A collective study lab

New publications by Lab scholars – February 2023

Greetings all,   

This month, the Lab is thrilled to announce two new book chapters and four journal articles recently published by our scholars! 


‘Delhi is a hopeful place for me!’: Young middle-class women reclaiming the Indian city
By Jenifa Zahan

Gender, Place & Culture


Using Speech Act and Resilience as conceptual categories, this article examines how unmarried, middle-class women articulate their place in the city amidst gendered violence and fear in Delhi, India. I argue that gendered violence and women’s claims to the city are relationally produced through gendered embodiment of pluralities, contradictions, and contestations.

Dis/possessory Data Politics: From Tenant Screening to Anti-Eviction Organizing
By Erin McElroy

The International Journal of Urban and Regional Research
DOI: 10.1111/1468-2427.13150

In this article I place tenant screening data grabbing practices in tension with the ongoing work of housing justice-based tool making. While the tenant screening industry has spent decades amassing eviction data to facilitate the blocklisting of tenants with prior eviction records and thereby reifying racial capitalist geographies, housing organizers today rely on some of this same data to illuminate evictor networks and organize anti-eviction campaigns. 

Majority Urban Politics and Lives Worth Living in a Time of Climate Emergencies
By AbdouMaliq Simone and Solomon Benjamin

Social Text 
DOI: 10.1215/01642472-9495089

Majority lower-income and working-class districts in the Global South have long relied on an intricate interweaving of diverse practices. This has been complemented by strategic engagements with the ambiguities inherent in governing the dispositions of land and municipal services. Both the endurance of long-honed political practices and their substantive adjustments are explored here in order to revisit fundamental questions about how to generate lives worth living without valorization of the human. 

Metaphorizing Burn-out or Missing the Point of the Project
By Camillo Boano

DOI: 10.17454/ARDETH09.08

This short text sets out to comment on burn-out, to critically reflect on it and raise the notion of precariousness as an ontological condition to complement our understanding of exhaustion. My intent is to reclaim the centrality of exhaustion as a generative term and attempt to explore the widespread refusal to couple the affective perception of burn-out with the abyss of the anthropogenic condition, or our incapacity to move beyond the singular to the planetary. I suggest a return to Deleuze’s work, suggesting we reframe it with the question of life, and its protection as the central feature of architectural and urban debates.


Women’s Practices of Homemaking: Beyond Policies and Programmes
By Rupali Gupte 

In: Gender and the Indian City – Revisioning Design and Planning, edited by Madhavi Desai

This essay argues that women’s conditions and practices are often seen through the framework of lack. While this is true because of our deeply patriarchal structures and because it mobilises change, it often does not acknowledge women’s agency and the nuances of their practices for reclaiming space. As Audre Lorde has said, one cannot dismantle the Master’s house with the Master’s tools, one needs new tools to build an egalitarian society. Some clues may lie in women’s home making practices and agencies, which are often missed in larger discourses of architecture and planning. Attention to what Deleuze and Guattari would call ‘minor practices’ may shift the discourse within these disciplines. This essay looks closely as three such minor practices.

Who Has “The Right To Common”?: Decolonizing Commoning in East Europe
By Ana Vilenica

In: The Commonist Horizon, edited by Mary N. Taylor & Noah Brehmer

This piece show how postwar commons-making in East Europe has been disregarded, while stressing that commoning here requires a more nuanced analysis. I argue for a complex decolonial approach that addresses the questions: how can we simultaneously address the legacies of East Europe’s colonial past and the fact that East Europe has been colonized within the capitalist modern world system? How do we reckon with the limited nature of self-managed societal housing and the simultaneous existence of informal housing solutions in Yugoslavia? How do we move away from “saving the poor” approaches and towards learning lessons from alternative practices of struggle for home.

“New Slavery”, Modern Marronage and the Multiple Afterlives of Plantations in Contemporary Italy
By Irene Peano

In: Global Plantations in the Modern World, edited by Colette Le Petitcorps, Marta Macedo, & Irene Peano

Recurrent evocations of slavery and their critiques are always also preoccupations with a past (or rather a multiplicity of pasts) whose weighty, but partially disavowed or displaced, specters haunt the present. In particular, it is to the specters of “the plantation” as the (ob)scene of “modern slavery” that I turn, in order to trace alternative genealogies of the current organization and representation of migrant farm labor in Italian agro-industrial districts.