‘White Lines:  Young People, Diversity and Belonging in a ‘Post-Brexit’ Age’: BSA Cities and Mobilities Stream Plenary

We are delighted that our plenary at the BSA conference this year will be given by Professor Anoop Nayak . The plenary takes place on Tuesday 11th April at 17.15pm, Room 002, CCE.

Anoop Nayak is Professor in Social and Cultural Geography at Newcastle University.  He is author of Race, Place and Globalization:  Youth Cultures in a Changing World, co-author with Mary Jane Kehily of Gender, Youth and Culture:  Global Masculinities and Femininities, and co-author with Alex Jeffrey of a social theory book on the spatial relations of power, Geographical Thought.

White Lines:  Young People, Diversity and Belonging in a ‘Post-Brexit’ Age

Abstract:  This paper focuses upon young people and everyday forms of belonging in ‘post-Brexit’ Britain.  It is argued that sociological ideas surrounding superdiversity and everyday multiculturalism need to be recalibrated in light of the marked divisions and unspoken feelings that have come to underpin Brexit.  The study seeks to engage with the social forms of stratification that exist in ‘left behind’ places and the feelings of attachment and alienation found in the post-industrial localities of Sunderland.  Drawing upon mobile methods and urban ethnography with young people I explore the relationship between race, place and social class and how these are composed through feelings, events and happenings.  Critical to this is the diversity of youth experiences and the ways in which white lines of territoriality are composed and reconfigured in the local landscape.

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Call for Papers: Cities, Mobilities, Spaces and Places stream, BSA 2018

The call for abstracts for the BSA annual conference (10th-12th April, Northumbria University) is now open for submissions.
We would like to encourage you to submit your abstracts to the Cities, Mobilities, Spaces and Places stream.
  
While considering any abstract that relates to our stream, we would be particularly interested in submissions on the following themes:
– identity, community and social solidarity in and across places and spaces
 visual and multi-sensory approaches to space, place and mobilities
– housing financialisation and austerity urbanism
– dynamics of race, gender, class, sexuality, disability and space/place
– gentrification, displacement, evictions, homelessness
– post-Brexit landscapes, mobilities and fixities
– methods for studying space, place and mobilities
– activist urban/mobilities research
– Urban governance and the state 
– Newcastle and the North East of England
– grouped sessions on a theme
 
This is by no means exhaustive. We also welcome suggestions which include alternative modes of presentation such as film, audio, maps etc…
 
The deadline is October 13th. We look forward to reading your submissions!
Please note all submissions should be submitted via the BSA website 

Deportable and Disposable Lives: “Mayism”, Brexit and the Expulsive Power of the Illiberal State

Professor Imogen Tyler

Plenary lecture for BSA 2017, Cities, Mobilities, Space and Place Stream

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‘If you believe you’re a citizen of the world, you’re a citizen of nowhere. You don’t understand what the very word “citizenship” means.’ Theresa May, 15th October 2016.

‘If you fail to make a voluntary departure, a separate decision may be made at a later date to enforce your removal.’ British Home Office Rejection of Residency Letter, 2017.

Since the Brexit referendum result on June 23rd 2016, newspapers have been filled with stories about EU nationals who are long term residents of the UK, often married to and parents of UK citizens, and who, on application for citizenship, have been told to leave the country. These newspaper stories have tended to feature middle-class EU nationals and are often written from a position of unchecked privilege, in seeming disbelief that (white) Europeans might be (or become) subject to Britain’s deeply illiberal immigration regime; the same racist “detention and deportation factory”, that has terrorized, incarcerated and ejected black, brown, non-European bodies for decades. Nevertheless, the extension of these punitive regimes to EU residents vividly illustrates the extent to which, ‘Brexit means Brexit means go home’ (Piacentini 2016). If the fate of the estimated 800,000 EU citizens in Britain remains uncertain, what we can say with certainty is that Brexit marks the emergence of a more authoritarian, nationalistic form of government in Britain. We are beginning to find out precisely what citizenship means, as Theresa May put it. One of the central characteristics of post-Brexit Britain is the ‘ever-intensifying magnitude of deportation’ as a practice of sovereign power (Peutz and De Genova, 2010: 7). As a mechanism of government, deportation functions symbolically as a “tough” demonstration of sovereignty, and is used in policy as a means of crafting politically useful divisions between citizens and non-citizens. Crucially, deportation doesn’t seek only to redistribute people along the lines of citizenship to allotted national spaces; indeed, its primary aim has been to make people deportable in order, for example, to better incorporate them within the state as placid, exploitable and precarious labour (see De Genova 2010). Deportation also functions to demarcate the limits of state protection, and is employed as a threat and warning in order to manage citizens “at home”. Indeed, as this paper details, deportation regimes are as involved in the production of “disposable subjects” within the state as with the policing of migrant lives.

This paper develops and extends insights from the critical literature on deportation regimes to consider the emerging landscape of post-Brexit British Society. It focuses throughout on Theresa May, and what her promotion from deportation-enthusiast Home Secretary to ‘Protectionist’ Brexit Prime-Minister signals, in terms of the increasing centrality of deportability as a mode of government and mechanism of social control over both citizen and non-citizen populations. It is the argument of this paper that thinking with and through deportation can further sociologists’ understanding of the relationship between the precarity of migrant lives and the intensification of ‘legalised expulsions’ “at home” (Walters, 2002). To this end, it tracks the relationship between deportability and ‘disposability’ (see Khanna, 2009) by examining how ‘post-welfare’ policies increasingly involve internal displacements and expulsions: from state-led practices of gentrification which expel social housing tenants from affluent cities, to punitive welfare-regimes which immobilise disabled peoples within their homes (Peck, 2009). By emphasizing the dual axis of deportability and disposability this paper seeks to address the intertwined classed and racialized character of emergent authoritarian neoliberal state forms.

Manchester Walking Tour

We are really pleased to be putting on a walking tour as a fringe event at this year’s annual BSA conference. The tour will be led by Dr Steve Hanson. You can book your free place here.

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This tour will take in sites described by Friedrich Engels in Condition of the Working Class in England and in his letters to Marx and others, the site of the Old Town slums for instance. It will also include a visit to the Marx desk in Chetham’s Library. Marx and Engels spent time here over two summers, separated by some years. We know which books they got out, one or two items of which are very interesting.

This is also where John Dee supposedly conjured the devil… This tour, then, will explore some of the weirder histories of the city too, for instance the Manchester Area Psychogeographic attempt to levitate The Corn Exchange, not long before the 1996 IRA bomb transformed it forever.

The Peterloo Massacre will be explored, as will the former Free Trade Hall site, where Suffrage speeches were made. But this is also where Bob Dylan played the famous ‘Judas’ gig, and The Sex Pistols played a concert here that was very important to a whole generation of Manchester musicians.

This tour will also include, but by no means be restricted to: Tony Wilson’s 24 hour public wake; Shaker Mother Ann Lee and Roman gold found in the Irwell.

This is a city of myth and concrete in equal measure.

Note about participation: This tour is a fringe event that coincides with The British Sociological Association conference but you don’t have to be attending the conference, or a sociologist, to attend. If you are attending the conference please note that the walk will overlap wth the afternoon plenary but you will be back in time for the afternoon stream sessions.

Call for papers: BSA annual conference 2017

The call for abstracts for the BSA annual conference (4-6th April, University of Manchester) is now open for submissions.
We would like to encourage you to submit your abstracts to the Cities, Mobilities, Spaces and Places stream.
While considering any abstract that relates to our stream, we would be particularly interested in submissions on the following themes:
– spatial articulations of private troubles and public issues
– city futures, pasts and presents, utopias and dystopias
– dynamics of race, gender, class, sexuality, disability and space/place
– mobilities and fixities
– Post-Brexit landscapes
– methods for studying space, place and mobilities
– activist urban/mobilities research
– Manchester and conceptions of ‘The North’
– grouped sessions on a theme
We also welcome suggestions which include alternative modes of presentation such as film, audio, maps etc…
This is by no means exhaustive. We look forward to reading your submissions!
The deadline is Friday 14th October.

The full call for abstracts is here

Urban Methods on the Move: Programme

Goldsmiths, University of London

Professor Stuart Hall Building, Room 314.

supported by the Centre for Urban and Community Research

This workshop aims to promote dialogue and the sharing of ideas about the creative, critical and responsive use of methods in urban research. Taking inspiration from the call to cultivate a DIY ethos in our research practice, the workshop will explore how we can develop liveliness in our methods through making use of new technological opportunities and through the re-imagining of older techniques. Across a series of discussions on approaching cities through different kinds of methods – mapping, making, working with archives, walking – we will consider how urban research can respond to a changing political and social context, including austerity and emergent and old forms of racism, alongside new forms of vernacular cultures and forms of dissent. We will discuss the temporalities of research, relationships of production and co-production and the kinds of interventions we seek to make. We hope that the format of the day – based on the pairing of researchers – will help to produce new discussions and open ongoing dialogues.

9.30-9.45 Welcome and introduction: Thinking on our feet

 Kirsteen Paton (Leeds) and Emma Jackson (Goldsmiths)

9.45 -11am Cartographies for changing cities

Erin Sanders-McDonagh on behalf of The Baseline Collective (University of Middlesex)

Mapping transgression/gentrification: Lights of Soho

Mara Ferreri (Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona)

Mapping ‘decant’: visualising displacement in council estate regeneration

11- 11.15 break

11.15- 12.30 Resistance, histories and archiving

Sue Pell (Richmond University)

Research at the Intersection of Archives and Cities: Using Activist Archives in the Study of Urban Struggles

Kat Jungnickel (Goldsmiths)

Wearing the Archive

Lunch 12.30pm-1.15pm

1.15-2.45pm Walk

Les Back (Goldsmiths)

Marchers and Steppers: Memory, City Life and Walking 

 2.45pm- 4pm Making and time

Ain Bailey (Birkbeck)

Congregation

 Nirmal Puwar (Goldsmiths)

Soundz of Peace + War

4-5.15pm Researching activism and community resistance

Adam Elliot-Cooper (Oxford)

Spaces of Scholar Activism: Negotiating Police Violence, Gentrification and Black Resistance

Melissa Garcia-Lamarca (Manchester)

Unpacking the (de)mortgaging of life in the Barcelona metropolitan region

 5.15pm – 5.45pm Closing discussion

Further information, abstracts and links

Les Back 

Marchers and Steppers: Memory, City Life and Walking

This session focuses on the challenges of how to write urban history on the move.  The place of proximity but also returning in interpreting the cultural life of cities. It is set in Lewisham, south London.  In this impoverished and uncelebrated south eastern corner of the Capital young black people forged a culture of resistance and joy in unlikely places from church halls to youth clubs to municipal buildings. The massive Hi Fis that were strung up in those often inhospitable locations refurnished their meaning through sound. We will take a stroll through this landscape to tell a postcolonial history of racism and resistance in south London including the UK translation of reggae music, the people who made it and places where it was listened to. We will visit the ruins of Jah Shaka’s culture shop on New Cross Road, the place where the National Front was confronted and stopped in their tracks in 1977, and the site of the New Cross Fire that killed 13 young black Londoners in 1981 who had been attending a house party. Through a combination of autobiography and historical reportage this session takes the form of a guided walk through the surrounding areas of Goldsmiths visiting some of the iconic sites of this history as well as hearing the echoes of this music – known as steppers – that carries a legacy of pain, violence, joy, creativity and affirmation.

Melissa Garcia-Lamarca

Unpacking the (de)mortgaging of life in the Barcelona metropolitan region

 This paper considers the methodological approach and experience behind understanding the way that life was mortgaged during a housing boom, and collective urban struggles to liberate people from mortgage debt – that is, to demortgage life – in times of crisis. With a focus on the Barcelona metropolitan region as a case study, and the Barcelona and Sabadell branches of the housing movement the Platform of Mortgage Affected People (PAH) as situated sources of knowledge, I will elaborate my engaged ethnographic approach. Reflections will be made on the research process and the challenges and dilemmas faced in attempting to grasp the lived experience and political subjectivation of (formerly) mortgaged homeowners. I will also address my struggles with the tensions inherent in activist research, namely between the commitment to and participation in daily struggles for survival and broader transformation, and critical scholarly production.

Supporting materials:

Emotions in struggle: reflections on militant/activist research processes (blog post)

‘Mortgaged lives’: the biopolitics of debt and housing financialisation (paper co-authored with Maria Kaika)

Insurgent acts of being-in-common and housing in Spain: making urban commons? (book chapter)

Resisting evictions Spanish style (magazine article)

PAH international (website)

 

Mara Ferreri  (Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona)

Title: Mapping ‘decant’: visualising displacement in council estate regeneration

The redevelopment of council estates has long been presented as the preferred regeneration option for inner city neighbourhoods. With demolition and rebuilding, existing tenants and leaseholders have to endure the uncertainty of temporary or permanent rehousing through a process called ‘decanting’, often at great personal cost. Critical urban scholars have called attention to this process and argued that the direct displacement of low-income residents from a given neighbourhood is an indication of the negative social impact of urban regeneration schemes, and provides clear evidence of state-led gentrification. The aim of this presentation is to reflect on the methodological and analytical issues that arise when researching, visualising and disseminating data on the enforced displacement of residents through council estate demolition. Building on a collaborative long-term action-research project in Southwark, South London, and particularly on the case of the Heygate Estate, it discusses strengths and weaknesses of GIS data visualisation and raises questions about the politics of representation through mapping, the nature of displacement evidence and the potential political agency of maps in the context of the current housing crisis in London.

Southwark Notes Archives Group (2014) Heygate Estate Leaseholders’ Displacement Map.

Screenshot 2016-08-16 06.56.04

Supporting material:

Kat Jungnickel

Wearing the Archive: mobility clothing, the sewing machine and the researcher’s body

This paper considers clothing as a technology of mobility. Drawing on archival materials, patents and science and technology studies, I argue that clothing is a critical means through which different bodies are made to ‘fit’, both physically and ideologically, with changing ideas about being in and moving through public space. I focus specifically on one type of mobility clothing – cycle wear – as it was imagined, made and worn at the turn of last century. Women were enthusiastic early adopters of cycling, and yet contemporary fashion, together with society’s ideas about conventional feminine mobility limited their freedom of movement. This is the story of how many of them responded through their clothing, by inventing new ways of making their bodies adapt and fit with changing socio-technical conditions.Methodologically, the project involved sewing and wearing ‘convertible’ Victorian cycle costumes, inspired by 120year old clothing patents lodged by inventive women. I discuss what happens when cycling, sewing and sociology collide. What emerges from making garments that differs from analysing paper documents? What can we learn from wearing the archive?

Project website – www.bikesandbloomers.com

Jungnickel, K. (2015) “One needs to every brave to stand all that”: Cycling, rational dress and the struggle for citizenship in late nineteenth century BritainGeoforum, Special Issue: Geographies of citizenship and everyday (im)mobility. [open access]

Jungnickel, K. (2015) Sewing as a Design Method, ACM Interactions, Forum, pp. 72-75

http://interactions.acm.org/archive/view/november-december-2015/sewing-as-a-design-method

Doing Sociology with… Costume, Goldsmiths Sociology Department videos, http://www.katjungnickel.com/portfolio/doing-sociology-with-costume/

Sue Pell

Research at the Intersection of Archives and Cities: Using Activist Archives in the Study of Urban Struggles

Archives are key sites in which to understand configurations of power in the city. They document city life and processes of social change. Yet, archives are not neutral repositories, and different archives, and different approaches to the archive, affect the stories that are told about the city. While most urban research draws from public archives, in this presentation I look to autonomous archives that emerged around anti-gentrification campaigns, in order to explore alternative views of urban struggles. I outline discursive and ethnographic approaches to activist archives, drawing on case studies of anti-gentrification campaigns from Vancouver (Canada) and London (UK). These two methodological approaches enable archives to be considered simultaneously as source material for history production and as spaces of practice. Woven through the discussion of the two case studies is an exploration of the politics of knowledge production as it intersects the study of the city and the archive.

The following related articles can be downloaded here

‘Radicalizing the Politics of the archive: Reading an Activist Archive’, Archivaria 80 (Fall, 2015): 33-57. 

‘Mobilizing Urban Publics, Imagining Democratic Possibilities: Reading the Politics of Urban Redevelopment in Discourses of Gentrification and Revitalization’ Cultural Studies 28 (1,2014): 29-48.

‘Autonomous Archives’ International Journal of Heritage Studies 16 (4, 2010); 255-268.

Erin Sanders-McDonagh  on behalf of The Baseline Collective (@BaselineSoho)

Mapping transgression/gentrification:  Lights of Soho

We are a recently formed interdisciplinary collective that are seeking to document and map marginal or transgressive urban spaces. Our current project focuses on mapping London’s Soho, using multisensory approaches and with a particular interdisciplinary methodology that we have developed. We are hoping to understand how current neo-liberal market forces are changing Soho, and what impact this is having both on a Soho as a physical geographically-bound place, but also as a social and cultural space. This paper will present one of our sensory maps – one that maps neon lights in Soho.  As in other red light districts in other cities, neon lights are a distinctive aesthetic feature. While some argue that neon lights are empty signifiers of projected fantasies and desires (Begout, 2002), we maintain that they have particular significance for Soho. In this area, significations of neon lights reveal a critical aspect of gentrification processes – as many of the older shops/venues (particularly sex shops) use neon, but newer venues (restaurants and bars) use the same neon ironically, creating a juxtaposition that is literally illuminated. Indeed, a new exhibit (open 2015) called Lights of Soho (c.f. Mullen, 2015) has revealed the contentiousness of lights in this space. This paper will present photographs and a map of different neon lights, and explore how lights in Soho are working to signify processes of gentrification that we are argue serve to exclude many of the ‘transgressive’ spaces, places and people (specifically sex shops and sex workers) who make up part of the social fabric of the area.

Urban Methods on the Move – Workshop

As new convenors we are really excited to announce our first event which will take place on 15th September 2016 at Goldsmiths, University of London from 9.30-5.45pm.

Book here!

This workshop aims to promote dialogue and the sharing of ideas about the creative, critical and responsive use of methods in urban research. Taking inspiration from the call to cultivate a DIY ethos in our research practice, the workshop will explore how we can develop liveliness in our methods through making use of new technological opportunities and through the re-imagining of older techniques. Across a series of discussions on approaching cities through different kinds of methods – mapping, making, working with archives, walking – we will consider how urban research can respond to a changing political and social context, including austerity and emergent and old forms of racism, alongside new forms of vernacular cultures and forms of dissent. We will discuss the temporalities of research, relationships of production and co-production and the kinds of interventions we seek to make. We hope that the format of the day – based on the pairing of researchers – will help to produce new discussions and open ongoing dialogues.

Speakers: Les Back (Goldsmiths), Ain Bailey (Birkbeck), Lisa Bradley (University of Glasgow), Adam Elliot-Cooper (University of Oxford), Mara Ferreri (Universidad Autonoma Barcelona), Melissa Garcia Lamarca Williams (University of Manchester) Kat Jungnickel (Goldsmiths), Sue Pell (Richmond University), Erin Sanders-McDonagh (Middlesex University)