“Racialization of Space in a Trans/national Perspective: Accounting for Race in Urban Spaces and Infrastructure”

We investigate how race shapes contemporary urban space in the United States and abroad. The group is composed of three professors and six graduate students. Our collaborative research will add significantly to expanding literature that centers urban space and infrastructure in relation to members’ expertise in such fields as  immigration, labor, housing, gentrification, working class/people of color poetics, food provision, and transnational LGBT movements. Our research sites span Ecuador, Japan, Mexico, the European Union, the United States, and the Philippines.

Our research collaborative’s central questions are: How do racial ideologies, economic disparity, and legal exclusions permeate urban space and infrastructure? And, how can we see and analyze the processes by which racial meaning is ascribed and contested in these spaces? Disciplinary approaches to studies of urban space and infrastructure often privilege “class” as the central category influencing the development of cities, suburbs, and urban growth. Instead, our interdisciplinary team pays heed to the growing interest in racialized conflict in American cities after the Ferguson verdicts in late 2014 in order to think about the relationship of race and space. We are motivated by ongoing intellectual conversations and a commitment to providing a timely analysis to the pressing social crisis that Ferguson has revealed within the broader context of the US. Furthermore, our transnational focus considers the ways that the racialization of urban space is historically and geographically specific, while at the same time draws connections through which these urban spaces are imagined and structured across borders.

Please visit our blog at humctr.ucsd.edu/raceandurbanspace

Our collaborative is not open to new members but if you are interested in the discussions we are having we encourage you to please contact conveners for more information:

  • Jael Vizcarra, Department of Ethnic Studies, jvizcarr@ucsd.edu
  • Troy Araiza Kokinis, Department of History, tkokinis@ucsd.edu