Urban Revanchism Revisited I: Struggles Over Gentrification

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups:
Poster #:
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time)
Room: Gallier B, Sheraton, 4th Floor
Organizers: Christopher Herring, Manissa Maharawal
Chairs: Christopher Herring


In the past years as gentrification has accelerated, globalized, and diversified so too have the sharp-edged confrontations between class and racial groups in cities. On the one hand, ruling elites have mobilized new discourses, laws, policing practices, political coalitions, and moral crusades to cleanse cities of marginalized categories. Whether sweeping "undesirables" such as homeless and refugees, dealing with "unruly citizens" in face of protests and rebellions, or to justify the transformation of the marginal or working class zones of the city into middle-class or wealthy enclaves, revanchist logics and practices continue to spread with gentrification. At the same time, community organizations, activists, and some politicians have increasingly taken up explicitly "anti-gentrification" platforms and strategies. Community land trusts, bans on market-rate development, new eviction protections, steps to decriminalize homelessness, and various direct actions aimed at exposing, shaming, and halting programs of displacement are all on the rise. Thirty years after Neil Smith's classic formulation of urban revanchism - the process through which the bourgeoisie enact their exclusionary vision of "civil society" on the city with a vengeance - this session considers what has changed and remains the same. For instance, what does revanchism look like in De Blasio's "progressive city" vs. Giuliani's New York of Smith's time? How should we consider the criticism of the concept by those who have called it "simplistic," "dystopic," "incomplete," and "narrow" for focusing solely on the punitive dimensions of gentrification, while failing to consider the negotiation, therapeutic, and empathetic relationships between marginalized and wealthier citizens? What do the successes and failures of recent anti-gentrification activism and policies tell us about the limits and future of revanchism and gentrification?


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Manissa Maharawal*, American University, Black Lives Matter, Gentrification and Disrupting the Security State 20 1:20 PM
Presenter Erin McElroy*, University of California - Santa Cruz, Life, Death, and Facebook: The Toponymics of San Francisco Technoscapes 20 1:40 PM
Presenter Christopher Herring*, , Complaint Oriented Policing: The new revanchist logics in the regulation of homelessness 20 2:00 PM
Presenter Erin Siodmak*, Hunter College, City University of New York, Aesthetic geographies of race: Detroit’s Heidelberg Project (Tyree Guyton) 20 2:20 PM
Discussant Don Mitchell Syracuse University 20 2:40 PM

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