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SRL presenting Wednesday 5/8: Occupy Sandy and Emerging Forms of Social Organization


This event is part of the Institute for Public Knowledge’s Public Forum Series on Sandy, Climate Change and the Future of New York City, organized with the Marron Institute on Cities and the Urban Environment.

This Public Forum will address Occupy Sandy and Emerging Forms of Social Organization. By a number of accounts, many neighborhoods in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy experienced confusion, disorganization, and a lack of engagement by city, state, or federal government agencies or traditional civil society groups. Occupy Sandy, however, in coordination with local neighborhood organizations, proved to be nimble, effective, and fast acting to help with the distribution of supplies and cleanup, and they continue to be deeply involved as neighborhoods are making decisions about rebuilding. What worked, what didn’t, and how are the ways in which people are organizing themselves shaping their ability to have an impact on communities? How can New Yorkers organize to effectively tackle the realities of decades of rising temperatures, moving flood lines, and intensifying storms?

Nicholas Mirzoeff is a visual culture theorist and professor in the Department of Media, Culture and Communication at New York University. He is currently working with OWS and Occupy Sandy, and on a project on the visual culture of climate change in conjunction with the not-for-profit Islands First.

Michael Ralph earned his Ph.D. in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Chicago and taught briefly in the Cornell University Department of Anthropology before joining the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University. Michael is a historical anthropologist who works on crime, citizenship, and sovereignty in Senegal and the Atlantic world, more broadly, and is a member of Occupy the SEC.

Andrew Ross is Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis at NYU, and the author of many books, including, most recently, Bird on Fire: Lessons from the World’s Least Sustainable City. He is also an organizer with Strike Debt.

The Superstorm Research Lab (SRL) will be represented by Max Liboiron, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University with the Intel Science and Technology Center for Social Computing. She is currently researching theories of scale in relation to environmental action, and, with the SRL, investigating “The Storm as a State Project.”

Harvey Molotch (moderator) is Professor of Sociology and Metropolitan Studies at New York University where he conducts research on issues of city growth and urban security as well as on product design and development. He has also researched issues in news media, the sociology of art, neighborhood racial integration, and the sociology of the environment.

The aim of this series is to engage scholars across New York University to think broadly about Superstorm Sandy, climate change, and the future of our city. All events in the series are free and open to the public, and feature scholars from a variety of departments, including Environmental Studies; Urban Planning; Sociology; Photography; Media, Culture, and Communication; Interactive Telecommunications; and Metropolitan Studies. The series is building off the conversation started at an IPK public forum in December 2012.

The Institute for Public Knowledge (IPK) brings theoretically serious scholarship to bear on major public issues. Located at NYU, it nurtures collaboration among social researchers in New York and around the world. It builds bridges between university-based researchers and organizations pursuing practical action.

NYU’s Marron Institute on Cities and the Urban Environment is a new University-wide effort to advance interdisciplinary and international research and teaching on cities and the urban environment.

photo: Sam Horine 2012

For more information, and to RSVP, click here.