02-17-15

RESCHEDULED: Spring Lecture Series | Allison Schifani

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NOTE* due to extreme cold today, Allison Schifani’s lecture will be rescheduled for Monday, March 9th from 12-1 PM. 

Allison Schifani, Postdoctoral Scholar in Digital Humanities at the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities at Case Western Reserve University, joins us this Friday for our Spring Lecture Series.

Her talk, Speculative Urbanism: Uncertain Architectures in the Rust Belt” explores the emerging cultural logic of “speculative urbanism.” Following the work of An Uncertain Commons in Speculate This!, Schifani situates speculative urbanism in two distinct categories: affirmative and firmative. Firmative speculation “renders latent possibilities as calculable outcomes.” Affirmative speculation is rather a collection of “modes of living that recognize the dormant energies of the quotidian and eventualities that escape the imagination.” Contemporary forms of urban practice and play that harness emerging technologies or re-imagine analog forms, she argues, have the distinct capacity to affirmatively speculate in and about the city. She explores new forms of speculative urban engagement that run counter to the financial speculation of contemporary capital: destabilizing firmative valuation structures, unearthing hidden infrastructures thought to be “virtual,” and opening up space for the formation of alternative publics.

Allison Schifani received her PhD from the Graduate Program in Comparative Literature at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her work explores literatures, media art, and urban intervention in the 20th and 21st Century Americas. Her manuscript project, Biotechnical Ecologies: Urban Practice and Play in Buenos Aires and Los Angeles focuses on extra-institutional ways of shaping the experience of the city and speculating on its digital futures. Her work has appeared in The Journal of Urban Cultural Studies and is forthcoming in Media Fields. She is also currently writing on emerging DIY media and art practices in Cleveland.

As always our lectures are free and open to the public. Join us from 12-1 PM on Monday, March 9th from 12-1 PM, at the CUDC, 1309 Euclid Avenue, Suite 200, Cleveland, OH 44115.

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