A History of Future Cities

Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013 | 6:00 pm
Department of Social and Cultural Analysis
New York University
20 Cooper Square, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10003
RSVP if you plan to attend.


Join the Institute for Public Knowledge and Public Books in celebrating the publication of Daniel Brook‘s new book, A History of Future Cities.  The author will be in dialogue with Ulrich Baer, Professor of German, Comparative Literature; Vice Provost for Arts, Humanities and Multicultural Affairs at NYU; and Harvey Molotch, Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis and Sociology at NYU.

A History of Future Cities is a pioneering exploration of four cities where East meets West and past becomes future: St. Petersburg, Shanghai, Mumbai, and Dubai.

On May 27, 1703, Tsar Peter the Great founded a new capital on a barren Baltic marsh. Modeled on Amsterdam, he believed it would erase Russian backwardness and usher in a modernized, Westernized future. In the nineteenth-century Age of Imperialism, the British rebuilt Bombay as a tropical London, while three Western powers made Shanghai look just like home. And in our own time, the sheikh of Dubai has endeavored to transform his desert city into a Vegas-esque skyscraper-studded global hub. The cultural and historical threads that connect these cities and their conflicted embrace of modernity are brought into relief in Daniel Brook’s captivating mix of history and reportage—a story of architects and authoritarians, artists and revolutionaries who take these facsimiles of the West and turn them into crucibles of non-Western modernity. A History of Future Cities is both a crucial reminder of globalization’s long march and an inspiring look into the possibilities of our Asian Century.

Daniel Brook is a journalist whose work has appeared in publications including Harper’s, The Nation, and Slate, and the author of The Trap: Selling Out to Stay A!oat in Winner-Take-All America. His architecture writing won the 2010 Winterhouse Award for Design Writing and Criticism. To research A History of Future Cities, Brook lived for a month each in St. Petersburg, Shanghai, Mumbai, and Dubai and conducted archival research on a semester-long fellowship at the Library of Congress. Originally from New York and educated at Yale University, Brook lives in New Orleans.

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Rape New York Archive

Here is the link to Leo’s Rape New York archive.


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architectural determinism(?)

Posting these in response to your comments about notions of home and about ways in which architecture and the built environment impact social behavior.

As Abel and Ian noted in class, The Pruitt Igoe Myth is on Netflix.

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Upcoming Urban Events

Book Launch: Urban Alchemy: Restoring Joy in America’s Fractured Cities

Friday, Mar 29, 2013 | 6 – 8pm
Institute for Public Knowledge
20 Cooper Square, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10003

RSVP if you plan to attend.

Join author Mindy Fullilove and discussants Helena Hansen and Jack Saul in celebrating the publication of Urban Alchemy: Restoring Joy in America’s Fractured Cities.

What if divided neighborhoods were causing public health problems? What if a new approach to planning and design could tackle both the built environment and collective well-being at the same time? What if cities could help each other? In Urban Alchemy, Dr. Mindy Fullilove uses her unique perspective as a public health psychiatrist to explore ways of healing social and spatial fractures simultaneously. Using the work of French urbanist Michel Cantal-Dupart as a guide, Fullilove takes readers on a tour of successful collaborative interventions that repair cities and reconnect communities to make them whole.

Dr. Mindy Thompson Fullilove is Professor of Clinical Sociomedical Sciences and Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University. She is a board-certified psychiatrist who is interested in the links between the environment and mental health. She started her research career in 1986 with a focus on the AIDS epidemic, and became aware of the close link between AIDS and place of residence. Under the rubric of the psychology of place, Dr. Fullilove began to examine the mental health effects of such environmental processes as violence, rebuilding, segregation, urban renewal, and mismanaged toxins. She has published numerous articles and four books including “Root Shock: How Tearing Up City Neighborhoods Hurts America and What We Can Do About It,” and “House of Joshua: Meditations on Family and Place.”

Helena Hansen is Professor of Anthropology and Psychiatry, New York University and Jack Saul is Professor of Clinical Population and Family Health, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University and Director, International Trauma Studies Program.

This event is sponsored by the Psyences Project, Metropolitan Studies, and the Institute for Public Knowledge.

Upcoming Events at IPK

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High Line critique

This is an interesting analysis in relation to the arguments posed by Delany, Jacobs, and Leo. Take a look if you have time.

Walk, then run away from the High Line,” Queer Urban Ecologies.

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Elijah Anderson, “The Iconic Ghetto”

The Iconic Ghetto: The New American Color Line

 The black ghetto has become a major icon in American society and culture, and as such, it serves as an important source of stereotype, prejudice, and discrimination. From the days of slavery through the Civil Rights period, black people have occupied a caste-like status. Today, despite the progressive changes wrought by the racial incorporation process of the 1960s and 1970s, the color line persists—albeit in a new, emergent form—in everyday life. Many blacks now work in a wider range of occupations than ever—not simply in menial jobs, but in professional positions in which they have rarely appeared before, including as doctors, lawyers, professors, corporate executives, and major elected officials. Many of them also reside in exclusive neighborhoods formerly off-limits to them, and their children attend formerly white schools. But as black people have become increasingly more visible throughout society, dilemmas and contradictions of status have also become more common. The physical black ghetto persists, and its iconography conditions many Americans to think that the black person’s “place” is usually in the ghetto, not in middle-class society. Thus, whites and others often associate black individuals with the iconic ghetto, burdening them with a deficit of credibility that on occasion manifests in acts of acute disrespect reminiscent of America’s racial past. Among themselves black people call such incidents “nigger moments,” and generally interpret them as deeply racist attempts to put them back in their place. These incidents, and the conflict they cause—based on the black ghetto as a concrete point of reference—constitute the present-day American color line.

Elijah Anderson the William K. Lanman Professor of Sociology at Yale University.  One of the leading urban ethnographers in the United States, his publications include Code of the Street: Decency, Violence, and the Moral Life of the Inner City (1999), winner of the Komarovsky Award from the Eastern Sociological Society; Streetwise: Race, Class, and Change in an Urban Community (1990), winner of the American Sociological Association’s Robert E. Park Award for the best published book in the area of Urban Sociology; and the classic sociological work, A Place on the Corner (1978; 2nd ed., 2003).  He is the 2013 recipient of the American Sociological Association’s Cox-Johnson-Frazier Award.

Date:  March 7, 2013

Time: 6pm

Location: 6 East 16th Street, Room 1102

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Before Stonewall

For those of you who enjoyed the segment of After Stonewall we watched today, you might also want to take a look at the following:

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