About sush

Critical Urban Scholar, Feminist, WOC

Spaces of Struggle 2017

Spaces of Struggle 2017 | A Mini-Conference on Radical Planning

——————–October 11, 2017  |  Denver, Colorado ——————–
A free mini-conference directly preceding the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP) conference

Website: radicalplanning.wordpress.com
Conference contact: sos.radplan@gmail.com

While planning offers hope for better cities, radical scholars and planners have exposed a troubled history of the complicity of planning in perpetuating spatialized inequity, injustice, and domination.  This mini-conference addresses both the theoretical and practical aspects of an invigorated contemporary radical planning agenda, posing critical questions in pursuit of better ways forward. Inspired by the first Spaces of Struggle held in 2016 in Portland, Oregon, this year’s mini-conference offers a space of exchange for the many voices who believe radical practice and scholarship are crucial to understanding and challenging mainstream systems and practices.

We assemble doctoral students, scholars and faculty from across the globe, as well as activists, artists, and community representatives. Spaces of Struggle is a commentary on and complement to ACSP 2017 events, activities and presentations. While we welcome a variety of critical and radical perspectives, proposals should engage directly with the histories, theories, and practices of urban planning.  Applicants will be selected and organized into panels and roundtable sessions based on the relevance of their proposal to the conference themes and the potential for dialogue among participants.

Submission deadline: May 1, 2017

Paper Panel Sessions: These sessions will consist of panels of three to four scholarly papers addressing different themes or concentrations in radical planning. Presenters will have 15-minutes to read or discuss their paper, followed by audience questions and discussion.

To apply to present a paper, please submit a 250-word abstract proposal outlining (1) the subject of the paper and your research approach (community project, research project, dissertation project, etc.), and (2) how it intersects with other themes and issues of radical planning.  Include 3 keywords.

Special Topic Roundtable Discussions: These less structured sessions will be organized around themes or specific topics that emerge from both the paper and roundtable submissions. Three to five discussants will have 5-minutes to introduce how their scholarship intersects with radical planning and then engage the audience in an open conversation.

To apply to participate as a discussant in a roundtable discussion, please submit a 250-word statement of interest. The statement should (1) describe how you position your research, activism and/or community experience within the themes and issues of radical planning, and (2) conclude with one or two specific questions for discussion. The questions that will shape our discussion will be drawn directly from selected panelist submissions.

Please submit your application to sos.radplan@gmail.com by midnight on Monday, May 1 with the subject line “Space of Struggle 2017: application”.

Include your full name, affiliation and position, and contact information. You may apply to present at both the paper and roundtable sessions but will be limited to one presentation. Selected presenters will be notified by mid-June. Participants will be required to submit their conference papers or discussion outline by the end of September 2017.

Statement on Accessibility and Accommodation: In keeping with radical values and positions, we are dedicated to working with our colleagues and communities to find reasonable accommodations whenever possible to facilitate alternative presentation or participation formats for those who may face barriers due to political, financial, medical, ability or other accessibility concerns and restrictions. This may include but is not limited to the use of digital technologies or presentations read by proxy.

Suggested topics:

Radical planning movements and practices

  • Radical practice, policy, and professionals
  • Anarchist, socialist, feminist, and/or queer planning
  • Direct action and social movements
  • Informality and insurgency across the globe

Radical planning issues and themes

  • Dissensus, democracy, and agonistic pluralism
  • White supremacy, racism, and xenophobia
  • Colonialism, migration, and indigeneity
  • Neoliberalization/market fundamentalism
  • Financialization
  • Gentrification, race, eviction, and displacement
  • Policing, law, and the State
  • Technology, software, and innovation
  • Labor, energy, and work
  • Intersectionality and identity
  • The body, gender, sexuality, and social reproduction
  • Ability and access
  • Infrastructures, logistics, and networks
  • Environments, ecologies, and natures
  • Housing, property, and the Commons
  • Zoning, regulation, and control

Radical planning epistemologies and pedagogies

  • Radical and activist research methodologies
  • Expertise, data, and knowledge
  • Teaching radical planning, publishing, media, and knowledge networks
  • Historical and comparative analyses of radical planning practice

There is no fee to participate or attend the conference.

Bri Gauger, University of Michigan
Sarah Gelbard, McGill University
Carla Maria Kayanan, University of Michigan
Julie Mah, University of Toronto
Danielle Rivera, University of Colorado Boulder
Stephen Sherman, University of Illinois
Raksha Vasudevan, University of Texas


Achille Mbembe: The value of Africa’s aesthetics

My first proposal for our next reading!


The philosopher’s classic 2001 work, ‘On the Postcolony’, has been republished in an African edition that features a brand-new preface by him.

Source: Achille Mbembe: The value of Africa’s aesthetics | Arts and Culture | Books | M&G

For Joyful Geography

Decry the State!

Path to the Possible

I was just at the 10th Annual Critical Geographies Mini-Conference, which was held in Portland and hosted by the Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning and the Department of Geography at Portland State University. The organizers did a fantastic job, and there was lots of great conversation.

I did, however, have an overall worry about the state of critical geography, one that for me seems to be located in the term ‘critical’.  There was a lot of talk about what it means to be critical, and everyone seemed to agree that being critical is a good thing.  I wonder.  There was consensus that it is important to be critical of received wisdom, and particularly when that wisdom assumes oppressive or exploitative relations. And I agree. But, still, for fairly long stretches of the conference, it seemed that the only key we were able to sing in was the key of…

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Fall Quarter Reading Proposals

We just finished reading J.K. Gibson-Graham’s A Postcapitalist Politics.Those of us who were part of the group reading the book decided that we would like to read an essay or two from Arjun Appadurai’s The Future as Cultural Fact next and also finalize what we want to tackle next. The general consensus was leaning towards something more empirical and perhaps not by a WM. Some proposals for fall quarter reading are below, please put forth your own proposals and/or vote on the ones already proposed. We’d like to make a decision at our next meeting on October 09, 2015.


Jesse’s proposal: J.K. Gibson- Graham’s “Take Back the Economy


Sush’s proposal 1: Ayona Datta’s “The Illegal City”


Sush’s Proposal 2: Bryan McCan’s “Hard Times in a Marvelous City”

Summer Reading!

We finished reading Henri Lefebvre’s Critique of Everyday Life Volume II today and the time has come to pick what we want to read over the summer. We’d ideally like to read something over end of June and July and then something else over August and possibly September. There was some discussion on reading something more empirical and maybe by a non-WM scholar, based on which some proposals are:

More Theoretical (but, by non-WM scholars)

  1. A Postcapitalist Politics by J.K. Gibson-Graham
  2. Theory from the South: Or, How Euro-America is Evolving Toward Africa by Jean Comaroff and John Comaroff (A review of the same in Cultural Anthropology)
  3. Ordinary Cities: Between Modernity and Development by Jennifer Robinson (A review of the same)

Empirical (but some WM Scholars)

  1. The Illegal City by Ayona Datta
  2. Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection by Anna L. Tsing
  3. Hard Times in the Marvelous City by Bryan McCann

Feel free to add your nominations for reading for this summer to this list. Also, please vote on what you would like to read in the comments section.

***Mark’s Addition:

We might also consider reading Clastres, as he has some parts in the first book that shifted how I see things.  He is also a major influence on D&G, as well as Graeber, so he would bring together some past threads.  He is, however, a scholar of the WM persuasion.

  1. Society Against the State, by Pierre Clastres
  2. Archeology of Violence, by Le Meme

Giorgio Agamben – The Homo Sacer series structure in visual form

Progressive Geographies

Thanks to Nicholas Dahmann for updating this image. According to some reports, II, 4 will not be published and the designation of Opus Dei as II, 5 may have been an error. The Use of Bodies is the last planned volume.


It is available to download in various size jpgs – 618×800; 989×1280; 1236×1600; 2318×3000 – and pdf.

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In the spirit of our meeting tomorrow!

Anarchist Without Content


In the downloads section, I’ve uploaded my charts for the three syntheses of the unconscious and the five paralogisms from Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari’s Anti-Oedipus. There are some gaps in it, so if anyone wants to suggest additions, I’d be more than happy to consider including them. Enjoy!

Also, there’s a cool concept map of desiring-production that I found here, but it’s not my own.

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