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Crises of ConFORMity: The Material Dimensions of Race and the Built Environment


  • Westin Peachtree Plaza Atlanta 210 Peachtree Street Northeast Atlanta, GA, 30303 United States (map)

American Studies Association Annual Meeting

The built environment is a timely and relevant topic—both materially and conceptually—as we see more examples of the built environment integral to determinations of social life and processes of racialization. Moderated by interdisciplinary scholar Noliwe Rooks, this roundtable will feature a conversation among scholars working across a variety of cultural mediums and theoretical paradigms, by articulating questions that we perceive to be at the heart of cross-disciplinary study of race, space, bodies, and the built environment. Emphasizing the material dimensions of race and the ideological operations through which the construction of both racial identities and the built environment are intertwined, we ask: What does it mean to incorporate questions of power and privilege, and equity and justice into our interdisciplinary vocabulary of race and space? Our roundtable will explore how this question animates a productive tension in critical inquiry on institutional and spatial locations for critical crises and emergences. Furthermore, the roundtable’s subjects will illustrate the multiplicity of ways that bodies inhabit and transform in and around space.