Urban public spaces, from the streets and squares of Buenos Aires to Zuccotti Park in New York City, have become the emblematic sites of contentious politics in the twenty-first century. This resurgent politics of the square is itself part of a broader shift in the primary locations and targets of popular protest from the workplace to the city. This shift is due to an array of intersecting developments: the concentration of people, profit, and social inequality in growing urban areas; the attacks on and precarity faced by unions and workers’ movements; and the sense of possibility and actual leverage afforded by local politics and the tactical use of urban space. Thus, “the city”—from the town square to the banlieu—is becoming like the factory of old: a site of production and profit-making as well as new forms of solidarity, resistance, and social reimagining.
Miriam Greenberg, University of California, Santa Cruz
Penny Lewis, Joseph S. Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies, City University of New York
Daniel Aldana Cohen, University of Pennsylvania
Els de Graauw, Baruch College, City University of New York
Nov. 6 | 12:30-2pm
20 Cooper Square, 5th Floor Conference Room