Revolting New York: How 400 Years of Riot, Revolt, Uprising, and Revolution Have Shaped a City

Type: Panel
Sponsor Groups:
Poster #:
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM (MDT)
Room: Astor Ballroom I, Astor, 2nd Floor
Organizers: Nik Heynen
Chairs: Nik Heynen


When Neil Smith passed in 2012 he had been working on an ambitious book with a number of students.

Don Mitchell offered to join the project in Neil's absence and in 2017 Revolting New York: How 400 Years of Riot, Revolt, Uprising, and Revolution Have Shaped a City will be published by the UGA Press Geographies of Justice and Social Transformation series.

Riots, revolts, uprisings, and revolutions have been a near-constant and a decisive force in shaping New York City’s landscape. From the revolt of the Munsee Indians in the 1640s to Black Lives Matters in the present, political and social tumult has – to a far larger degree than is usually appreciated – determined flows of investment, neighborhood restructurings, and everyday life of the metropolis. Revolting New York shows how one of the determinants of the morphology and meaning of the urban landscape is revolt and riot, uprising and revolution – anarchists exploding bombs, gardeners claiming empty lots and holding them militantly, the inchoate rage of looters, the occupation of buildings, massive marches, violence by police and protesters. There is at play in the making of the landscape, we contend, a constant dialectic of spatial form and social revolt, and it is important to understand this dialectic if we want to understand the making of cities. Or, as the Harlem Renaissance writer Allain Locke suggested, the 1935 Harlem riot – and by extension other moments of upheaval – was “a revealing flash of lightning.” Revolting New York tells the story of the city as it has been not only revealed by such lightning flashes, but also and especially how it has been remade by the lightning strikes of revolt. In doing so, it makes palpable just how power is built into the urban landscape – and why.


Type Details Minutes
Panelist Don Mitchell Syracuse University 10
Panelist Hannah Awcock Royal Holloway, University of London 15
Panelist Mona Domosh Dartmouth College 15
Panelist Hector Agredano The Graduate Center, CUNY 15
Panelist Manissa Maharawal American University 5
Panelist Zoltan Gluck CUNY - Graduate Center 5
Panelist Erin Siodmak Hunter College 5
Panelist Malav Kanuga Anthropology PhD Program 5
Panelist Marnie Brady 5

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