Keynote by Prof. Setha Low, “Vulnerability, Precarity and Social Justice in Public Space”
- Date: 21 April, 11:00–13:00
- Location: Humanistiska teatern
- Lecturer: Setha Low, Professor of Anthropology, Environmental Psychology, Geography and Women’s Studies at the Graduate Centre, City University New York (CUNY)
- Organiser: Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology and Engaging Vulnerability research program (Uppsala University).
- Contact person: Anna Baral
Keynote Lecture, SANT/FAS 2018 Conference: "Vulnerabilities"
“Vulnerability, Precarity and Social Justice in Public Space”
This presentation addresses how vulnerability is structured by culture, race, class, gender, age and ability made visible in public space. I interrogate different kinds and scales of vulnerability by examining the precarity of people who rely on public space for their livelihoods—vendors in Buenos Aires, rough sleepers in Cardiff, undocumented workers on Long Island—and suggest that their “productive responses” and resistance varies by the degree of identification with a group or class. Further I examine the psychological vulnerability of middle class “fear of others” and how their productive responses through video/digital surveillance, gating, policing, down zoning, redevelopment schemes and privatization of public space increase the inability those dependent on precarious labor to survive. I illustrate this contention with examples of current threats to public space and how the built environment plays a dominant role in sustaining and exacerbating inequalities in productive responses to vulnerability advocating an engaged anthropology approach to this dilemma.