Federico Finchelstein (The New School): Professor of History
Sara R. Farris (Goldsmiths, University of London): Senior Lecturer on Sociology.
Carlos de la Torre (University of Kentucky)
Sahar Abi-Hassan (Boston University) PhD candidate, whose research focuses on political institutions.
The conferencePopulism, Gender and Language: Lessons from Latin America and Beyond was hosted by New York University’s Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS). It examined the role of gender in populism.Populism, Gender and Language was a part of Dr. Pamela Calla’s Feminist Constellations, which focus on broader topics relating to Latin America and beyond from a feminist perspective. CLACS professor Amy Huras introduced the speakers. The prevalence of populism in the global political landscape made Populism, Gender and Language an important educational experience for those that are trying to understand the recent rise of populist governments across the globe.
“The end is in the beginning, but lies ahead” – Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
On February 26th as part of Gallatin’s black nerd apocalypse: Black History Month 2018; the Urban Democracy Lab co-sponsored Coding While Black: Artificial Intelligence, Computing, and Data in a Racialized World. Coding While Black was a conversation between NYU professor Charlton McIlwain and artist and professor Stephanie Dinkins. The event was introduced by Gallatin professor Sybil Cooksey. Afterwards, each speaker discussed their work, offered a few remarks and engaged in a discussion. This was followed by some questions and a reception with cheese and adorable tiny carrots, marbles of technology in their own right.
Citizen Jane: Battle for the City directed by Matt Tyrnauer was release in the spring of 2017. The film details the life and work of the author and activist Jane Jacobs. After seeing Citizen Jane at IFC this summer, Gallatin Students and Urban Democracy Lab Student Advisory Board members Arielle Hersh and Luis Aguasviva sat down to discuss the film and the contradictory legacies of Jane Jacobs and Robert Moses. The film can currently be watched on Amazon Video or iTunes.
Luis Aguasviva (LA): Let’s begin by addressing the narrative presented in Citizen Jane Jane: The Battle for the City of Jane Jacobs (the hero) vs. Robert Moses (the villain).
Arielle Hersh (AH): Yeah, it’s very prevalent.
LA: It was framed as a David vs. Goliath story.The film directly attributes Robert Moses’s “demise” to Jacobs’s organizing efforts that stop Moses’s building projects in Washington Square Park and the West Village.
AH: I definitely agree that it oversimplifies what’s going on and breaks it down into that dichotomy, but at the same time I felt like it was a really good lens for someone coming to this story for the first time. It’s kind of the way I was introduced to urban planning – I remember hearing the story and seeing it set up as “Moses bad, Jacobs good, they go to battle, Jacobs wins, now we have planning.” We know that that’s not really what happened, but if you’re framing it for someone who isn’t really familiar with the story or with Jacobs, then it seemed like a good primer.
How can social movements succeed without centralized leadership? Michael Hardt tackles this question in his recent book Assembly, co-authored with Italian intellectual Antonio Negri. The Urban Democracy Lab co-sponsored a discussion of Assembly with Hardt on September 25, 2017. Hardt, best known for his trilogy of influential books co-written with Negri—Empire, Multitude, and Commonwealth—is a key thinker in political left.