Events

Floating Debts: Colonial Charter Companies, African Natives, and the Legal Ancestors of Human Rights

Floating Debts: Colonial Charter Companies, African Natives, and the Legal Ancestors of Human Rights

05/12/2015
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Room 5414
A talk by Joseph Slaughter, Associate professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and moderated by Peter Hitchcock, Professor of English at Baruch College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York
May 12, 2014
5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Room 5414, Graduate Center, CUNY.
Do we owe human rights to corporations? Recent histories of international law and human rights have begun to document the important role that nineteenth-century colonialism played in the formation and institutionalization of contemporary international human rights law. This talk considers the possibility that early modern corporate colonialism was a founding condition of contemporary international human rights law, and, furthermore, that the colonial charter company might be said to have opened a space in the international realm in the nineteenth century that human beings would only come to occupy in the middle of the twentieth. The colonial charter company was not merely a vehicle for the pursuit of nineteenth-century colonialism. It was charged with carrying some of what we now call human rights to supposedly backwards peoples in “unenlightened” parts of the earth; but it was itself the bearer of some international rights that we now regard as the human rights of individuals. I argue that a collection of qualities and capacities that we typically think of as uniquely human were first combined and protected at the international level in the legal personalities of charter companies. Corporations, and especially the colonial charter companies, were recognized as international persons in advance of the human beings they ostensibly serve.
EVENT 1
Joseph Slaughter is associate professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University where he teaches postcolonial literature and theory, African, Caribbean, and Latin American literatures, narrative theory, human rights, and 20th-century ethnic and third world literatures. His first book, Human Rights, Inc.: The World Novel, Narrative Form, and International
 Law (Fordham, 2007) was awarded the 2008 René Wellek prize for comparative literature and cultural theory. He is currently completing two books: New Word Orders, on intellectual property and world literature, and Pathetic Fallacies, essays on human rights and the humanities.
Peter Hitchcock is Professor of English at Baruch College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He is also on the faculties of Women’s Studies and Film Studies at the GC. He is the author of five books, including The Long Space, for Stanford University Press. His most recent publications include, “Accumulating Fictions” for Representations,“Immolation” for the Routledge Companion to Literature and Human Rights, “How to Read a Discipline” for Comparative Literature, “Culture and Anarchy in Thatcher’s London” for an anthology on Hanif Kureishi, “(   ) of Ghosts” in The Spectralities Reader, “The Space of Time: Chronotopes and Crisis” for Primerjalna Knjizevnost, “Defining the World” inLiterary Materialisms and “Everything’s Gone Green: The Environment of BP’s Narrative” for Imaginations. Forthcoming articles include an essay, “Viscosity and Velocity,” for an anthology on oil (Cornell), and an essay on communism titled “The Leninist Hypothesis” for Poetics Today. Forthcoming book projects include a monograph on the cultural representation of labor, a monograph on worlds of postcoloniality, and an edited collection on the New Public Intellectual. He is currently working on two research projects: one about seriality in politics and culture; the other on the aesthetics of commodities and financial instruments.
EVENT
This event is sponsored by Center for Place, Culture and Politics and the Postcolonial Studies Group at the Graduate Center.
This event is open and free to the public.
Panel: Debt Deliberations: Structural, Institutional, Financial

Panel: Debt Deliberations: Structural, Institutional, Financial

05/11/2015
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Room C198, CUNY Graduate Center

Join us for the panel Debt Deliberations: Structural, Institutional, Financial

May 11th, 2015
5:30-7:30 PM
Room c198
Graduate Center, CUNY

Reception and CPCP end of semester party to follow in room 6112 (Sociology Lounge)

This year the Center for Place, Culture and Politics has been thinking on, through, and beyond debt in its many manifestations. There has been a lot of work on debt in recent times, not least because it has come to dominate so many aspects of our lives. This panel will focus on several core aspects of contemporary debt and how it might be creatively engaged. Are the scales of debt a key to the ways in which it may be canceled?

moneyonfire

Jane Pollard: “Financing everyday life: the resurgence of subprime auto loans in the US”

Esther Peeren: “Students and Universities at Risk: Debt and Speculation in Dutch Higher Education”

Sophia A. McClennen “The Rights to Debt”

BIOS

Jane Pollard is Professor of Economic Geography in the Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies (CURDS) and the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology at Newcastle University, UK. She has degrees in Geography (BA, Sheffield University UK, MA McMaster University, Canada) and Urban Planning (UCLA, USA). Her research interests and writing have focused on geographies of money and finance, geographical political economy, and the practices and politics of economic geography as a subdiscipline. Her current research – while a Visiting Scholar in the Center for Place, Culture and Politics at CUNY – focuses on the extension of sub–prime loan markets and the financialisation of social reproduction.

Esther Peeren is Associate Professor of Globalization and Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam, and Vice-Director of the Amsterdam Center for Globalization Studies (ACGS). Her publications include The Spectral Metaphor: Living Ghosts and the Agency of Invisibility (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014) and Intersubjectivities and Popular Culture: Bakhtin and Beyond (Stanford UP, 2008).

Sophia A. McClennen is Professor of International Affairs and Comparative Literature at the Pennsylvania State University, University Park, where she directs the Center for Global Studies. She has published eight books. The most recent  Is Satire Saving Our Nation? was co-written with Penn State undergrad Remy Maisel (Palgrave 2014) Her next book is The Routledge Companion to Human Rights and Literature, co-edited with Alexandra Schultheis-Moore (due out from Routledge 2015). In addition she has published over 60 essays and edited six special journal issues.  She serves on ten editorial boards and has been elected to executive committees of MLA, ACLA, and IASA. In her current work on Latin American cinema and globalization she is studying the intersections between cultural forms, global change, and ideas of identity.

This event is open and free to the public.

Film Screening: Rerooting the Motor City: Notes on a City in Transformation

Film Screening: Rerooting the Motor City: Notes on a City in Transformation

05/07/2015
7:00 pm
Skylight Conference Room, 9th Floor

Rerooting the Motor City: Notes on a City in Transformation:

Rerooting-pic

Rerooting the Motor City: Notes on a City in Transformation was produced by Paper Tiger Television members: Maria Byck, Amanda Matles, Nadia Mohamed, Adrienne Silverman. From food deserts, to the plans to “rightsize” the city, Detroiters resist, rework, and remain resilient given the social and ecological failures of post-industrial global capitalism. With a critical lens on race and class dynamics, the human cost of industrial capitalism, produced scarcity and the problematics of frontier mentalities subtending “progressive” politics in the United States today are discussed. Rerooting weaves together segments on Detroit’s labor history, the roots of Detroit’s urban agriculture movement, a critical look at philanthro-capitalism and its relationship to urban renewal, as well as media (mis)representations of a city in transformation.

The screening will be followed by a discussion and Q&A with filmmakers Adrienne Silverman and Nadia Mohamed, and CUNY scholars Cindi Katz and Amanda Matles (Earth and Environmental Sciences), and will be moderated by CUNY scholar Bronwyn Dobchuk-Land (Sociology).

May 7
7:00 pm
Skylight Conference Room, 9th Floor

Book Launch: Landscape of Discontent: Urban Sustainability in Immigrant Paris

Book Launch: Landscape of Discontent: Urban Sustainability in Immigrant Paris

05/07/2015
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Sociology Lounge, Room 6112

May 7, 2015
6-8 p.m.
Sociology Lounge (Room 6112)

Sustainability has become a ubiquitous concept guiding how urban neighborhoods are reimagined and redeveloped. But is a greener city necessarily a more just city? In Landscape of Discontent, Andrew Newman examines dramatic changes taking place a postindustrial section of Paris to illustrate the connections between the green turn in urban redevelopment and broader transformations in society, politics, and everyday life.

An in-depth look at politics in a multiethnic neighborhood, Landscape of Discontent is an important and timely contribution to current debates concerning integration and cultural difference in France. Through his original focus on urban environmentalism, Newman reveals how a diverse group of residents and activists, many of whom are French Muslims of West African and Maghrebi descent, struggle to reinvent the identity of their neighborhood, and in doing so, redefine their place in the nation.

Untitled

Andrew Newman is assistant professor of anthropology at Wayne State University in Detroit. He graduated from the CUNY Anthropology program in 2011 and was a Fellow at the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics in 2010-2011 and in 2005-6. His research focuses on urban design social movements, and political ecology in urban areas, and he is currently working on research projects in Detroit and Paris.

This event is open and free to the public.

Book Talk: Compañeras: Zapatista Women’s Stories By Hilary Klein

Book Talk: Compañeras: Zapatista Women’s Stories By Hilary Klein

05/06/2015
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Sociology Lounge, Room 6112

May 6, 2015
6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
The Sociology Lounge, the Graduate Center, CUNY.

z1 z2 z3

Compañeras is the untold story of women’s involvement in the Zapatista movement. In 1994, the Zapatista movement captured the world’s attention with its brief armed uprising, demanding political, economic, and social equality for the rural population of Chiapas, Mexico. Since then, this indigenous rebellion has inspired grassroots activists around the world.

Prior to 1994, the indigenous women of Chiapas were often forced into arranged marriages and confined to the private sphere; they had little access to birth control, and domestic violence was widespread. But gender roles were radically redefined in the context of the Zapatista movement, as women became guerrilla insurgents and political leaders, healers and educators, and members of economic cooperatives. Gathered here are the stories of grandmothers, mothers, and daughters who worked collectively to construct a new society of dignity and justice. Zapatista women have played a key role not only in creating and maintaining indigenous autonomy, but also in making great strides towards the liberation and equality of indigenous women.

COMPAN

HILARY KLEIN spent six years in Chiapas, Mexico, working with women’s projects in Zapatista communities. After she compiled a book of Zapatista women’s testimony to be circulated in their own villages, women in the Zapatista leadership suggested that Hilary compile a similar book for an outside audience.

Hilary has been engaged in social justice and community organizing for twenty years. After spending five years at Make the Road New York, a membership organization that builds the power of immigrant and working-class communities, she will join the Center for Popular Democracy this May. She is originally from Washington, DC, and received her BA in Political Science from UC Berkeley.

 

 

The Politics of Urban Economic Development: Immigrant Growth Coalitions, Banks, and Transnational Capital

The Politics of Urban Economic Development: Immigrant Growth Coalitions, Banks, and Transnational Capital

04/29/2015
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Room C201

Wednesday, April 29, 2015
6pm-8pm
Graduate Center, Room C201
*need ID to enter the building

Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 9.29.15 AM-2

Speakers:

Tamara Nopper (UPenn) –  “Korean banks, U.S. government small business support, and Black-Korean conflict.”

Angie Chung (and Sookhee Oh) (SUNY Albany) — “Gangnam Style: The Local Elite Politics of Koreatown Growth and Redevelopment.”

Norman Oder (Journalist) – “Gaining Chinese Capital for Brooklyn’s Most Controversial Project: Forest City Ratner’s Use of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program and New Partnership with State-Owned Builder Greenland.”

Tarry Hum (Queens College and Graduate Center, CUNY) – “Immigrant Growth Coalitions and the Financialization of Community Development: The Role of Transnational and Ethnic Banks.”

Moderator: 

Peter Kwong (Hunter College and Graduate Center, CUNY)

Sponsored by the Graduate Center-The Center for Place, Culture, and Politics, CUNY Mapping of Asian Americans in New York (MAANY) Seminar, Queens College Department of Urban Studies.

Luke Sinwell: Insurgent Trade Unionism in South Africa: Mining, Capitalism and the Spirit of Marikana

Luke Sinwell: Insurgent Trade Unionism in South Africa: Mining, Capitalism and the Spirit of Marikana

04/28/2015
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Room C201
 

April 28, 2015
6 p.m.-8 p.m.
Room c201
The Graduate Center, CUNY.

The Marikana massacre, which witnessed 34 mineworkers being gunned down by the police on 16 August 2012 arguably marked a key turning point in South African history. However, we know very little about the informal networks that were created by mineworkers in order to challenge management not only at Lonmin (Marikana), but also at Amplats and Impala – respectively these are the three largest platinum mines in the world. The presentation is a glimpse into the first (forthcoming) book which offers extensive workers’ testimonies in relation to the contemporary South African mineworkers’ movement since “Marikana: A View from the Mountain and a Case to Answer”.
Drawing primarily from ethnographic research over a period of more than 18 months, Luke Sinwell details how mineworkers united with each other and, in some cases, died while fighting for their rights. It illuminates the micro-processes through which the idea of ‘a living wage’ of R12 500 and R16 070 first emerged from a conversation between two sets of workers in a change room at each respective mine and then spread like wildfire across the industry and soon shook an entire nation. Mineworkers, through their ad hoc. independent worker committees, challenged the ‘pocket unionism’ exemplified by the National Union of Mineworkers, thereby instilling a new radical political culture at the mines –one based on workers’ needs rather than bosses’ interests and informed by notions of direct democracy.

The event is open and free to the public. Spondored by the Center for Place, Culture and Politics, Graduate Center, CUNY.

A Event

FILM: “CONTRA LAS CUERDAS” (“ON THE ROPES”): Documentary on Cuban society and race, and discussion with filmmaker Amílcar O. Cárdenas

FILM: “CONTRA LAS CUERDAS” (“ON THE ROPES”): Documentary on Cuban society and race, and discussion with filmmaker Amílcar O. Cárdenas

04/21/2015
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
room 6496

“CONTRA LAS CUERDAS” (“ON THE ROPES”): Documentary on Cuban society and race, and discussion with filmmaker Amílcar O. Cárdenas.

April 21, 2015
6:30p – 8:30p
Room 6496

amilcar

For decades contemporary Cuban society has avoided facing one of the oldest and most sensitive issues -racial discrimination-.From 1962, less than three years after the beginning of the Cuban revolution, racial problems on the island were deemed officially resolved. For the following almost forty years a period of silence concerning racism masked nationwide reality. During the early 1960 ́s Cuba was wholly focused on fighting anti-revolutionary forces and on maintaining national unity. The issue of racism was stigmatized and removed from public and academic debate, thus becoming taboo. This situation did nothing but advance what it intended to silence. Today, more than a decade after breaking that silence, diverse groups and individuals – black, white, mestizo, Cuban and foreign- are now, even more strongly, re-opening the debate. From within their respective disciplines and perspectives, racial debate on the island is firmly back on the agenda although it remains insufficiently public or institutional.

These individuals are the protagonists of this story, which addresses, in depth, the racial problem in Cuba; a topic that has been barely touched upon in documentary production on the island. They openly name and condemn racism whilst suggesting constructive ways forward. They expose the challenges in the present fight against racial discrimination and place this debate within the context of a radical revolution; where, at its beginning, black people found a significant space -of historical recognition and social legitimization- both nationally and internationally.

Contra las Cuerdas endeavors to show the virtually unknown work of these activists, community leaders, teachers, professionals, writers and artists in the fight to combat discrimination and racism. These groups and individuals are creating their own spaces, with their own alternative initiatives, contrary to persisting institutional resistance.

From this eclectic perspective, this documentary seeks to help us understand the magnitude and complexities of the racial problem in contemporary Cuban society. In a period of clear national transition, which will certainly determine the future of the island, Contra las Cuerdas will hopefully provoke new debate, bringing to public attention the particular case of Cuba and the groups and individuals who are tirelessly working to transform their society.

Amílcar O. Cárdenas is a graduate of the Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA) in Audiovisual Studies.  Has worked extensively in television and music video making.

Sponsored by the Center for Place, Culture and Politics.

This event is open and free to the public. 

GREECE:  AUSTERITY OR BUST? Kostas Vergopoulos and David Harvey in Discussion

GREECE: AUSTERITY OR BUST? Kostas Vergopoulos and David Harvey in Discussion

04/20/2015
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Martin E. Segal Theatre

GREECE:   AUSTERITY OR BUST?  Kostas Vergopoulos and David Harvey in Discussion, moderated by Michael Pelias.

April 20th
Segal Theater
6-8pm

(Space in the Segal theater is is limited to 70 seats. Admission is first come, first serve. Livestream viewing (40 seats) will be available in room 5318.05).

To view LIVESTREAM: Go to videostreaming.gc.cuny.edu  and click on the link in the “Live Videos” box on the upper right hand side of the page.

Reception to follow in room 5318 (ARC lounge)

Greece Elections

With the recent election of Syriza and the formation of a new government, Greeks have declared they will not tolerate more austerity.  But they cannot get relief without help from the other countries within the Eurozone. The only other option is to leave the Euro.  Help seems not to be forthcoming. Talk of a Grexit (as it is called) is increasing.  What are Greece’s prospects now?  And what might the global implications be of the momentous choices to be made in the next few months?

vergop3

Kostas Vergopoulos is a founding member of Syriza, and Professor of Political Economy at the University of Paris VIII. His many books include the foundational works “The Agrarian Question in Greece” and (with Samir Amin) “The Peasant Question and Capitalism” as well as the more recent “The Love of Wealth: Money, Power, and Corruption in Greece”, “After the End: The Economy of the Catastrophe and the Next Day” and “The Incongruous Relation: Greece-Europe”.

dharveysun

David Harvey is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Geography, and Director of Research at the Center for Place Culture and Politics, at the City University of New York (CUNY) and author of various books, articles, and lectures. He is the author of Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism (Profile Books, 2014), one of The Guardian’s (http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/dec/02/books-christmas-presents-economics-reviews“) Best Books of 2011, The Enigma of Capital and the Crises of Capitalism (Oxford University Press, 2010). Other books include A Companion to Marx’s Capital, Limits to Capital, and Social Justice and the City. Professor Harvey has been teaching Karl Marx’s Capital for nearly 40 years. His lectures on Marx’s Volumes I and II are available for download (free) on his website.  He was director of the Center for Place, Culture and Politics from 2008-2014.

Michael Pelias is a member of the Philosophy department as well as a member of the executive committee of the faculty union at LIU Brooklyn. He is the co-managing editor of and contributor to the journal, Situations: Project of the Radical Imagination and a co-founder of the Institute for the Radical Imagination, an alternative education and thinking institute. He works on the history of Materialism in the light of post-structuralist thought and the active synthesis of libidinal and political economy in the era of financialization.

This event is free and open to the public. It is Cosponsored by the  Center for Place Culture and Politics, and the Advanced Research Collaborative, Graduate Center, CUNY.

Film Screening: Ecumenopolis: City Without Limits

Film Screening: Ecumenopolis: City Without Limits

04/16/2015
7:00 pm
Skylight Conference Room, 9th Floor

Ecumenopolis: City Without Limits  NOTE CHANGE IN LOCATION!

4.16_right_to_the_city_ekumenopolis_event_image_1

Ekümenopolis tells the story of Istanbul on a neo-liberal course to destruction. It follows the story of a migrant family from the demolition of their neighborhood to their on-going struggle for housing rights. The film takes a look at the city on a macro level and through the eyes of experts, going from the tops of mushrooming skyscrapers to the depths of the railway tunnel under the Bosphorous strait; from the historic neighborhoods in the south to the forests in the north. It’s an Istanbul going from 15 million to 30 million. It’s an Istanbul going from 2 million cars to 8 million. It’s the Istanbul of the future that will soon engulf the entire region. It’s an Istanbul you have never seen before.

The screening will be followed by a discussion and Q&A with filmmaker Imre Azem, CUNY scholar Duygu Parmaksizoglu (Anthropology), and will be moderated by CUNY scholar Joshua Scannell (Sociology).

April 16
7:00 p.m.
LOCATION CHANGED! The film will no longer be in the Doctoral Students’ Council Lounge (Room 5414), but the Skylight Conference Room, 9th floor

4.16_Right to the City_Ecumenopolis_event image copy

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10