Aesthetic Spatial Practice and Mediated Differential Space”
This paper analyzes images of urban development and displacement through the lens of Henri Lefebvre’s spatial theory. I focus on photographs and films depicting phases of urbanization that have predominately affected African American communities in the U.S. city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Drawing on critical perspectives of space and place, along with insights from media and communication studies, I highlight the potential of these photos and films to disrupt hegemonic discourses of urban change. By conceptualizing these vernacular visual archives as aesthetic spatial practices, I argue that these images displace spectacular representations of marginalized urban communities typically deployed in support of urban development strategies. I posit the concept of spectacular displacements to indicate how mediated spaces of filmic and photographic vision provide opportunities for counter-discursive engagement to historically disenfranchised communities.
“‘The Battle of Sacramento’: An Analysis of White Nationalism, Space, and Circulation”
“‘We Have Chosen to Act’: Collective Rhetoric and Resistance at the Santa Cruz Birth Center”
In the early 1970's, a group of lay midwives operated the Santa Cruz Birth Center in Southern California to provide women with alternatives to traditional obstetrics, particularly the opportunity to give birth at home. This essay examines the rhetorical practices that contributed to the development of the birth center and their vocabularies for resistance to medicalized childbirth practices. I argue that the use of collective rhetoric allowed the members of the SCBC to re-define childbirth and establish authority over the process based on their experiential knowledge.