Racism(s) and the City:
Neoliberalism and (Post-)Colonial Urbanities

How do race and racism(s) intersect with urban life, structures and infrastructures in the 21st century? How are experiences and questions of urban development, displacement and the use of public space imbricated in the making and perpetuation of racial hierarchies? How do critical race and postcolonial studies address urbanity in its various articulations and expressions? Urban scholars Noa Ha and Giovanni Picker will engage these and related questions along with literary scholar Kathy-Ann Tan. The discussion will depart from two recent books: Street Vending in the Neoliberal City. A Global Perspective on the Practices and Policies of a Marginalized Economy, edited by Kristina Graaff & Noa Ha (Berghahn Books 2015) and Racial Cities: Governance and the Segregation of Romani People in Urban Europe, by Giovanni Picker (Routledge 2017).

Dr. Noa Ha received a doctorate in Architecture from Technical University Berlin and is currently a coordinator of an international graduate program at its Center for Metropolitan Studies. Her research interrogates the production of urban space from a feminist, de-colonial, critical race theory perspective and was funded by the Rosa-Luxemburg-Foundation and the Technical University Berlin. Currently she is conducting a study on postcolonial urbanism in Europe and the spatial production of Asian diasporas in European cities. Publications among others are: Straßenhandel in Berlin. Öffentlicher Raum, Informalität und Rassismus in der neoliberalen Stadt. Bielefeld: transcript Verlag (2016). Street Vending in the Neoliberal City. A Global Perspective on the Practices and Policies of a Marginalized Economy. Graaff, Kristina und Noa Ha (Hrsg.). New York: Berghahn Books (2015). Wer ist in der Stadt? Rassismus und Stadt. Zülfukar Çetin im Gespräch mit Noa Ha, in: Gespräche über Rassismus – Perspektiven & Widerstände. Zülfukar Çetin und Savas Tas (Hrsg.), Berlin: Verlag Yilmaz-Günay (2015). Kritisches Weißsein, mit Andreas Schneider, in: Handbuch Kritische Stadtgeographie. Bernd Belina, Matthias Naumann und Anke Strüver (Hrsg.). Münster: Westfälisches Dampfboot (2014). Perspektiven urbaner Dekolonisierung: Die europäische Stadt als “Contact Zone”. In: s u b \ u r b a n. zeitschrift für kritische stadtforschung. Bd.2, Heft 1 (2014).

Dr. Giovanni Picker is an urban sociologist, currently Marie Curie fellow at the University of Birmingham School of Social Policy. He is the author of Racial Cities: Governance and the Segregation of Romani People in Urban Europe. His main interests lie in the multiple intersections of race, neoliberalism and European cities from a historical and global perspective. He was Junior Fellow in Sociology at the Central European University Institute for Advanced Study, postdoctoral researcher at the Higher School of Economics, and Lecturer at the European University Viadrina.

Prof. Dr. Kathy Ann Tan received her PhD and Habilitation in North American Literatures and Cultures from the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen. Her research and teaching interests lie in the fields of 18th to 21st Century North American Literatures and Cultures, Postcolonial Studies, Critical Race Theory, Citizenship Studies, Gender and Queer Studies, Language Poetry and Visual Cultures. She is currently a guest professor at the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin. Her second monograph, Reconfiguring Citizenship and National Identity in the North American Literary Imagination (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2015) investigates the configurations and articulations of U.S. and Canadian citizenship that are enacted, renegotiated, and revised in modern literary texts, particularly during periods of emergence and crisis. Her current research project, The Aesthetics of Decolonization: Performance, Affect and Visual Perception, explores how dominant narratives of western modernity are complicated, challenged and re-negotiated in performance and visual cultures (visual art, site-specific performances, museum interventions, etc.), cultural practices, and social formations.