Last year’s presidential election breathed new life into—and shined new light onto—one of the more contentious and protracted themes to occupy left political praxis and theory in the last century: Race? Or class? Decades of critical scholarship tell us that this polarized construction fails both to explain the contemporary world and to produce emancipatory political possibilities to fundamentally change it (See, e.g., Hall 1980, Robinson, 2000, Roediger, 2017). Nevertheless, the power of this particular duality remains seductive.
As scholars of the urban—and especially as geographers—we are called to consider these thorny, interrelated problems as they mark and are marked by the urban landscape. Yet the constellation of issues which the race/class binary responds to, is produced with, or otherwise engages is made all the more difficult to contend against or otherwise resolve as the hegemonies of racial neoliberalism (Goldberg, 2009) and neoliberal urbanism (Brenner & Theodore, 2002) have ossified in recent decades.
With the foregoing in mind, this session aims to interrogate the interconnections between race and class, capitalism and white supremacy as they are manifest in metropolitan space in the era of (late) neoliberalism. Explicitly rejecting the race/class binary in favor of intersectional and synthetic analysis, while also welcoming the particular challenges and possibilities of theorizing race and class (and contesting interstitial injustice) under neoliberalism, we invite participants to speak to the following themes:
- Racial and class struggles over sub/urban space
- Racial neoliberalism and economic development
- Race/class dimensions of housing finance or policy
- Economic and racial inequality under (late) neoliberalism
- Suburbanization of poverty and racial diversity (or segregation)
- Spaces of concentrated poverty and bounded blackness
- Commodification of diversity
Participants should submit abstracts to Coleman Allums (firstname.lastname@example.org), Scott Markley (email@example.com), and Taylor Hafley (firstname.lastname@example.org) by the 20th of October. Notification of acceptance will be communicated to participants by the 22nd, and participants must be fully registered by the 25th.
Brenner, N. and Theodore, N. 2002. Cities and the geographies of ‘actually existing neoliberalism.’ Antipode. 34(3):349-379.
Goldberg, D. T. 2009. The Threat of Race: Reflections on Racial Neoliberalism. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Hall, S. 1980. Race, articulation and societies structured in dominance. In Sociological Theories: Race and Colonialism (1980), pp. 305-345.
Roediger, D. R. 2017. Class, Race, and Marxism. London: Verso.
Robinson, C. J. 2000. Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press.