Committee on Environment, Geography and Urbanization

Division of Social Sciences, The University of Chicago

March 6, 2023

Reading List: Resisting Urban Resilience

Resisting Urban Resilience was hosted by CEGU on January 12th and aimed to reflect on the potential for change in urban environments as a response to human-caused environmental transformations. If you missed the event, or are curious about the references the panelists made, please take a look at the notes below.

8:47 – Stephanie Wakefield is an urban geographer and Director of the Human Ecology program at Life University. She researches the transformation of urban life in the Anthropocene, with several projects on the Miami area including an upcoming book on adapting to sea level rise, and co-leading the Florida Coastal Everglades LTER Human Dimensions working group. She has also published Anthropocene Back Loop: Experimentation in Unsafe Operating Space, which takes inspiration from resilience ecology and argues for greater experimentation in the face of planetary change.

12:44 – “Goodbye, Miami” is the headline from a 2013 Rolling Stone article by Jeff Goodell that reckons with the short-term impacts of sea level rise on South Florida, and questions whether technological innovation will be able to protect the city.

18:44 – “The means of subsistence” was a term initially used by Karl Marx in “Wage Labour and Capital” to define what laborers receive in exchange for their labor.

23:00 – Bruno Latour was a French sociologist who presented the idea of “Earthbound people” in his lecture series “Facing Gaia” in 2013, as an attempt to posit how planetary change in the Anthropocene might affect human goals.

24:22 – C. S. Holling was a Canadian ecologist who published “Panarchy: Understanding Transformations in Human and Natural Systems” in 2002, which analyzes hierarchy and institutions in the face of climate change.

30:10 – Jeff Hou is a Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Washington who works in urban design, design activism, and environmental justice. He has done extensive work in East Asia and the United States, and published City Unsilenced: Urban Resistance and Public Space in the Age of Shrinking Democracy, an analysis of urban resistance tactics under neoliberal government, as well as co-editing many other books.  

33:17The umbrella movement was a political movement for greater Hong Kong autonomy in the 2010s, advocating against Chinese government actions that would undermine democracy in Hong Kong. Protesters used umbrellas to protect themselves from tear gas used by police.

36:14 – The Sunflower Student Movement in Taiwan was a series of protests against trade deals passed by the Taiwanese government that were favorable to China. The group occupied both the legislative building and executive building of Taiwan in March 2014.

1:17:10 – Sara Holiday Nelson is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, whose 2014 paper “Resilience and the neoliberal counterrevolution: from ecologies of control to production of the common” examines the way the ideology of resilience can be used to foster resistance and critique.

1:18:50 – “Bulbancha is still a place” is a zine focused on Native American culture in present-day Louisiana, featuring essays, art, and poetry about indigenous identity.