Please be invited to the opening seminar of the interdisciplinary Cities and Mobilities Seminar Series. It’s going to be an exciting afternoon of discussions about mobility and place. Our presenters and the guest speaker will analyse mobilities as they have shaped urban life in Chicago, Jerusalem and Almere.
When: 13.45 – 17.00, 27 October, 2017
Where: Roeterseiland Campus, Building M (Amsterdam Business School), room 1.03
13.45 Opening of the seminar series by Anna Nikolaeva
14.00 – 15.10 Presentations.
Lior Volinz, University of Amsterdam: Checkpoints: Outsourced Security and the Politics of (Un)certainty
Yannis Tzaninis, University of Amsterdam: Beyond the urban/suburban dichotomy
15.10-15.30 Coffee break
15.30-17.00 Lecture and discussion
Tim Cresswell ‘Maxwell Street: Writing and Thinking Mobility and Place in a Chicago Market’ and closing
Commentary by Luca Bertolini, the director of the Centre for Urban Studies
after 17.00 Reception
The seminar is free and open to anyone. Please kindly let us know if you are coming by sending an e-mail to Iris van der Doelen: I.vanderDoelen@uva.nl
Maxwell Street: Writing and Thinking Mobility and Place in a Chicago Market
This presentation consists of sections of a book length attempt at writing place. The place is the Maxwell Street area of Chicago, the site of North America’s largest open-air market though most of the 20th century. The book consists of three essays of fragments drawing on the writing techniques of Walter Benjamin in his Arcades Project as well as experiments in hybrid form in contemporary poetry (Maggie Nelson, Claudia Rankine, Susan Howe etc.). The essays are written in fragments – paragraphs that introduce and then return to recurring themes including waste, lists, materiality, the senses, and memory. The presentation will be a reading of a selection of these fragments that feature the theme of interacting mobilities (of people, things, ideas) within the place that is and was Maxwell Street.
About Tim Cresswell:
Tim Cresswell is Professor of American Studies, Dean of Faculty and Vice-President for Academic Affairs at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. Trained as a cultural geographer, Cresswell’s research focusses on the role of mobility, place, and space in the constitution of social and cultural worlds. Recent work has centered on the relations between forms of mobility and power in modern life. He is currently completing a book on the 100-year history of the Maxwell Street market in Chicago framed as an account of interactions between place and mobility. Cresswell is the author, co-author or co-editor of a dozen books including On the Move: Mobility in the Modern Western World (2006) and Geographies of Mobilities: Practices, Spaces, Subjects (2011). As a poet he is the author of two collections: Soil (2103) and Fence (2015) which continue his explorations of place and mobility. He is co-editor of the AAG journal GeoHumanities: Space, Place, and the Humanities.
Lior Volinz, University of Amsterdam
Checkpoints: Outsourced Security and the Politics of (Un)certainty
In this presentation I explore how uncertainty can be employed as a mode of governance. In exploring the administration, interfaces and security practices of Israeli checkpoints in Jerusalem’s environs, I propose that uncertainty can be strategically employed and adjusted by means of irregular operation, managerial obfuscation, lack of accountability and contradictory or oft-altered directives and regulatory framework by public and private security actors. In examining the role of (un)certainty governance in facilitating the mobility of some residents, while severely limiting the movement of others, I analyse the different facets of (un)certainty within a deliberate unequal (re)distribution of substantive citizenship. I follow this argument through an exploration of four different dimensions of mobility (un)certainty at the checkpoints around Jerusalem. The first dimension is that of the obscure and interchangeable roles of public and private security actors at the checkpoints, which contribute to the obfuscation of authority and the unaccountability of the checkpoints operators. The second is the uncertainty and unreliability of military permits, based on legally indeterminate and illegible criteria, subjected to unforeseen rejection or revocation. I continue to analyse the spatial-temporal dimensions, in which the physical movement of the border leads to further uncertainty and danger while pre-emptively discouraging the movement of Palestinian civilians. Lastly, I explore the different Palestinian responses to the Israeli authorities’ employment of uncertainty as a mode of governance – how do Palestinians cope, negotiate with or avert altogether the Israeli authorities sustained uncertainty at the checkpoints.
Yannis Tzaninis, University of Amsterdam
Beyond the urban/suburban dichotomy
Suburbanisation has been a prevalent process of post-WWII urban growth, currently leading to the majority of citizens in many advanced capitalist economies living in the suburbs. In recent years however we are also witnessing an increasing urban ‘return’, or at least an increase in the popularity of inner cities for living and financial investment. In this presentation I explore these contrasting processes relationally, by focusing on the mobilities between Amsterdam and the suburban New Town Almere.
The aim is to cast light upon the changing urban-suburban relationship, by investigating the mobility to and from Almere longitudinally, through socio-economic, demographic data between 1990 and 2013. I demonstrate that Almere has developed from a typically white suburban, family community to a receiver of both international unmarried newcomers and native families; its population has also become relatively poorer, yet the levels of upwards income mobility have remained stable. These trends emphasize alternative types of mobilities emerging in concert to the more typical suburban migration, while challenging the urban-suburban dichotomy, pointing to alternative explanations of contemporary urban growth and metropolitan integration. In conclusion I propose that we should reevaluate processes of (sub)urbanization by focusing on contemporary diversifying global mobilities that are increasingly producing hybridizing places.