Authors Meet Critics: A People's Guide to the San Francisco Bay Area

Type: Virtual Panel
Sponsor Groups:
Poster #:
Day: 4/10/2021
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:15 AM (PDT)
Room: Virtual 28
Organizers: Rachel Brahinsky
Chairs: Nathan McClintock


A People's Guide to the San Francisco Bay Area came out in October 2020, co-authored and co-edited by Rachel Brahinsky and Alexander Tarr (with contributions of writing and photography by geographers and public scholars). As the third UC Press book in the People's Guide series (following Los Angeles in 2012 and Boston in June 2020), the text seeks to offer a critical view of the regional geography of the Bay Area. Pushing beyond the notion that San Francisco is central, the text begins in Oakland and the East Bay, then looks to San Jose and the South Bay, before turning to San Francisco and, finally, to the North Bay. Touching on a wide range of themes, from social movements to the roving life of capital, the text emphasizes an intentionally multi-racial history, not as a point of simple celebration, but as a core fact of life in the Bay. To tell the story of the region without attention to diverse communities, we argue, is to tell a very narrow story. Drawing on political economy, cultural landscape studies, and critical race theory as foundational lenses, the text is written with a broad public in mind -- we view it as a scholarly work written "in the shape" of a guide book. This session brings together scholars to critically examine the book and perhaps to go beyond the book to think about the role of critical cultural-landscape studies and popular geographies of the Bay Area and beyond.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Introduction Nathan McClintock Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique 2 8:00 AM
Panelist Erin McElroy New York University; Anti-Eviction Mapping Project 12 8:02 AM
Panelist Brandi Summers University of California - Berkeley 12 8:14 AM
Panelist Nathan McClintock Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique 12 8:26 AM
Panelist Manissa Maharawal American University 12 8:38 AM
Panelist Sara Safransky Vanderbilt University 12 8:50 AM
Discussant Rachel Brahinsky University of San Francisco 6 9:02 AM
Discussant Alexander Tarr Worcester State University 6 9:08 AM

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