Spaces of Struggle 2017: Mini-conference on Radical Planning

Spaces of Struggle 2017: A Mini-Conference on Radical Planning

October 11, 2017 in Denver, Colorado.

A free mini-conference directly preceding the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP) conference

Conference contact:

While planning offers hope for better cities, radical scholars and planners have exposed a troubled history of the complicity of planning in perpetuating spatialized inequity, injustice, and domination.  This mini-conference addresses both the theoretical and practical aspects of an invigorated contemporary radical planning agenda, posing critical questions in pursuit of better ways forward. Inspired by the first Spaces of Struggle held in 2016 in Portland, Oregon, this year’s mini-conference offers a space of exchange for the many voices who believe radical practice and scholarship are crucial to understanding and challenging mainstream systems and practices.

We assemble doctoral students, scholars and faculty from across the globe, as well as activists, artists, and community representatives. Spaces of Struggle is a commentary on and complement to ACSP 2017 events, activities and presentations. While we welcome a variety of critical and radical perspectives, proposals should engage directly with the histories, theories, and practices of urban planning.  Applicants will be selected and organized into panels and roundtable sessions based on the relevance of their proposal to the conference themes and the potential for dialogue among participants.

Submission deadline: May 1, 2017

Paper Panel Sessions: These sessions will consist of panels of three to four scholarly papers addressing different themes or concentrations in radical planning. Presenters will have 15-minutes to read or discuss their paper, followed by audience questions and discussion.

To apply to present a paper, please submit a 250-word abstract proposal outlining (1) the subject of the paper and your research approach (community project, research project, dissertation project, etc.), and (2) how it intersects with other themes and issues of radical planning.  Include 3 keywords.

Special Topic Roundtable Discussions: These less structured sessions will be organized around themes or specific topics that emerge from both the paper and roundtable submissions. Three to five discussants will have 5-minutes to introduce how their scholarship intersects with radical planning and then engage the audience in an open conversation.

To apply to participate as a discussant in a roundtable discussion, please submit a 250-word statement of interest. The statement should (1) describe how you position your research, activism and/or community experience within the themes and issues of radical planning, and (2) conclude with one or two specific questions for discussion. The questions that will shape our discussion will be drawn directly from selected panelist submissions.

Please submit your application to by midnight on Monday, May 1 with the subject line “Space of Struggle 2017: application”.

Include your full name, affiliation and position, and contact information. You may apply to present at both the paper and roundtable sessions but will be limited to one presentation. Selected presenters will be notified by mid-June. Participants will be required to submit their conference papers or discussion outline by the end of September 2017.

Statement on Accessibility and Accommodation: In keeping with radical values and positions, we are dedicated to working with our colleagues and communities to find reasonable accommodations whenever possible to facilitate alternative presentation or participation formats for those who may face barriers due to political, financial, medical, ability or other accessibility concerns and restrictions. This may include but is not limited to the use of digital technologies or presentations read by proxy.

Suggested topics:

Radical planning movements and practices

  • Radical practice, policy, and professionals
  • Anarchist, socialist, feminist, and/or queer planning
  • Direct action and social movements
  • Informality and insurgency across the globe

Radical planning issues and themes

  • Dissensus, democracy, and agonistic pluralism
  • White supremacy, racism, and xenophobia
  • Colonialism, migration, and indigeneity
  • Neoliberalization/market fundamentalism
  • Financialization
  • Gentrification, race, eviction, and displacement
  • Policing, law, and the State
  • Technology, software, and innovation
  • Labor, energy, and work
  • Intersectionality and identity
  • The body, gender, sexuality, and social reproduction
  • Ability and access
  • Infrastructures, logistics, and networks
  • Environments, ecologies, and natures
  • Housing, property, and the Commons
  • Zoning, regulation, and control

Radical planning epistemologies and pedagogies

  • Radical and activist research methodologies
  • Expertise, data, and knowledge
  • Teaching radical planning, publishing, media, and knowledge networks
  • Historical and comparative analyses of radical planning practice

There is no fee to participate or attend the conference.

Bri Gauger, University of Michigan
Sarah Gelbard, McGill University
Carla Maria Kayanan, University of Michigan
Julie Mah, University of Toronto
Danielle Rivera, University of Colorado Boulder
Stephen Sherman, University of Illinois
Raksha Vasudevan, University of Texas

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