Entrepreneurship & Venture Capital around Route 128

Authors: Julian Hartman*, University of Arizona - Geography & Development
Topics: Economic Geography
Keywords: entrepreneurship
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 2:35 PM / 4:15 PM
Room: 8201, Park Tower Suites, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This paper aims to analyze three distinct but interrelated process of production and circulation in the emerging dominance of a new industrial sector in Boston, MA. The circulation and coagulation of bodies, information, and value form an analytic triptych through which to view the socio-technical assemblages reshaping urban space. While all three categories are broadly conceived, the analytic lens of “the body” focuses on the physical production of urban space as well as the sorting and segregation of bodies in the urban fabric, “information” encompasses both the production of technical knowledge and symbolic rationality in order to apoliticize political action, and “value” addresses the quantitative and performative aspects of economic rationality. These three lenses will be combined through an assemblage theory approach which views both economic and knowledge production as performative, contingent, and the result of contestation and hybridization. After introducing this theoretical framework, I will examine global discourse around “research park” models of knowledge production and examine some of the diverse applications worldwide before looking to the Boston metropolitan area in particular. Then, I will examine the particular conjuncture both in regards to how the production of Boston’s biotech industry connects to global discourses, value chains, and trends of urban “renewal” as well as how it results from a arrangement of local contingencies. This will be done primarily in the domain of discourse, looking at documents produced by local developers, universities, and politicians. I will suggest a further research agenda involving more direct research.

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