FES Speaker Series presents ‘Displacing Blackness,’ Feb. 12

Ted Rutland

Ted RutlandYork University’s Faculty of Environmental Studies (FES) continues its 2018-19 speaker series, (Re) Making Urban Space, on Feb. 12 with a talk by Concordia University Associate Professor Ted Rutland.

The talk, “Displacing Blackness: Planning, Power, and Race in Twentieth-Century Halifax,” will take place from 1 to 2:30 p.m. in 140 Health, Nursing & Environmental Studies Building (HNES).

Rutland, an urban, social and cultural geographer, has developed a unique critique of urban planning by focusing not on its subservience to economic or political elites, but on its efforts to improve people’s lives.

While focused on 20th-century Halifax, “Displacing Blackness” will include broad insights about the possibilities and limitations of modern planning. Drawing connections between the history of planning and emerging scholarship in Black studies, Rutland positions anti-Blackness at the heart of contemporary city-making. Moving through a series of important planning initiatives, from a social housing project concerned with the moral and physical health of working-class residents to a sustainability-focused regional plan, this talk will show how race – specifically Blackness – has defined the boundaries of the human being and guided urban planning, with grave consequences for the city’s Black residents.

In 2018, Rutland published a book by the same name as this talk, which carries these concerns through more than a century of history in Halifax. His more recent research has focused on Montreal, and a series of issues related to housing, urban security and policing.

RSVP for this event on Eventbrite.

This research-focused speaker series takes a multi-format and interdisciplinary perspective, to interrogate topics involving planning, urban infrastructures and civic capacity. Through a mix of panel discussions, guest lectures and roundtables, the goal is to generate critical debate on topics that intersect planning practice, governance, infrastructures and place-making in contemporary cities.

The remaining sessions in the FES Speaker Series, as follows, will take place from 12:30 to 2 p.m. in HNES 140:

  • March 5 – “Condominium Development and Public Space”;
  • March 27 – “Planning, Popular Democracy and Alternatives to Capitalism: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives”; and
  • April 30 – “Leveraging Bogotá: Sustainable Development, Global Philanthropy and The Rise of Urban Solutionism.”

For more information, visit the FES homepage.