Award: Fulbright U.S. Inter-country Award
Institution: CUNY Hunter College, New York
Jillian Schwedler is Visiting Professor and Fulbright Scholar to Universidad de Salamanca, Spain in 2019-2020. Her new research project builds on her recent interest in political geography and urban planning, connecting sites of resistance and notions of the right to the city with shifting urban space. One of the aspects of my current manuscript has to do with the ways in which developments in cities are deeply connected to trends globally. What is happening in Amman, Jordan—the subject of my forthcoming book project—is not a function of regional urban planning but of global trends of how to use public space. Likewise, citizens globally push back against plans that favor the wealthy and elite to the exclusion of the lower- and middle-classes. Globally, citizens engage in everyday resistance to state-led efforts to structure urban space, including when they remove barriers blocking certain streets, take down parking signs with regulations they dislike, block off preferred parking spaces in front of their properties, and so on. These daily struggles reflect not organized efforts to resist specific projects or policies, but highly localized efforts to affect the physical spaces of immediate consequence to their lives. This project will aim to bring empirical material from the Middle East into dialogue with experiences in other urban settings globally.