Urban Humanities and Their Publics

The Politics of Documenting Neighborhood Change

Sign on concrete wall saying site will soon be luxury apartments
Tuesday, October 25, 6:30pm8:00pm

Neighborhood change—in the form of slum clearance, urban renewal, suburbanization, and, of course, gentrification—has taken a variety of forms in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries in the United States. In this panel, we investigate the real and imagined consequences of projects that seek to document the people and places affected by neighborhood change. How does the documentation of neighborhood change through oral history, history-based exhibits, and ethnography affect the outcomes of these changes? Do traditional scholarly methods serve—or do disservice to—our research questions or the communities with whom we collaborate?  As scholar-activists, we approach this topic not only as self-critical researchers but also as theorists engaged in thinking through the ethics of producing public-facing and community-engaged scholarship.

Zaheer Ali, Oral Historian, Brooklyn Historical Society

Heather Dalmage, Professor of Sociology and Director of the Mansfield Institute for Social Justice at Roosevelt University

Max Holleran, PhD candidate, Sociology, New York University

Rebecca Amato, Historian and Associate Director of the Urban Democracy Lab at New York University

Moderated by Jack Tchen, Associate Professor and Director of the A/P/A Institute at New York University