2021 Jane Jacobs Urban Communication Book Award

Nominations are currently being accepted for the 2021 Jane Jacobs Urban Communication Book Award. More information is available at the Urban Communication Foundation website, and you can read the full call below: The annual Jane Jacobs Urban Communication Book Award recognizes an outstanding book, published in English, which exhibits excellence in addressing issues of urban … Continue reading 2021 Jane Jacobs Urban Communication Book Award

New Book: Urban Communication Reader vol. IV

The Urban Communication Reader vol. IV: Cities as Communicative Change Agents is now available. I am grateful to have been part of bringing this project to fruition, along with my co-editors erin mcclellan and Yongjun Shin. As with previous readers in the series, this volume brings together an international array of scholarship that illustrates the … Continue reading New Book: Urban Communication Reader vol. IV

The Fair City part 5: Urban Aesthetics & Spatial Justice

Richard Sennett’s perspective on the role of “disorder” in urban life was further developed in his book The Conscience of the Eye. In this work, Sennett strengthens the relationship between urban diversity and broad political perspectives, and argues for a connection between a concern for urban spaces and concerns with social justice. Building from the … Continue reading The Fair City part 5: Urban Aesthetics & Spatial Justice

The Fair City part 4: Equitable Development & Urban Justice

The following explores how notions of urban aesthetics and urban justice are implicated in contemporary concerns with gentrification and “equitable development.” The term “gentrification” was introduced by sociologist Ruth Glass in her 1964 book London: Aspects of Change. Glass coined the term from the English title “landed gentry,” denoting the land owning social class, to … Continue reading The Fair City part 4: Equitable Development & Urban Justice

The Fair City part 3: Aesthetic Order & Criminal Justice

The following considers how varying aesthetic valuations of urban order and disorder have influenced U.S. urban policy. The history I trace here focuses on one salient case: the “broken windows” perspective of urban disorder and its implementation through policing practices by the New York City Police Department. Broken windows theory began as an academic discourse … Continue reading The Fair City part 3: Aesthetic Order & Criminal Justice

The Fair City part 2: Aesthetics of Urban Order and Disorder

Urban agglomerations have taken many forms and been understood in a variety of ways, but density and difference have long been understood as definitive aspects of cities. From the earliest urban settlements and historical cities, the urban condition has been contrasted with rural settlements as sites of man-made chaos opposed to natural harmony. In his … Continue reading The Fair City part 2: Aesthetics of Urban Order and Disorder

The Fair City part 1: Aesthetics of Urban Order and Justice

In his book The Uses of Disorder, Richard Sennett valorizes the uncontrolled events and heterogeneous populations of cities as creating environmental conditions necessary for healthy personal development and the maturation of open and engaged worldviews. Published in 1970, the then 25-year-old Sennett was writing in the immediate wake of urban riots following the assassination of … Continue reading The Fair City part 1: Aesthetics of Urban Order and Justice

Shots from the Block: writing on the ground/underground

It’s January (again). As the new year begins I continue my self-imposed exile in suburban Nashville, extending the indefinite holding pattern initiated by the pandemic just a little while longer. It has largely been a favorable transition. Life is quieter here on the cul-de-sac. One of the major changes the new year has brought to … Continue reading Shots from the Block: writing on the ground/underground

Virtual Horizons & Futurology for 2021: Žižek on The Great Reset

With much ballyhoo and bellyaching about the absurdly miserable year of 2020, our collective calendars have finally turned to 2021. The year-end was marked by effusive declarations of relief and hope, even though these admissions of optimism were often tinged with cynical self-awareness reflecting the continuing complexities of our current moment (i.e. coronavirus vaccines are … Continue reading Virtual Horizons & Futurology for 2021: Žižek on The Great Reset

Smoke Signals: Buda’s Wagon and Infrastructure Terrorism in Nashville

“The car bomb, in other words, suddenly became a semi-strategic weapon that under certain circumstances was comparable to air-power in its ability to knock out critical urban nodes and headquarters as well as terrorize populations of entire cities. [...] It is the car bombers’ incessant blasting-away at the moral and physical shell of the city, … Continue reading Smoke Signals: Buda’s Wagon and Infrastructure Terrorism in Nashville