Thursday, May 30, 2019
4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Joukowsky Forum, 111 Thayer Street
Reception to follow in 111 Thayer Street Lobby
Professor Vesla Weaver’s lecture will highlight research that uses new technology to initiate conversations about policing in highly policed communities and discuss what her findings reveal about urban citizenship. Based on over 850 recorded and transcribed conversations across ten neighborhoods in five cities, the lecture reveals four currents that challenge liberal-democratic framings of political life: that an arrangement of distorted responsiveness characterizes the relationship between policed communities and the state; that the political desire of policed communities is not for greater engagement and responsiveness but for political recognition – to be known by the state; that in contrast to prevailing wisdom about uninformed electorates, these citizens have too much knowledge of and too little power vis-à-vis state representatives; and that it has been observed among policed communities that there is an “ethics of aversion” in their political responses, a belief that power is best achieved by receding from state institutions in the short term and forging their own collective, community autonomy in the long term.
This lecture will convene scholars from around the world to engage with one another on the possibilities and challenges of promoting urban citizenship by exploring the structural, institutional, and political processes that cities develop to incorporate or exclude existing and aspiring citizens.