‘Cairo is in a state of becoming’ …

Just ran across this Times article, which feels germane to our ongoing discussion on how exodus/general strike/autogestion might occur, what it might look like, and what it means to think of physical construction. It also makes me think about Harvey’s insistence on paying attention to the workers that actually build the city:

This means that Egyptians are figuring out anew how they relate to one another and to the city they have always occupied without quite fully owning — figuring out how to create that city for themselves, politically and socially, as well as with bricks and mortar. Headlines have naturally focused on the macro-battles, but the bird’s-eye view does not always reveal what is happening at street level, on corners and in neighborhoods, where daily life today means navigating new relationships with fellow citizens and the spaces they share.

Double pincer, or, what’s next

Just to centralize the email discussions:

Becoming Poor: 2/8, 2 pm, Gould 442. Reading Chapters 5 and 7 of Harvey’s Rebel Cities, and Holland’s essay on the Occupy movement and the slow motion general strike. I emailed this to everyone but won’t post it here since it has yet to be published, but email me if you need a copy. We’ll also take a look at the responses the OSU students post and will discuss and respond, as per the discussion last time. Holland is sending me their contact info early next week, so we can get a website up and running.

BP2: 2/15, 2 pm, Gould 442. Reading the first 50 pages of Anti-Oedipus.

A short history

We started this group in the summer of 2010 after two of us had taken Mark’s “Urban Democracy” course. Over the past two years we’ve had quite a few participants from within the two Ph.D. programs in the College of Built Environments, but have also had participants from Geography, Education, and Nursing.

One of the challenges facing us is to figure out how to be inclusive but also to not let the number of participants reach a point where it begins to feel like an overcrowded seminar Then, of course, there is the perennial challenge of scheduling a time that works for everyone. Earlier this quarter, another professor offered to set up an alternate time for other willing participants who could not meet with the larger group. No one took him up on the offer this time around, but what seems important now is that these types of alternatives are beginning to emerge. And it may sound simple, but I’ve never been involved with trying to self-manage a small group of people with diverse and overfilled schedules, and I think the fact that we’ve done it with some degree of success for two years is noteworthy.

Summer 2010

Lefebvre, The Urban Revolution

Autumn 2010

Lefebvre, State, Space, World

Rancière, The Emancipated Spectator

Winter 2011

Arendt, The Human Condition

Spring 2011

Hardt and Negri, Empire

Plato, The Republic

Summer 2011

Deleuze and Guattari, Anti-Oedipus

Autumn 2011

Deleuze and Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus

Winter 2012

Aristotle, The Politics (we had planned to read this after Plato, but shifted it to accommodate interested students and two of us who had D&G on our general exam bibliographies)

Spring 2012

Harvey, Social Justice and the City