2012-2013 Archive

The 2012-2013 colloquia committee focused on the following three types of events: those in which we share our own research; those in which we invite outside speakers whose work is related to the research interests of the department; and brown-bag professionalization workshops for graduate students.

April 15

Claire Colomb, Geography, University College London

Pushing the Urban Frontier. Place Marketing, ‘Creative City’ Agendas and Urban Conflicts in Berlin and Hamburg. Fighting for the Right to the (Creative) City?

This presentation will focus on the urban conflicts and social movements which have arisen recently in the context of, and partly as a response to, ‘creative city policies’ in Berlin and Hamburg (Germany). In several German cities there is mounting evidence of a growing mobilization by cultural producers and so-called ‘creatives’ in protest movements and coalitions formed to oppose the growth-oriented, entrepreneurial policy agendas pursued by local leaders and the appropriation or outright destruction of culture and creativity which such agendas entail. In Berlin, since 2008 a protest movement has been opposing the planned redevelopment of the MediaSpree waterfront area into a media district. In Hamburg, following the occupation of a small site threatened by corporate redevelopment in 2009, a collective of artists, musicians and social activists published a manifesto entitled ‘Not in Our Name’ denouncing the use and instrumentalization of arts, culture and creativity in municipal economic development and city marketing policies. In both cases, cultural producers or so-called ‘creatives’ played a leading role in the movements and explicitly articulated a critique of the ‘creative city’ agenda and of its consequences and impacts on urban spaces. Additionally, in both cases the protest movements widened their initial claim by embracing the ‘Right to the City’ concept. In the presentation I analyze the composition, agenda, achievements and contradictions of these social mobilizations, with reference to the hypothesis made in 2001 by David Harvey in a chapter of Spaces of Capital (‘The Art of Rent: Globalization and the Commodification of Culture’), i.e. that of the increasing mobilization of cultural producers in oppositional movements in an era of wholesale instrumentalization of culture and creativity in contemporary processes of capitalist urbanization. The presentation will conclude by discussing whether similar trends are witnessed in other countries and cities, and propose a future research agenda on the role of artists, cultural producers and ‘creatives’ in urban social movements across the globe.

Claire Colomb is Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Urban Sociology and European Spatial Planning at the Bartlett School of Planning, University College London (UCL), UK. She holds a first degree in Politics and Sociology from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences-Po) and a PhD in Town Planning from UCL. Her research interests include urban governance, planning and urban policies in European cities (with a particular focus on the UK, France, Germany and Spain); place marketing, culture and urban regeneration; European spatial planning; trans-boundary cooperation between cities and regions in Europe and the Mediterranean. Over the past 15 years she has studied, lived, taught and researched in France, the UK, Germany and Spain. Her book Staging the New Berlin: Place Marketing and the Politics of Urban Reinvention was published in 2011 by Routledge. She is also co-author of European Spatial Planning and Territorial Cooperation (Routledge, 2010).


April 22

Graduate Workshop: Pedagogies and Practices: Teaching Sociology at UCSC

How do we practice sociology as pedagogy? What makes for fruitful learning experiences, successful classes? What difficulties do we encounter? How has our student body changed and in what ways are we responding to those changes

Join Sociology faculty, lecturers and graduate students for the first of a series of roundtable discussions about teaching sociology here at UCSC. Each discussant will explore their own pedagogies and practices with attention to format (big lecture vs. discussion sections), evaluation (assignment construction, grading), teaching unruly sociological topics (race/class/gender/sexuality in the classroom), and finding the balance between exciting and overwhelming our students (and ourselves).

Organized by Ariana Kalinic

Facilitated by Jimiliz Valiente Neighbours


Prof. Craig Reinarman

Assoc. Prof. Deborah Gould

Ariana Kalinic, SOCY Graduate student

Yvonne Kwan, SOCY Graduate student

And another speaker TBA.


April 26

Jessica Roy Colloquium

Embodied Ecologies: Connecting Sustainability and Environmental Justice

Giovanna Di Chiro, Lang Professor for issues of Social Change at Swarthmore College, Director of Environmental Programs at Nuestra Raices, Holyoke, MA; Research Associate at Five Colleges Research Center in Amherst, MA


May 6

Imani Perry, African American Studies, Princeton University

Title and Abstract TBA

** Note: this event will be occurring in the Red Room of College 8

Imani Perry is an interdisciplinary scholar who studies race and African American culture using the tools provided by various disciplines including: law, literary and cultural studies, music, and the social sciences. She has published numerous articles in the areas of law, cultural studies, and African American studies, She also wrote the notes and introduction to the Barnes and Nobles Classics edition of the Narrative of Sojourner Truth. Professor Perry teaches interdisciplinary courses that train students to use multiple methodologies to investigate African American experience and culture. Selected publications include: Prophets of the Hood: Politics and Poetics in Hip Hop (Duke University Press, 2004); Righteous Hope (New York University Press); and More Beautiful and More Terrible: The Embrace and Transcendence of Racial Inequality in the United States (New York University Press, 2011)

Event co-sponsors: the Program in Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, and the departments of Latina American and Latino Studies, Politics, and Literature


June 3

Penny Lewis, Labor Studies, City University of New York

From Hardhats v. Hippies to Occupying Wall Street: Class and Social Protest in the US

Penny Lewis will draw on her research of the Vietnam period and new research on Occupy to discuss class cultures and class representation in social protest in both eras. In her book, Hardhats Hippies and Hawks: The Vietnam Antiwar Movement as Myth and Memory, Lewis argues that our memory of class polarization during the Vietnam era obscures the diverse opposition to the war that existed at the time, and the multiple political orientations of workers in the US during the period. Our memory of "working class conservatism" in particular has helped delimit movement formation as well as our imagination of what's possible in the present. Occupy offers both hopeful new directions for cross-class coalitions, as well as cautionary evidence that such coalitions continue to face obstacles in how they are created, recognized, and sustained.

Penny Lewis is Assistant Professor of Labor Studies at the Joseph S. Murphy Institute for Worker Education at the City University of New York [CUNY]. She received her B.A. at Brown University and holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the CUNY Graduate Center. Her first book, Hardhats, Hippies, and Hawks, The Vietnam Antiwar Movement as Myth and Memory, will be published by Cornell University Press in spring 2013. Her current research continues to look at the social class dynamics of social movements. She has worked as a union organizer and has been active in various labor and community organizations, including Jobs with Justice. She serves as a university-wide officer for the Professional Staff Congress, the union that represents CUNY's faculty and staff.