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Territories of Poverty Conference: A New Agenda of Poverty Scholarship

Conference/Symposium | September 14 – 15, 2012 every day | 9:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. | Blum Hall, Blum Hall Plaza

Institute for South Asia Studies, Department of City and Regional Planning, Institute for the Study of Societal Issues, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Blum Center for Developing Economies

The start of the new millennium is marked by a rediscovery of poverty and a great upsurge in poverty action. The call to “make poverty history” is now ubiquitous, marking a widespread optimism about capitalism’s future. At the same time, economic crisis in North America and in the Eurozone threatens both the last vestiges of the North Atlantic welfare state and prevalent models of capital accumulation. This crisis, and the talk of crisis, contrasts starkly with bold claims to economic prosperity in many parts of the global South, for example, Asia.

Situated at this unique historical conjuncture, the Territories of Poverty conference seeks to define a new agenda of poverty scholarship. It is inspired by the sense that it is time to move beyond the usual North-South geographies that have persisted in this field of inquiry, notably the study of EuroAmerican welfare states versus development as an international project in the global South. With this in mind, the conference takes up a series of historical entanglements: between welfare and development, between security and penality on the one hand and humanitarianism and poverty alleviation on the other hand, between radical social movements and bureaucracies of poverty. Concerned with the spatialization and territorialization of poverty programs, the conference also studies the intimate ethical practices of encounter and intervention through which poverty is regulated, governed, and contested.

All sessions will be held in the Blum Hall Plaza, University of California, Berkeley


Welcome: 9:30-10:15 a.m.
-- Jennifer Wolch, Dean, College of Environmental Design, University of California, Berkeley
-- Ananya Roy, City and Regional Planning, University of California, Berkeley

Session 1: New Paradigms of the Welfare State-- 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
-- Chair and Discussant: Gillian Hart, Geography, University of California, Berkeley
-- What Kind of Problem is Poverty?: Michael B. Katz, History, University of Pennsylvania
-- Is Poverty a Global Security Threat?: Akhil Gupta, Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles
-- Title TBD: Jamie Peck, Geography, University of British Columbia
-- Paying for Good Behavior: Cash Transfer Policies in the Wild: Nik Theodore, Urban Planning and Policy, University of Illinois, Chicago

Session 2: The Ethics of Encounter -- 2-5 p.m.
-- Chair and Discussant: Teresa Caldeira, City and Regional Planning, University of California, Berkeley
-- The Poverty Factory: Vincanne Adams, Anthropology, History and Social Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
-- Our Past is Your Future: Evangelical Missionaries and Memories of Development: Ju Hui Judy Han, Geography, University of Toronto, Scarborough
-- The Duration of Inequality: Limits, Liability, and Juridical Proximity: Alyosha Goldstein, American Studies, University of New Mexico
-- Funding the Other California: An Anatomy of Consensus and Consent: Erica Kohl-Arenas, International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy, The New School

Reception: 5-6:30 p.m.


Session 3: Geographies of Penality and Risk -- 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
-- Chair and Discussant: Aihwa Ong, Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley
-- From Peripheries to Frontiers: Beirut's Geographies of the ‘War Yet to Come”: Hiba Bou Akar, School of Critical Social Inquiry, Hampshire College
-- Data-Mining for Development: Bill Maurer, Anthropology, University of California, Irvine
-- Spatializing Citizenship: Marginal Neighborhoods as Sites of Production: Teddy Cruz, Visual Arts, University of California, San Diego
-- Territories of Poverty in the Landscape of Sociospatial Seclusion: Loïc Wacquant, Sociology, University of California, Berkeley

Conference Directors: Ananya Roy and Emma Shaw Crane

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Please note that parking in not always easily available in Berkeley. Take public transportation if possible or arrive early to secure your spot.