Upon entering Gallatin’s Jerry H. Lebowitz theatre on a cloudy March 28 night, attendees of the Urban Democracy Lab’s (UDL) panel discussion, “Thinking Beyond the Market: Housing Alternatives from the People” were greeted with silky jazz tunes. These were pleasant, but did not emotionally prepare us for the gut wrenching, stimulating, and inspiring conversation that followed.
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Check out the posted video of this discussion here.
On Tuesday, February 13th, The Urban Democracy Lab at NYU Gallatin screened “RAT FILM,” a documentary film that chronicles the extent of the “rat issue” in Baltimore, Maryland. RAT FILM focuses on the history of disparate and discriminatory housing policies in Baltimore through the agent of the rat. Filmmaker Theo Anthony was present at the screening and spoke to his wanting to learn more about his home city, and deciding to use the rat as a storytelling lens to explore themes of race and environmental hazards in housing. The screening was followed by a panel discussion between filmmaker, photographer and writer Theo Anthony and Paige Glotzer, a Prize Fellow in Economics History and Politics at Harvard University in addition to a Q&A session with audience members. Conversation between Anthony and Glotzer oscillated between histories of “urban renewal” and the impact which mid 20th century city planning had on the current layout and experiences of communities within Baltimore.
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- 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 conference Populism, 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.
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“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.
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From UDL collaborator Vicente Rubio-Pueyo, this December 2017 publication from the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung’s New York Office previews some of the questions about municipalism that the UDL will be posing in the coming year. (Downloadable in English/Spanish via this link.)
MUNICIPALISM IN SPAIN
From Barcelona to Madrid, and Beyond
Vicente Rubio-Pueyo – December 2017
In Spain’s municipal elections of May 2015, a constellation of new political forces emerged. For the first time in almost 40 years of Spanish democracy, the country’s major cities would no longer be ruled by either the Partido Popular (PP) or the Partido Socialista Obrero Español (PSOE), or any of the other long established political forces, but by new “Municipalist Confluences” such as Ahora Madrid, Barcelona en Comú, and Cadiz Si Se Puede, to name just a few.
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On Monday November 6th, Gallatin’s Urban Democracy Lab (UDL) hosted Miriam Greenberg, Penny Lewis, and Daniel Aldana Cohen, contributors to the new book, The City is the Factory: New Solidarities and Spatial Strategies in an Urban Age. The conversation dived deeply into what would constitute a truly sustainable city. This panel honed in on the exciting prospects of progress that exist in the future of cities, focusing on the connection between urban longevity, labour rights and disaster relief response.
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