#ACSP2014 Deleuze and Planning

Lisa Schweitzer

So one of the sessions I attended today came out of a reading group at the University of Washington, which I think is a really cool idea–get your faculty together, have them work with the same texts, and then see where you go. And then, if you get somewhere, go out and give some talks on it so that the rest of us benefit. We had:

Keith Harris: Doing Well by Doing Good: Comprehensive Planning and Seattle’s Kindler, Gentler War-Machine

Cheryl Gilge: Citizen Participation as Microfascism: The Darker Side of Creative Austerity

Mark Purcell and Branden Born: Planning, Deleuze & Guttari and the Food Movement


James Potter: Assembling Developmental State Cities: The Oil Crisis, Democracy, and Korea’s Two Million Houses Policy.

To say that I am not qualified to weigh in on these would be a massive understatement as I haven’t read any Deleuze and Guattari, nor have…

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post life

I see that my blog has been quiet for oh. so. long. I filed the dissertation this summer and I took a solid break from working. Now I’m in the throes of teaching two courses and working on job apps. I suspect it’ll be dark for a bit longer, until the quarter smooths out classes start humming along.

Upcoming events include the ACSP in Philadelphia, where myself and 3 others will be bringing Deleuze and Guattari to Urban Planning Theory.

Making a case for Interdisciplinarity

or, perhaps less ‘buzz word’-y: making a case for speaking the same language.

I’m in the process reviewing my chapter on Google and I continue to find myself hitting a wall with two radically different ideological realities between the geographer’s cry of neoliberalism and the libertarian cry of open source. It feels patently clear to me that these two ideas and their respective successes have a symbiotic relationship, but what is also clear is that neither discipline has been able to get a ‘little air from the outside’, to recall a perfectly articulated sentiment from AO.

I recently ran across one article from two Poli Sci PhD students at Berkeley that conducted a study on the use of neoliberalism. While their findings were interesting (generally negative connotation or equally neutral connotation, there were very few ‘positive’ uses of the term), what I found more interesting was their disciplinary scope of the project, making claims that in general, there were no ‘definitions’ given by people using it in relation to empirical studies. What was missing was any nod to the plethora of geographers that have engaged neoliberalism- ( I would argue, almost ad nauseaum… sorry)- in the past 15 years, many of which have become quite established as key thinkers in a variety of specialty areas.

I think that sufficiently substantiates my suspicion about the lack of acknowledgement of the compatibility between open-source and neoliberalism. I cannot find a link, primarily because those writing about open-source are generally positive (blanket statement, I know; there are some defectors) and neoliberal literature is not part of their ‘scholarship’ they draw from. In fact, there is little mention of the economic/business environment, other than it stands as a positive alternative to ‘business as usual’.  Geography seems to have a certain positive relationship to ‘web 2.0’ technologies and participant potential, which likely keeps the ‘neoliberal’ analytic off the table and instead, opts for a more feminist or foucauldian framework. Within the more critical work, surveillance of the subject becomes the focus. Neoliberalism is one of Geography’s specters of evil, and seems to provide a ‘satisfactory’ explanation of the contemporary milieu, regardless of the ‘crisis’ examined, but I haven’t found any economic geographers that look specifically at open source.

Maybe it just isn’t spatial enough?

Regardless, I see some real missed opportunities to place these two concepts into conversation. As part of my convoluted dissertation, I have begun to do just that. Post degree, however, it feels like a pretty fruitful to continue to build on this symbiotic condition with a critique or interrogation that, following Manovich in Software Takes Command, seems to be missing from our use of software and the role it plays in our daily lives.


More London activities

London Conference in Critical Thought 2014: Goldsmiths, University of London, 27-28 June 2014

Call for Papers

The third annual London Conference in Critical Thought (LCCT) will offer a space for an interdisciplinary exchange of ideas for scholars who work with critical traditions and concerns. It aims to provide opportunities for those who frequently find themselves at the margins of their department or discipline to engage with other scholars who share theoretical approaches and interests.

Central to the vision of the conference is an inter-institutional, non-hierarchal, and accessible event that makes a particular effort to embrace emergent thought and the participation of emerging academics, fostering new avenues for critically-oriented scholarship and collaboration.

The conference is divided into thematic streams, each coordinated by different researchers and with separate calls for papers, included in this document. We welcome paper proposals that respond to the particular streams below. In addition, papers may be proposed as part of a general stream, i.e. with no specific stream in mind. Spanning a range of broad themes, these streams provide the impetus for new points of dialogue. Read the full call for papers here:

Download Views PDF_2 LCCT 2014 Call for papers

  • Aesthetic Refusals: Oppositional Citizenship and Public Culture
  • Conceptions and Practices of Critical Pedagogy
  • Critical Approaches to Care Relationships
  • (Dis)orders of Migration
  • Dissenting Methods: Engaging Legacies of the Past, Defining Critical Futures
  • ‘entitled’
  • ‘everyday political’
  • How Does One Think Difference?
  • Legal Critique: Positions, Negotiations and Strategies
  • Moving Through the Intersection? Interrogating Categories and Postintersectional Politics
  • Philosophy and Critical Thought Inside and Outside The University
  • Pragmatism and Critical Traditions
  • Sounding the Counterfactual: Hyperstition and Audial Futurities
  • Strategies of Silence
  • Street Level: Towards a Critical Discourse on Urban Aesthetics
  • Subjects in Space(s): Navigating Multiplicity
  • The Critical Brain
  • The Human After Anthropocentrism? Life. Matter. Being.
  • Time Discipline
  • What is the Question of Critique? 

Please send paper/presentation proposals with the relevant stream indicated in the subject line to paper-subs@londoncritical.org. Submissions should be no more than 250 words and should be received by the 10th March 2014.

An interesting development in open access publishing – UCL Press

Progressive Geographies

An interesting development in open access publishing – UCL Press from University College London:

UCL is delighted to announce the establishment of UCL Press. UCL is committed to celebrating the achievements and innovation of its world-class researchers. The mission of UCL Press is to promote academic excellence and support research, and to do so through a range of Open Access publishing activities.

All titles published by UCL Press will be made available in Open Access digital form through UCL Discovery, as well as in print-on-demand and consumer e-book formats available commercially. All books will be produced with high-quality design and typesetting. UCL Press will meet the costs of publication for any books accepted by the Press that are either written solely by UCL staff, or in the case of multi-author volumes, where a UCL member of staff leads the project or is one of the authors. As the Press…

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