Held in conjunction with ST 600 "Market Failure, Famines and Crises," Dr. Alex Callinicos is the fourth speaker in the Committee on Social Theory Spring Lecture Series. The 2007-8 financial crash and the deep recession and weak recovery that followed have exposed serious flaws in our economic system. But how deep do they lie? Are the faults simply a matter of poor financial regulation or banks that are too big to fail? Karl Marx argued that ' The true barrier to capitalist production is capital itself.’ In other words, capitalism is subject to inherent limits arising from its nature as a system based on class exploitation and driven by competitive accumulation. This lecture will seek to show how a Marxist understanding of capitalism can identify the interaction between deep-seated structural tendencies towards crisis and the cycle of boom and bust in the financial markets responsible for what some commentators are beginning to call the Long Depression. At a time when a new study by French economist Thomas Piketty, Capital in the 21st Century, has identified an inherent trend towards growing economic inequality, Marx’s original Capital repays renewed study. Dr. Callinicos is a professor of European Studies at King's College London. His latest book is The Revolutionary Ideas of Karl Marx (Haymarket), 2012.
Committee on Social Theory Spring Lecture Series
Held in conjunction with ST 600 "Market Failure, Famines and Crises," Dr. Cormac O'Grada is the third speaker in the Committee on Social Theory Spring Lecture Series. His lecture, "The Nature of Famines," will focus on the long-term demographic consequences of famines. Population pressure, public policy, and human agency all play a role in causing famine. Food markets can mitigate famine or make it worse. Dr. O'Grada is a professor of economics at at the University College Dublin School of Economics. His most recent book is Famines: A Short History Princeton University Press, 2009.
Held in conjunction with ST 600 "Market Failure, Famines and Crises," Dr. Greta Krippner is the second lecturer in the Committee on Social Theory Spring Lecture Series. Her lecture is entitled, "The Crisis in Market Regulation." She finds that state policies created the conditions conducive to financialization that solved some current policy dilemmas of the 1970s and 1980s, but created major weaknesses that would ultimately fail in the new millennium. Financialization of the economy was not a deliberate outcome sought by policymakers, but rather an inadvertent result of the state's attempts to solve other problems, especially the stagnation and deregulation in the 1970s and 1980s, the encouragement of foreign capital in the US economy, and large trade imbalances caused by direct foreign investment. Dr. Krippner is an Associate Professor in Sociology at the University of Michigan. Her latest publication is Capitalizing on Crisis: The Political Origins of the Rise of Finance Harvard University Press, 2012.
Held in conjunction with ST 600, "Market Failure, Famines and Crisis," Dr. Peter Temin is the first lecturer in the Commitee on Social Theory Spring Lecture Series. His lecture is entitled "Lessons of the Great Depression." He provides an integrated view of the Depression, covering the experience in Britain, France, Germany, and the US; hediscusses the causes, why it was so widespread and prolonged; and what brought about the world's eventual recovery. Peter Temin also finds parallels between the Great Depression and current policies that are recommended and sometimes followed by governments. Dr. Temin is a professor in the Department of Economics and History at MIT. His most recent publications include The Roman Market Economy, Princeton University Press, 2013 and The Leaderless Economy: Why the World Economic System Fell Apart and How to Fix It, Princeton University Press, 2013 (with David Vines).
Swati Chattopadhyay is an architect and architectural historian specializing in modern architecture and urbanism, and the cultural landscape of British colonialism. She is interested in the ties between colonialism and modernism, and in the spatial aspects of race, gender, and ethnicity in modern cities that are capable of enriching post-colonial and critical theory. She has served as a director of the Subaltern-Popular Workshop, a University of California Multi-campus Research Group, and is the current editor of the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians (JSAH). She is the author of Representing Calcutta: Modernity, Nationalism, and the Colonial Uncanny (Routledge, 2005; paperback 2006), and Unlearning the City: Infrastructurein a New Optical Field (Minnesota, 2012 forthcoming). Her current work includes a new book project, "Nature's Infrastructure," dealing with the infrastructural transformation of the Gangetic Plains between the 17th and 19th centuries.
Tom Conley is Lowell Professor in the Departments of Romance Languages and Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University. Conley studies relations of space and writing in literature, cartography, and cinema. His work moves to and from early modern France and issues in theory and interpretation in visual media. In 2003, Dr. Conley won a Guggenheim Fellowship for his work in topography and literature in Renaissance France.
The Urban Age in Question
Neil Brenner, Harvard University
Neil Brenner is Professor of Urban Theory at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) and the coordinator of the newly founded Urban Theory Lab GSD. Brenner’s writing and teaching focus on the theoretical, conceptual and methodological dimensions of urban questions. His work builds upon, and seeks to extend, the fields of critical urban and regional studies, comparative geopolitical economy and radical sociospatial theory. Major research foci include processes of urban and regional restructuring and uneven spatial development; the generalization of capitalist urbanization; and processes of state spatial restructuring, with particular reference to the remaking of urban, metropolitan and regional governance configurations under contemporary neoliberalizing capitalism.
Brenner is the author of New State Spaces: Urban Governance and the Rescaling of Statehood (Oxford University Press, 2004). Other book-length publications include Cities for People, not for Profits: Critical Urban Theory and the Right to the City (co-edited with Peter Marcuse and Margit Mayer; Routledge 2011); Henri Lefebvre, State, Space, World (co-edited with Stuart Elden, co-translated with Gerald Moore and Stuart Elden, University of Minnesota Press, 2009); The Global Cities Reader (co-edited with Roger Keil; Routledge, 2006); Spaces of Neoliberalism: Urban Restructuring in North America and Western Europe(co-edited with Nik Theodore; Blackwell, 2003); and State/Space: A Reader (co-edited with Bob Jessop, Martin Jones and Gordon MacLeod; Blackwell, 2002). Several scholarly articles and essays have been translated into other languages, including Chinese, Finnish, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish and Turkish.
Major current research and writing projects focus on:
New conceptual and methodological challenges for 21st century critical urban theory
The future of ‘comparative’ urban studies
Neoliberalization: geographies, modalities and pathways
The evolution of urban, metropolitan and regional governance in geohistorical and comparative perspective
The rescaling of state space in geohistorical and comparative perspective
Henri Lefebvre on space, politics and urbanization
Brenner serves on the editorial board of the Studies in Urban and Social Change (SUSC) book series, affiliated with the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research and published by Blackwell-Wiley (Chief Editor, 2005-2009). He also serves on the editorial boards of several scholarly journals, includingInternational Journal of Urban and Regional Research, CITY, Urban Studies, European Journal of Urban and Regional Studies, Geopolitics and Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economies and Societies. He has served as a visiting professor or lecturer in several European universities, including the University of Amsterdam (Wibaut Chair of Urban Studies), the University of Bristol (Benjamin Meaker Visiting Professorship), the National University of Ireland/Maynooth and the University of Urbino (EUREX summer school in urban studies)
Derek Gregory, University of British Columbia: “Gabriel's War: Cartography and the Changing Art of War "
Derek Gregory, University of British Columbia: “Gabriel's War: Cartography and the Changing Art of War"
January 25, 2pm
Lexmark Room, Main Building
Dr. Derek Gregory is a member of the Department of Geography and one of two Peter Wall Distinguished Professors at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. Dr. Gregory trained as an historical geographer at the University of Cambridge. His research focused on the historical geography of industrialization and on the relations between social theory and human geography and explored a range of critical theories that showed how place, space, and landscape have been involved in the operation and outcome of social processes. His 1982 book, Regional Transformation and Industrial Revolution, was staged on the classic ground of E.P. Thompson’s Making of the English Working Class. Following a move to Vancouver in 1989, Gregory’s work was reinforced by postcolonial critique, outlined in his 1989 book Geographical Imaginations. This new phase of work owed much to Edward Said’s critique of Orientalism, but it was much more concerned with the corporeality and physicality of travel – with embodied subjects moving through material landscapes – and with the constantly changing (often mislaid) cultural baggage of the travelers. And it paid attention what travelers mapped, sketched, and photographed – and to the consequences these representations had for their encounters.
This work on travel and travel writing was interrupted by the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on 11 September 2001, and the focus of his research shifted to the present. Drawing on his training as an historical geographer and his sense of the renewed power of Orientalism, Dr. Gregory traced the long history of British and American involvements in the “Middle East,” and showed how these affected the cultural, political, and military responses to 9/11. The Colonial Present: Afghanistan, Palestine, Iraq (2004) showed how war quite literally takes place, and described in detail the violent ‘taking of places’ not only in Afghanistan and Iraq but in occupied Palestine. The study showed how the conduct of war connects the abstractions of geopolitics – the pronouncements of politicians, the strategies of generals – to the lives and deaths of countless ordinary men and women.
His forthcoming book, The Everywhere War, shows how the conduct of war is shaped by the spaces through which it is conducted; ranging from the global war prison at Guantanamo Bay through counterinsurgency in Baghdad and the drone wars in Afghanistan/Pakistan. His new research project, Killing space, is a critical study of the techno-cultural and political dimensions of air war. It focuses on three major campaigns: the combined bombing offensive against Germany in the Second World War, America’s air wars over Indochina, and the present use of UAVs in Afghanistan/Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, and elsewhere. It pays particular attention to the changing ways in which cities (and eventually people) have been visualized as targets within what is now called the ‘kill-chain,’ and to the different ways in which the media have represented and reported bombing to different publics.