The Cosmopolitan Canopy: Reasserting Difference, Diversity and Inclusion in the age of Trump.
American Association of Geographers – Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA – April 10-14, 2018
Julian Agyeman, Tufts University,
Elijah Anderson, Yale University
The racial dynamics of public life in US cities are in a constant state of flux, where gentrification and displacement, the rise of the ‘ethnoburb’ and rising inequalities represent the tip of the iceberg in terms of fundamental political and demographic shifts. Yet there are many spaces in US cities, such as Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market, that represent ‘cosmopolitan canopies’ (Anderson 2011), where there is cultural convergence, racial, ethnic and class intermixing in civil and friendly ways. Recent pronunciations by the Trump administration however, have challenged urban theorists, policymakers and planners, whose work has centered on developing strategies around difference, diversity and inclusion, and multi- and intercultural approaches to city building and place-making. Never has the potential in the concept of the cosmopolitan canopy been so important.
This session seeks papers that address one or more of four key questions:
- What role could the Cosmopolitan Canopy play in reasserting, difference, diversity and inclusion, and multi- and intercultural approaches to city planning and place-making?
- How can the concept of the Cosmopolitan Canopy be enrolled to challenge the rise of separatist and segregationalist discourses?
- In what ways can urban policymakers, planners and other place-makers develop, or catalyze the development of Cosmopolitan Canopies?
- How is race experienced in the Cosmopolitan Canopy and moreover, in what meaningful ways can prevention, treatment and restoration be rendered to Cosmopolitan Canopies that are rented by ethnocentric and exclusionary practices of the dominant group against social minorities (African Americans, Latinx, women, etc.)?
Suggestions for paper topics include (but are not limited to): urban policy and planning; multi- and interculturalist place-making; difference, diversity and inclusion; challenging separatist and segregationalist discourses; ethnographic research in planning; creative land use control and zoning; alternative land use practices. While the focus will be on the US, we welcome papers dealing with a range of geographic and temporal settings.
Anderson, Elijah (2011). The Cosmopolitan Canopy: Race and Civility in Everyday Life, W. W. Norton & Company.