Past Events: 2017

2017 | 20162015 | 2014 | 2013

learning from shenzhen

WEDNESDAY, 11/08/17 12:00PM – 1:30PM 
494 WURSTER

Learning from Shenzhen (University of Chicago Press, 2017 ) presents an account of China’s contemporary transformation via one of its most important yet overlooked cities: Shenzhen, which has evolved form an experimental site for economic reform into a dominant city at the crossroads of the global economy.

In this installment of the Fall 2017 Colloquium, Winnie Wong will present on her experience working with other fieldwork researchers in Shenzhen, including the process of collaboration in the field and the importance of building an interdisciplinary network of collaborators.

Wong is a historian of modern and contemporary art and visual culture, with a special interest in fakes, forgeries, frauds, copies, counterfeits, and other non-art challenges to authorship and originality. Her research is based in the southern Chinese cities of Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, and her writing engages with Chinese and Western aesthetics, anthropology, intellectual property law, and popular culture. She is the author of Van Gogh on Demand: China and the Readymade (University of Chicago Press, 2014), which was awarded the Joseph Levenson Book Prize in 2015. Her articles have appeared in positions: asia critiques, the Journal of Visual Culture, Yishu: Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, and she has written for Omagiu, Third Text Asia, and Artforum. Her work has been translated into Portuguese, Romanian, and Japanese. Her research has been supported with grants from the ACLS, SSRC, CLIR, Harvard Milton Fund, and Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Winnie was a Senior Fellow at Dartmouth College, and received her SMArchS and PhD in History, Theory and Criticism from MIT. She was elected a Junior Fellow of the Harvard Society of Fellows (2010-2013). She is currently associate professor of Rhetoric and History of Art at the University of California, Berkeley.

sounds of the city

wednesDAY, 11/01/17 12:00PM – 1:30PM 
494 wurster

Nicholas Mathew was born in Norwich, in Norfolk, England, and took his first degree at Oxford University, studying the piano concurrently at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.  He holds a PhD from Cornell University, where he also studied period pianos with Malcolm Bilson. Before joining Berkeley, he returned to Oxford as a Junior Research Fellow in Music at Jesus College.  For three years he was co-editor of the journal Eighteenth-Century Music, and he remains on its editorial board, as well as the advisory board of Eighteenth-Century Studies.

His published work has mainly focused on the relationships between music and politics in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries: the place of music in political institutions, the role of music in public life, and the ways in which music constructs collective identity – as well as issues of political appropriation, subversion, musical trashiness, and political kitsch.

Alongside Nicholas de Moncheaux, Mathew co-taught the GUH graduate seminar “Sound and the City” during the Spring 2016 semester.

WHERE HAVE ALL THE LEADERS GONE?

THURSDAY, 10/26/17 5:00PM – 7:00PM 
370 DWINELLE

We continue to witness each year the eruption of "leaderless" social movements. From North Africa and the Middle East to Europe, the Americas, and East Asia, movements have left journalists, political analysts, police forces, and governments disoriented and perplexed. Activists too have struggled to understand and evaluate the power and effectiveness of horizontal movements. Why have the movements, which express the needs and desires of so many, not been able to achieve lasting change and a more just society? Many assume that if only social movements could find new leaders they would return to their earlier glory and be able to sustain and achieve projects of social transformation and liberation. Where, they ask, are the new Martin Luther King Jr.s, Rudi Dutschkes, Patric Lumumbas, and Stephen Bikos? Where have all the leaders gone?

Michael Hardt, widely considered one of the most articulate and creative thinkers/writers on the Left these past twenty years, has done so from a base of Duke University, where he is a professor of literature. The Global Urban Humanities Initiative is proud to co-sponsor this event with the Rhetoric, English, Italian, and Geography departments and the Townsend Center.


APPROACHES TO EGYPTIAN URBANISM

WEDNESDAY, 10/25/17 12:00PM – 1:30PM 
494 WURSTER

Until recently Egyptologists typically either understudied or ignored Egyptian urbanism in favor of tombs, temples and texts. In 1960 an eminent scholar even characterized Egypt as a “civilization without cities;” not until 1979 did archaeologists definitively rebut this assessment. Only in 2016 was the first extensive, scholarly treatment of Egyptian urbanism published. This talk examines past and present approaches to ancient Egyptian cities and suggests future directions for research and interpretation. 

Carol Redmount is Associate Professor and Chair of the Near Eastern Studies Department and past President of the American Research Center in Egypt. An archaeologist with extensive field experience (Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Cyprus, Tunisia, U.S.), she has spent many years excavating urban sites and interpreting them from a primarily historical perspective. As Director of UC Berkeley’s El Hibeh Project, she presently investigates a first millennium B.C.E. provincial urban site in Middle Egypt and is developing a more urbanism-oriented and theoretically engaged approach to the site, an approach that is informing her in-progress publications relating to the site of El Hibeh and to Egyptian urbanism more generally.


Art and the City: Worlding the Discussion, Transcending Territory

WEDNESDAY, 10/04/17 12:00PM – 1:30PM 
494 WURSTER HALL

The city is a nexus of global flows, ideas and social movements. Art is one lens through which to explore these global flows - urban space and art are inextricably linked. Yet, this relationship is complicated: there is no consensus among urban theorists as to what constitutes urban space, or where exactly researchers should go to find it. Likewise, art is simultaneously bound to territory and a-territorial, circulating through global networks in real-time. Therefore, questions around how to understand critical art and its relationship to "place" in diverse terrains become compelling, also with consideration of the positionality / reflexivity necessary in thoughtful research.

This presentation and discussion explored these questions by drawing upon research conducted on authoritarian Singapore, and will engage with broader themes of urban space, critical art, and differing political frames, challenging the "east, west" and "liberal / illiberal" binary and highlighting challenges (methodological, ethical) for further research. It also provided an overview the upcoming Spring 2018 Global Urban Humanities Seminar "Populism, Art and the City" which will engage with many of these themes and concepts.

Luger is an urban geographer with research interests focusing on global urban social movements and activism, authoritarian urbanism, urban policy, and economic development. He is also a planning consultant with global experience in the public and private sectors in economic development and neighborhood revitalization. Before joining the City Planning faculty at Berkeley, Luger offered courses in urban studies and planning at the University of San Francisco and San Francisco State University, as well as courses on global cities in the UK / US Fulbright Summer Institute at King's College London.

Jason is the co-editor of the volume Art and the City: Worlding the Discussion through a Critical Artscape (Routledge, 2017), and his research has been featured in academic journals such as CITY, Antipode, Geoforum, the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, and Media and Culture. He is Assistant Editor at the Journal of Urban Cultural Studies (2016-2017). His doctoral thesis involved field research in Singapore from 2012-2015.


AMOS GITAI - SCREENING OF FILM "Disengagement"

Wednesday, 09/27/17  6:30PM 
112 Wurster HALL

Lecture Series: House, City, Border: Poetics and Politics of Israel  

Third of a three-part film series presented by the College of Environmental Design and curated by Ayda Melika. Amos Gitai (Ph.D Architecture '79) was on hand for the screening and discussion with Mary Ann Doane, Professor of Film and Media, UC Berkeley.

About the Film:

Disengagement is the third installment in Amos Gitai's Border trilogy which also includes the Promised Land (2004) and Free Zone (2005). Disengagement refers to the Israeli government's current policies of withdrawal from Gaza and the forced destruction of illegal settlements established by Israeli citizens in the region's disputed areas. But, in the imaginative hands of Amos Gitai, disengagement takes on another, much subtler, more personal meaning. As the two levels of significance speak to each other, Gitai employs all his considerable artistry to explore the term both emotionally and intellectually. The result is one of his finest creations.

Ana is reunited with her estranged Israeli stepbrother, Uli, when he travels to France for the death of their father. She decides to return to Israel to search for the daughter she gave up at birth 20 years ago. Crossing frontiers by car, train and boat, Ana and Uli are caught up in the turmoil and emotion of the military-enforced disengagement of Israeli settlers from Gaza in 2005.  (Full film review available at Variety.)

About this Lecture Series:

This lecture series presents a set of curated films that allow the audience to enter Israel from the powerful lens of the renowned filmmaker Amos Gitai. Each of the screenings in this series is a final film in a trilogy: House, City, and Border, introducing the audience to both Gitai’s documentary and fiction filmmaking. As a trained Architect, Gitai has a unique way of understanding and representing human experience through time and space. House, City, and Border are the anatomy of any country, which Gitai has beautifully captured to present a more complete narrative/image of Israel in the context of larger global discourses. 

This film series is of special interest to those in the College of Environmental Design, The Israel and Jewish studies program, Middle Eastern studies, Political Science, Sociology, Anthropology and Media Studies. The series ends with Disengagement, which more directly engages with the overall theme of our screenings regarding the plan, construction, transformation, and destruction of ideological settlements. Amos’s filmmaking style will set an example for all of us studying people and their environments on how to cross geographical, racial, ideological and political borders to examine and humanize opposing groups to one another. These films together help build a foundation for peace.

About Amos Gitai (Ph.D Architecture '79):

Alumnus Amos Gitai is an acclaimed filmmaker.  

Gitai's work has been presented in several major retrospectives at the Pompidou Center Paris, the Museum of Modern Art New York, the Lincoln Center New York and the British Film Institute London. To date Gitaihas created over 90 works of art over 38 years. Between 1989 and 2015 ten of his films were entered in the Cannes Film Festival for the Palme d'Or as well as the Venice Film Festival for the Golden Lion award.

He has received several prestigious prizes which include the Leopard of Honor at the Locarno International Film Festival (2008), the Roberto Rossellini prize (2005), the Robert Bresson prize (2013) and the Paradjanov prize (2014). His recent feature film, Rabin, The Last Day, was presented at the 72th Venice Film Festival. He has been distinguished as Officier des arts et lettres by the French Minister of Culture in 2015. He resides in Haifa and Paris.

About Mary Ann Doane:

Professor Doane is the Class of 1937 Professor of Film and Media at the University of California, Berkeley. Previously she was the George Hazard Crooker Professor of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University. She is a pioneer in the study of gender in film. In 1974, Doane received her Ph.D. in Speech and Dramatic Art from the University of Iowa. She specializes in film theory, feminist theory and semiotics,[2] and she joined the UC Berkeley Film and Media faculty as the Class of 1937 Film and Media professor in the fall of 2011. She has authored several books on film including: The Desire to Desire: The Woman's Film of the 1940s (Indiana University Press), Femmes Fatales: Feminism, Film Theory, Psychoanalysis (Routledge), and The Emergence of Cinematic Time: Modernity, Contingency, the Archive (Harvard University Press). She has also published a wide range of articles on feminist film theory, sound in the cinema, psychoanalytic theory, television, and sexual and racial difference in film.

This event was co-sponsored by the College of Environmental Design and it is part of the Fall 2017 Architecture Lecture Series.  


THE MAKING OF A ROMAN TOWN: DOMESTIC, CIVIC AND RELIGIOUS SPACE IN POMPEII

WEDNESDAY, 09/27/17 12:00PM – 1:30PM
494 WURSTER HALL

Lisa Pieraccini presented a facinating look at the domestic, civic and religious space in Pompeii. Archaeological research continues to reveal the everyday life of the seaside town of Pompeii, buried by a volcanic eruption in CE 79. For city planners considering contemporary disasters, for geographers studying issues of gender and class in urban space, and for architects and artists considering the representation of the human experience in cities, the presentation provided rich grist for discussion. 

Pieraccini completed her Ph.D in Classics and Art History at the University of California at Santa Barbara. A classical archaeologist who specializes in Etruscan and early Roman archaeology, Pieraccini has been teaching at UC Berkeley for nine years and is the Project Director for the Del Chiaro Center for Ancient Italian Studies. She has published widely on a variety of topics focused on Ancient Italy and is co-editor of a series on the cities of the Etruscans published by Texas University Press (the first book was published in the fall of 2016, entitled Caere). Her research interests vary from urban studies, to Etruscan funerary ritual, Etruscan and Roman wall painting, and the reception of the Etruscans and Romans in the 18th and 19th centuries. Pieraccini is an elected member of the Instituto di Studi Etruschi ed Italici, in Florence Italy.

Part of the City as Nexus speaker series.


BORDERWALL URBANISM

WEDNESDAY, 09/20/17 12:00PM – 1:30PM
494 WURSTER HALL

Ronald Rael (Architecture, UC Berkeley) and Stephanie Syjuco (Art Practice, UC Berkeley) explored major cities along the United States - Mexico border whose urban, cultural, and ecological networks have been bifurcated by a borderwall. With 650 miles of wall already constructed, and the population in these urban areas expected to grow to over 20 million inhabitants over the next decade, the long-term effects of the wall’s construction must be carefully considered now in order to anticipate the consequences of its incision into a context of rapid growth and massive migratory flows, especially as the current political climate calls for further wall construction.

Associate Professor Ronald Rael is the Eva Li Memorial Chair in Architecture and the Chair of the Masters of Architecture Committee. He directs the printFARM Laboratory (print Facility for Architecture, Research and Materials), holds a joint appointment in the Department of Architecture, in the College of Environmental Design, and the Department of Art Practice, and is both a Bakar and Hellman Fellow. His teaching spans the curriculum, from graduate design thesis, undergraduate courses on Design & Activism, and he has twice directed the one year post-professional Master of Architecture program, Studio One.

Stephanie Syjuco creates large-scale spectacles of collected cultural objects, cumulative archives, and temporary vending installations, often with an active public component that invites viewers to directly participate as producers or distributors. Working primarily in sculpture and installation, her projects leverage open-source systems, shareware logic, and flows of capital, n order to investigate issues of economies and empire. She is the recipient of a 2014 Guggenheim Fellowship and a 2010 Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant. Exhibitions include the Whitney Museum of American Art, MoMA/P.S.1, SFMOMA, The California Biennial, ZKM Center for Art and Technology, Frieze Projects London, and others. At Berkeley she teaches classes in sculpture, social practice and experimental media, with a focus on public interventions and material culture.

Part of the City as Nexus speaker series.


Faculty Course Enhancement Grant WOrkshop

Monday, 09/18/17  2:30PM – 4:30PM
128 Dwinelle HALL

The Global Urban Humanities Initiative (GUH) was pleased to bring together seven faculty who teach about cities in a variety of disciplines to workshop syllabi for existing or new courses. Participants came from departments across campus including Architecture, Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies, History, Geography, Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, and Spanish and Portuguese. GUH was excited to partner with UC Berkeley's Center for Teaching and Learning. Information about faculty course enhancement grants are available here


AMOS GITAI - SCREENING OF FILM "KADOSH"

Wednesday, 09/13/17  6:30PM 
112 Wurster HALL

Lecture Series: House, City, Border: Poetics and Politics of Israel  

Second of a three-part film series. Amos Gitai (Ph.D Architecture '79) and Francesco Spagnolo, curator of the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life at UC Berkeley, were on hand for the screening and discussion that followed.  

About the Film:

Israel, says film-maker Amos Gitai, "is a country that consumes its own history at incredible speed." There's not always time for reflection there, he says, and that's where he comes into his own as a film-maker. "I like to use the medium to pose questions, to deal with this very irritated place called Israel." (1)

Kadosh, the third film in the trilogy City (which also includes Zichron Devarim/Past Continuous (1995), Yom Yom/Day after Day (1998), is an Israeli film about the ultra-orthodox Jewish sect of Hasidim, where men make the decisions and women are seen, narrowly, as vessels for the production of sons. It is a very angry film, and has caused much discussion in Israel and within American Jewish circles, where most people share its anger.

The film takes place in Mea Shearim, an area of Jerusalem where life is regulated according to ancient and unwavering laws. It tells the stories of two sisters, one married, one single but in love with an unacceptable man by the cultural standards. The film, directed by longtime Israeli documentarian Amos Gitai, sees the story largely through the eyes of the women, who sometimes share rebellious thoughts like naughty schoolgirls: Their men spend their days in the study of the Torah, they observe, but women are not allowed to read it – perhaps because they might not agree that it prescribes such a limited life for women.  A full movie review is available from the New York Times.

About Amos Gitai (PH.D ARCHITECTURE '79):

Alumnus Amos Gitai is an acclaimed Israeli filmmaker who is widely known for making documentaries and feature films about the Middle East and Jewish-Arab conflict.  

Gitai's work has been presented in several major retrospectives at the Pompidou Center Paris, the Museum of Modern Art New York, the Lincoln Center New York and the British Film Institute London. To date Gitai has created over 90 works of art over 38 years. Between 1999 and 2011 seven of his films were entered in the Cannes Film Festival for the Palme d'Or as well as the Venice Film Festival for the Golden Lion award.

He has received several prestigious prizes which include the Leopard of Honor at the Locarno International Film Festival (2008), the Roberto Rossellini prize (2005), the Robert Bresson prize (2013) and the Paradjanov prize (2014). His recent feature film, Rabin, The Last Day, was presented at the 72th Venice Film Festival. 

About Francesco Spagnolo:

Francesco Spagnolo, a multidisciplinary scholar focusing on Jewish studies, music and digital media, is the Curator of The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life and an Associate Adjunct Professor in the Department of Music at the University of California, Berkeley, as well as a host for the cultural programs of Italian National Radio (RAI) in Rome. At UC Berkeley, he is an affiliated faculty member in the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion, and serves on the Digital Humanities Council. 

Intersecting textual, visual and musical cultures, Francesco actively contributes to academia, cultural heritage institutions, as well as live and electronic media, in Europe, Israel and the United States. A former lecturer at the University of Milan and at the University of California at Santa Cruz, he is frequently invited to lecture at academic institutions worldwide, publishes on topics ranging from music to philosophy, film and literature, and curates exhibitions and digital programs. 

This event was co-sponsored by the College of Environmental Design.


The Scale of Global Modernism

WEDNESDAY, 09/13/17 12:00PM – 1:30PM
494 WURSTER HALL

Harsha Ram of the Department of Comparative Literature and the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures presented a recently published article of his on literary modernism, comparative modernities and urban studies. The article is, in part, based on more than a decade of research on Tbilisi, formerly Tiflis, the colonial administrative center of Russian Transcaucasia until the revolutions of 1917 and the former and current capital of Georgia. It is related to City of Crossroads: Tiflis Modernism and the Russian-Georgian Enouncter, Ram’s soon-to-be-published account of the politics and poetics of crosscultural interaction between Russian and Georgian writers, poets and artists located in Tbilisi during the Russian revolution, and an account of the popular culture of the city, from street minstrelsy to the festive culture of the working classes, as it evolved during the colonial era.

Ram completed his undergraduate studies in Russian and Italian literatures in Australia and his doctoral degree in Comparative Literature at Yale University. He has been teaching at U.C. Berkeley since 1995. His interests include Russian and European romanticism and modernism, theories of world literature, East/West encounters, the cultural and political history of Russia-Eurasia, postcolonial studies, urban studies, and theories of nationalism, imperialism and cosmopolitanism.

In 2015, Ram taught a GUH graduate seminar with Mia Fuller entitled “World Literature and the Modern and Contemporary City.”

Part of the City as Nexus speaker series.


Info Session: Interdisciplinary Publications on Cities and Urban Life Grant

THURSDAY, 9/07/17, 1:00PM
305 WURSTER

Graduate students learned about the application details for the call for proposals, which are due on September 25, 2017. Complete application information is available here


Amos Gitai - Screening of Film "News From Home"

WEDNESDAY, 09/06/17, 6:30pm
112 Wurster

Lecture Series: House, City, Border: Poetics and Politics of Israel  

First of a three-part film series presented by the College of Environmental Design. Amos Gitai (Ph.D Architecture '79) and Jean-Paul Bourdier, Professor of Archtitecure, were on hand for the screening and discussion that followed.  

About the Film:

News From Home is the 2006 installment in Amos Gitai’s documentary series that also includes House (1980) and A House in Jerusalem (1998). Revolving around property that once belonged to a Palestinian family and was later taken over by Israelis, the films juxtapose the Israeli and Palestinian diasporas by tracking the original owner’s descendants, the construction workers, and the current occupants over the years. Given that the filmmaker once studiedarchitecture, the documentaries are replete with construction details. No sweat if you’re unfamiliar with the first two parts of the series; seemingly mindful of the earlier films’ obscurity (House was banned by Israeli television), Gitai here supplies extensive scenes from the previous chapters as well as his own voiceover narration in heavily accented English. Clearly, the subject matter is close to Gitai’s heart, and the humanist message that people should peacefully coexist is quite evident in all three of the films. (He even revisited the theme in dramatic form in the 2007 feature Disengagement.) The Housedocumentaries certainly demonstrate Gitai’s evolution as a filmmaker, his techniques getting glossier with each successive part. But News From Home/News From House never arrives at a real polemical moment to rival the ignorant American interviewee spouting revisionist history in A House in Jerusalem. Gitai considers these films as archaeological projects, but the House trilogy falls short of achieving the same level of profundity as Michael Apted’s Up series, a comparable chronicle of social change. (From the Village Voice)

About this Lecture Series:

This lecture series presents a set of curated films that allow the audience to enter Israel from the powerful lens of the renowned filmmaker Amos Gitai. Each of the screenings in this series is a final film in a trilogy: House, City, and Border, introducing the audience to both Gitai’s documentary and fiction filmmaking. As a trained Architect, Gitai has a unique way of understanding and representing human experience through time and space. House, City, and Border are the anatomy of any country, which Gitai has beautifully captured to present a more complete narrative/image of Israel in the context of larger global discourses. 

This film series will be of special interest to those in the College of Environmental Design, the Israel and Jewish studies program, Middle Eastern studies, Political Science, Sociology, Anthropology and Media Studies. The series ends with Gitai’s 2007 film Disengagement, which more directly engages with the overall theme of our screenings regarding the plan, construction, transformation, and destruction of ideological settlements. Amos’s filmmaking style will set an example for all of us studying people and their environments on how to cross geographical, racial, ideological and political borders to examine and humanize opposing groups to one another. These films together help build a foundation for peace.

ABOUT AMOS GITAI (PH.D ARCHITECTURE '79):

Alumnus Amos Gitai is an acclaimed Israeli filmmaker who is widely known for making documentaries and feature films about the Middle East and Jewish-Arab conflict.  

Gitai's work has been presented in several major retrospectives at the Pompidou Center Paris, the Museum of Modern Art New York, the Lincoln Center New York and the British Film Institute London. To date Gitai has created over 90 works of art over 38 years. Between 1999 and 2011 seven of his films were entered in the Cannes Film Festival for the Palme d'Or as well as the Venice Film Festival for the Golden Lion award.

He has received several prestigious prizes which include the Leopard of Honor at the Locarno International Film Festival (2008), the Roberto Rossellini prize (2005), the Robert Bresson prize (2013) and the Paradjanov prize (2014). His recent feature film, Rabin, The Last Day, was presented at the 72th Venice Film Festival. 

About Professor Bourdier:

Professor of Architecture, Jean-Paul Bourdier is the co-author of African Spaces and Drawn from African Dwellings. In the role of production designer and co-director he has worked on seven films directed by Trinh T. Minh-ha. His painting exhibitions and photographs of ephemeral sculptures and body art have been widely exhibited nationally, winning fourteen national and international competitions. Awards include Guggenheim, American Council of Learned Societies, NEA Graham, UC President's Humanities, and Getty. He teaches design studios and seminars on topics ranging from vernacular architecture around the world to poetics of inspiration and the drawn image. His latest collection of photographs, Body Unbound (2016), is the third in a series of books exploring natural landscapes joined with the human form. He is also the photographer and author of Bodyscapes (2007) and Leap Into the Blue (2013). 

This event was co-sponsored by the College of Environmental Design.


ALISON ISENBERG, DESIGNING SAN FRANCISCO: BOOK RELEASE AND LECTURE

WEDNESDAY, 09/06/17 5:00PM – 6:30PM
Wurster GaLlery

Alison Isenberg, Professor of History at Princeton University and Co-Director of the Princeton-Mellon Initiative in Architecture, Urbanism, and the Humanities, joined the Fall 2017 GUH Colloquium for a special lecture about her new book, Designing San Francisco: Art, Land, and Urban Renewal in the City by the Bay.

Designing San Francisco is the untold story of the formative postwar decades when U.S. cities took their modern shape amid clashing visions of the future. In this pathbreaking and richly illustrated book, Alison Isenberg shifts the focus from architects and city planners--those most often hailed in histories of urban development and design--to the unsung artists, activists, and others who played pivotal roles in rebuilding San Francisco between the 1940s and the 1970s.

Previous accounts of midcentury urban renewal have focused on the opposing terms set down by Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs--put simply, development versus preservation--and have followed New York City models. Now Isenberg turns our attention west to colorful, pioneering, and contentious San Francisco, where unexpectedly fierce battles were waged over iconic private and public projects like Ghirardelli Square, Golden Gateway, and the Transamerica Pyramid.

When large-scale redevelopment came to low-rise San Francisco in the 1950s, the resulting rivalries and conflicts sparked the proliferation of numerous allied arts fields and their professionals, including architectural model makers, real estate publicists, graphic designers, photographers, property managers, builders, sculptors, public-interest lawyers, alternative press writers, and preservationists. Isenberg explores how these centrally engaged arts professionals brought new ideas to city, regional, and national planning and shape novel projects across urban, suburban, and rural borders. San Francisco's rebuilding galvanized far-reaching critiques of the inequitable competition for scarce urban land, and propelled debates over responsible public land stewardship. Isenberg challenges many truisms of this renewal era--especially the presumed male domination fo postwar urban design, showing how women collaborated in city building long before feminism's impact in the 1970s.

An evocative portrait of one of the world's great cities, Designing San Francisco provides a new paradigm for understanding past and present struggles to define the urban future. 

Alison Isenberg Full Bio

Alison Isenberg writes and teaches about nineteenth and twentieth century American society, with particular attention to the transformation of cities, and to the intersections of culture, the economy, and place. Professor Isenberg's book Downtown America: A History of the Place and the People Who Made It (University of Chicago Press, 2004) received several awards: the Ellis Hawley prize from the Organization of American Historians; Historic Preservation Book Prize from Mary Washington University; Lewis Mumford Prize from the Society for American City and Regional Planning History; and an Honor Book award from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities.  At Princeton, Isenberg co-directs the Princeton-Mellon Initiative in Architecture, Urbanism, and the Humanities, and is a Faculty Associate at the Woodrow Wilson School. She co-directed the Urban Studies Program from 2012-2014, and currently serves on its Executive Committee.  An Affiliated Faculty member in the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies, she is also on the Executive Committee of the American Studies Program.  During 2015-2016 she held an Old Dominion Fellowship, awarded by the Princeton Humanities Council.

Professor Isenberg served two years as president of the Society for American City and Regional Planning History, a multidisciplinary organization bringing together scholars and practitioners from history, design and planning, American studies, geography, environmental history, art history, sociology, preservation, and policy. Isenberg has worked on the boards of the Urban History Association and H-Urban, and was founding review editor for the Journal of Planning History. She recently joined the Hagley Center Advisory Committee.  Before moving to Princeton in 2010, Professor Isenberg taught at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (2001-2010), the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1997-2001) and Florida International University (1994-1997). Her scholarship has been supported by visiting fellowships at the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture (Spring 2010), the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity at Stanford University (2006-7), the Institute for the Arts & Humanities at the University of North Carolina (Fall 2000), and the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe (1998-9). Shorter term fellowships from the Graham Foundation, James Marston Fitch Foundation, Hagley Museum and Library, Rockefeller Archive Center, Winterthur Library, and the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation have provided generous research resources. Before pursuing a Ph.D., Isenberg worked in affordable housing, parks planning, and historic preservation in New York City.


Humanizing Urbanism

WEDNESDAY, 08/30/17 12:00PM – 1:30PM
494 WURSTER HALL

Over the last two decades Margaret Crawford has explored methods of introducing humanities content into urban design and urban history courses. In her presentation, she discussed the ongoing challenges and varied results of this endeavor, focusing on the two Global Humanities Research Studios that Crawford co-taught, one with Anne Walsh and one with Winnie Wong.

As a professor of architecture, Crawford teaches courses in architecture, urbanism and urban history and studios focusing on everyday urbanity. Her research focuses on the evolution, uses and meanings of urban space. She has edited and published several books, including The Car and the City: The Automobile, the Built Environment and Daily Urban Life (University of Michigan Press, 1991), Building the Workingman's Paradise: The Design of American Company Towns (Verso, 1996), and Everyday Urbanism (Monacelli Press, 2008), and numerous articles on shopping malls, public space, and other issues in the American built environment. Crawford’s current work investigates the rapid physical and social changes in China’s Pearl River Delta. Prior to coming to Berkeley, she was Professor of Urban Design and Planning Theory at the Harvard GSD and Chair of the History, Theory and Humanities program at the Southern California Institute for Architecture.

Part of the City as Nexus speaker series.


Open House + Book Fair

Thursday, 08/24/17 5:00pm - 6:30pm
Morrison library

GUH celebrated the start of the fifth year of activities. Over 90 attendees from across campus and the public browsed books authored or edited by GUH faculty and learned about our exciting upcoming courses. Some courses that were highlighted include an international traveling studio on U.S.-Mexico borderlands, an undergraduate studio on art and performance at a landfill, and a seminar on populism art and the city. Guests also learned about our new certificates in Global Urban Humanities and our fall speaker series, City as Nexus. University Press Books was on hand to provide GUH faculty books for sale. 


Graduate Certificate launch and info Session

THURSDAY, 04/13/17 12:00PM – 1:00PM 
340 MOFFITT UNDERGRADUATE LIBRARY

The Global Urban Humanities Initiative (GUH) is pleased to announce a new Graduate Certificate in Global Urban Humanities and funding for student publications. On April 13th GUH hosted an Info Session at BCNM Commons, 340 Moffitt at 12PM where students learned about both opportunities. 

The Certificate offers graduate students in the Division of Arts & Humanities, the College of Environmental Design (CED), and other UC Berkeley divisions and schools the opportunity to enhance their graduate study with courses that explore cities through a variety of disciplinary approaches. The Certificate emphasizes the intersection of interpretive approaches from the arts and humanities with methods from the environmental design disciplines.

GUH is also excited to offer support for interdisciplinary publications on cities and urban life. GUH invites graduate student teams to submit proposals for an online or print publication. GUH support covers a one-time collection of research, essays, and/or visual materials around an urban topic or theme that draws on the knowledge of a variety of disciplines. Detailed application information is available here. Proposals are due September 25, 2017.  


DIALOGUE & ROUND: A WORKSHOP WITH JIWON CHUNG

FRIDAY, 03/24/17 6:00PM – 8:00PM 
175 DWINELLE HALL

GUH, along with the Department of Comparative Literature, was pleased to co-sponsor Theatre of the Oppressed Workshop- Turning tables: physical dialogues on mental furniture, human commodification, and the architecture of power. This workshop is part of the Dialogue & Round series.  

Jiwon Chung, artistic director of Kairos Theater Ensemble, collaborated with Carol Mancke, artist in residence in the Department of Comparative Literature at UC Berkeley, to present a workshop that use games and exercises to explore questions of social justice. 

During February and March 2017, Mancke created the installation Dialogue & Round in the newly opened Media/Maker Lab space (175 Dwinelle) and is curating a series of workshops and performances with students, visitors and staff that experiment with different forms of conversation and collaborative thinking.

Jiwon Chung is artistic director of Kairos Theater Ensemble, adjunct professor of Theater and Social Justice at the Starr King School and past president of the national organization for Theatre of the Oppressed.

The focus of Jiwon's work is the application of theater as a tool for social and political change, using Theatre of the Oppressed to challenge, resist and transform systemic oppression and structural violence, and to redress large scale historical atrocity and injustice. His approach to individual, interpersonal and institutional change is informed by his background as a veteran, martial artist and over 3 decades of vipassana meditation.

Carol Mancke is an artist, architect and educator working at the intersection of art and cities through her practice, machina loci. (www.machinaloci.com).  A graduate of UC Berkeley’s school of Architecture, Carol’s practice engages a range of time frames and scales from drawing, photography, sculpture and installation through to architecture and urbanism.  Her work has featured in solo and group shows in Britain and Japan, including the Echigo Tsumari Art Triennial in 2009. In 2011-12, she was artist in residence at the Central Institute of Technology in Perth, Australia. Carol was a Senior Lecturer at Kingston University London (2004-2014); has degrees from M.I.T., UC Berkeley and the University of the Arts London and is currently pursuing a PhD in fine art practice at the Royal College of Art in London.

In Table 18, Mancke  mapped international spaces of protest on a surface that facilitated discussion and debate in an installation at the Tate Modern in London in 2016.  She is now in residence at  the Department of Comparative Literature's new maker space at Dwinelle Hall.  


AWAKENING THE DRAGON: ART, URBAN SPACE, AND AUTHORITARIANISM

FRIDAY, 03/03/17 12:00PM – 1:00PM 
126 DWINELLE ANNEX

Jason Luger presents Awakening the Dragon: Art, Urban Space, and Authoritarianism. This talk will explore Luger's fieldwork looking at grassroots art activist movements in Singapore, as well as current research which looks at art-activism in authoritarian contexts around the world, including his upcoming book (June, 2017) entitled Art and the City: Worlding the Conversation Through a Critical Artscapes (Routledge). 

Luger is an urban geographer with research interests focusing on urban policy, urban social movements and activism, comparative approaches to economic development, and global cities. His work has been featured in academic journals such as IJURR, CITY, Media and Culture and Geoforum. He conducted field research in Singapore from 2012-214, exploring state-society relations, urban policy, and art-led activism. This event is part of the GUH Brown Bag Series on Cities.


Gendered Citizenship in Urbanizing China:
Lanchih Po

WEDNESDAY, 2/22/17, 12:00PM - 1:00PM
172 WURSTER HALL

China's household registration (hukou) system has created an unequal "right to the city" in a rapidly urbanizing China. In Gendered Citizenship in Urbanizing China, Lanchih Po examined how women's land activism is affecting this system in the Pearl River Delta region. Read GUH Project Director Susan Moffat's blog post about the event.

Po is associate adjunct professor in International and Area Studies and the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at UC Berkeley. She received her doctorate from the Department of City and Regional Planning at UC Berkeley in 2001, and taught at Peking University in Beijing from 2001 to 2006. Her research interests encompass divergent developmental paths in China's transitional economies and the socio-economic transformations associated with China's (sub)urbanization process, as well as the connections between urbanism, architectural space, literature, and media culture in China and Taiwan. This is event was part of the GUH Brown Bag Series on Cities.