Geography Distinguished Lecturer - Cindi Katz

February 16, 2016

Title: Crisis and the cultural politics of childhood

  • Lecturer: Cindi Katz, The City University of New York
  • Date: Feb. 16th, 2016
  • Time: 12:30 ~ 2:00 pm
  • Location: AQ 3005

Cindi Katz is Professor of Geography in Environmental Psychology and Women’s Studies at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Her work concerns social reproduction and the production of space, place and nature; children and the environment, and the consequences of global economic restructuring for everyday life.

Most analyses of crisis focus on the global or national scale—charting profound concerns such as global climate change, growing inequality and joblessness, or the sprawl of war and terrorism--but people experience and wrestle with these crises at other scales.  Taking as a given that the global and intimate are intertwined, this lecture will look at social reproduction as a critical arena for reimagining and remaking social life, often neglected in accounts of crisis and its aftermath. I will argue that it is in the everyday practices around children and childhood that social differentiation—the panicky interface between waste and value--is advanced, managed, sedimented, and naturalized. Attending to these practices and some of the issues that animate them reveals how the insecurities provoked by contemporary crises are often amplified by the very strategies used to deal with them.  By focusing on children and the new commonsense around childhood I hope to shift the cacophony of crisis talk--and its increasingly ugly political ramifications--to attune its salient features so as to hear and compose workable refrains about the future.