Call for Papers: Critical Planning, UCLA Urban Planning Journal




Welcome to Critical Planning.



Critical Planning
UCLA Urban Planning Journal
Volume 17, Summer 2010

Deadline: January 15, 2010

Knowledge of the system we deal with is always incomplete. Surprise is
inevitable. Not only is the science incomplete, the system itself is a
moving target.
C. S. Holling (1993)

Recent macro-economic crises, from the American subprime mortgage
collapse to the global financial meltdown, together with projected
ecological catastrophes, from climate change to the post-peak oil
production decline, have all raised a crucial question: how might
urban systems accommodate future shocks, crises, disasters, and
emergencies in whatever (un)expected forms they might take?

Derived from ecology, the concept of resilience is defined as the
measure of the persistence of systems and of their ability to absorb
change and disturbance and still maintain the same relationships
between populations or state variables (Holling 1973). A resilient
system is formed by the dynamic interplay between deterministic forces
and random events, structural factors and human agency, linear paths
and contingency. Such heterogeneity and variability allow resilient
systems to absorb unforeseen shocks, continually adapting and evolving
so as to resist collapse.

As the earth’s population approaches seven billion – and becomes
increasingly urbanized, globalized, and interconnected – our
collective vulnerability to large-scale shocks also multiplies,
demanding more sophisticated, critical approaches in theory and
practice. Sprawling natural/ecological and human/social systems grow
intricately intertwined as well as ever more precarious. How then
might the concept of resilience inform urban research on the ground?
How might urban planning scholars, practitioners, and policymakers
integrate a perspective that presupposes uncertainty, heterogeneity,
and collective entanglement?

For its 17th volume, Critical Planning invites articles that explore
the question of resilience empirically, theoretically, and
historically in specific urban contexts around the world. We welcome
papers and creative projects that investigate resilience in relation
to: theoretical problems (sustainability, development, scale,
diversity); ongoing environmental/ecological concerns (climate change,
dwindling natural resources); the changing urban built environment
(sprawl, the rural/urban interface); unfolding civil conflict and
struggle (urban social movements); movements of people (migration and
refugee flows); evolving socioeconomic regimes (neoliberalism, market
socialism); and the interplay of political ideologies and collective
imaginaries, among other topics.


Holling, C. S. 1973. Resilience and stability of ecological systems.
Laxenburg, Austria: International Institute for Applied Systems
Perrings, Charles. 2006. Resilience and sustainable development.
Environment and Development Economics. 11 (4): 417-427.
Scoones, I. 1999. New ecology and the social sciences: What prospects
for a fruitful engagement? Annual Review of Anthropology. 28: 479-507.

Critical Planning is a double-blind peer-reviewed publication. Feature
articles are generally between 5,000 and 7,000 words, while shorter
articles are between 1,000 and 3,000 words. We encourage submissions
that incorporate cross-disciplinary, multi-scalar, multi-sited,
transnational, and/or mixed-method approaches. We also welcome
submissions of photographs, maps, art, or design projects related to
the topic of resilience for publication in the journal.

The 2010 Edward W. Soja Prize for Critical Thinking in Urban and
Regional Research will be awarded to the best article published in
Critical Planning volume 17. The prize celebrates the lifetime
achievements of this critical thinker whose work continues to open new
research directions for the theoretical and practical understanding of
contemporary cities and regions. For the prize, we will consider all
articles selected for publication through Critical P

Naked Lunch @ 50 » San Francisco


Naked Lunch @ 50 » San Francisco.

Naked Lunch 50th Anniversary Weekend 
20-22 November, 2009, San Francisco

City Lights Books, SFAI Film Department, & Grove Press celebrate William S. Burrough’s Naked Lunch @ 50 Years with a weekend of critical analysis and commemorative readings.

20 November 2009, 7:00 PM

  • William S. Burroughs: An Evening with the Author of Naked Lunch
  • SFAI Lecture Hall, 800 Chestnut Street, San Francisco
  • Hosted by Jonah Raskin and Peter Maravelis
  • Presentations by Bill Berkson, Oliver Harris, Lynn Hershman-Leeson, Ron Loewinsohn, Jonah Raskin, DJ Spooky, and others, followed by film screenings and a roundtable discussion.

22 November 2009, 7:00 PM

  • Naked Lunch REDUX
  • Amnesia Bar, 853 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110, in SF’s Mission District
  • Hosted by Peter Maravelis
  • Local authors read excerpts from Naked Lunch. Participants will include Mindy Bagdon, Stephen Elliot, Marcus Ewert, Daphne Gottlieb, Michael McClure, Johnny Strike, and more to be announced…

In the light of the 50th anniversary of Naked Lunch, a book that is as relevant now as it ever was, this program attempts to encourage a new public appreciation of the author and the work through a weekend of critical analysis and public readings. The historic, literary, socio-political, and biographic elements shall be explored bringing contemporary readers closer to this important author and his greatest novel. Brought together will be poets, writers, scholars, artists, and musicians in an attempt to plumb the depths of this seminal and on the whole “revolutionary” work.

We will explore the influence of the Beats upon Burroughs — the literary connection and friendship with Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac. Also explored will be how Naked Lunchrelates to Howl and On the Road. Other themes that will be discussed: The trial of Naked Lunch and the obscenity issue. Drugs and Naked Lunch and Burroughs. Burroughs as a father of the counterculture — influence on Lou Reed, Stones, Patti Smith, punk. Burroughs as an experimental writer of the avant garde — connections to surrealism, use of the cut-up.

– Jonah Raskin, Peter Maravelis, event curators

Call for Papers: Southwest Labor Studies Association, Cal Poly Pomona, May 15-17

From the Labour History News Archive.

Southwest Labor Studies Association

Southwest Labor Studies Association
34th Annual Conference May 15-17, 2008
California Polytechnic University
Pomona, CA

Call for papers, workshops, and presentations

Working and Organizing Everyday: Workers, Families, and Communities in Local and Global Struggles

Featuring: Plenary Sessions on The State of Working Families in the Inland Valley and The Struggle for a Continental Living Wage

Global economic transformations coupled with U.S. imperial policies have radically transformed the working and living conditions in communities across the globe. We invite proposals from scholars and community activists for panels, interactive workshops, performances, displays, art, film, and music that explore the local and global impacts of these processes and how workers and communities are challenging them.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Historical and contemporary discussions of working class movements
  • Organizing in the Inland Valley
  • Immigrant worker organizing
  • Global resistance to neoliberalism
  • Impact of NAFTA and CAFTA on workers and communities -Labor education -Nativism and anti-immigrant movements
  • Gender, race, and sexuality in organizing -Youth and student activism -Prison Labor -Fair Trade Movements
  • War, imperialism, and resistance


Proposal deadline is March 1, 2008. Please send a short (1-2 paragraph) proposal and the name and contact information of the participants to Enrique C. Ochoa at at CLASS Dean’s Office, Cal Poly Pomona, Pomona, CA 91768. For further information contact Enrique Ochoa at (909) 869-3115 or [mailto][mailto].

Rick Prelinger: Lost Landscapes of San Francisco 4, Fri. Dec 4

Rick Prelinger: Lost Landscapes of San Francisco 4 – The Long Now.

Rick Prelinger, a guerrilla archivist who collects the uncollected and makes it accessible, presents the fourth of his annual Lost Landscapes of San Francisco screenings. You’ll see an eclectic montage of rediscovered and rarely-seen film clips showing life, landscapes, labor and leisure in a vanished San Francisco as captured by amateurs, newsreel cameramen and industrial filmmakers.

How we remember and record the past reveals much about how we address the future. Prelinger will preface the screening with a brief talk on how historical memory is shifting away from mass culture towards individual expression, and what consequences will arise from the emerging massive matrix of personal records.

Join us for a reception with no-host bar following the Seminar in the main Lobby of the Herbst Theater.

Doors open 7 pm, Talk begins 7:30pm lasting ~1.5 hours

Conference Announcement: Space of History/History of Space

Conference Announcement:

Spaces of History / Histories of Space

Emerging Approaches to the Study of the Built Environment

A Conference at the University of California at Berkeley on April 30,

In the past three decades, a growing number of scholars in the
humanities and social sciences have turned their attention to
space and to the built environment as a means of understanding
historical processes. The writings of Lefebvre, Foucault, Gregory,
Harvey, Soja, Latour and others have significantly reshaped the
intellectual landscape across academic fields. Meanwhile, the
subject matter and research methods of the history of architecture,
landscapes and planning have become increasingly open to

Looking to survey and assess new approaches and analytical tools for
studying the history of built spaces across a
variety of scales and geographies, this conference will explore a
range of questions pertaining to theory, methodology and
pedagogy. How has the “spatial turn” in the humanities and social
sciences transformed the ways in which history of the built
environment is theorized and researched? How should we study a
historical moment when certain types of evidence predominate?
What are the potentials and biases in the use of particular research
techniques and narrative forms? To what extent are these
choices shaped by disciplinary knowledge? How might such
interrogations help us conceive new pedagogies for
design and planning?

The conference is expected to attract a diverse group of scholars
interested in interdisciplinary research on the history
of the built environment. Participation from graduate students and
early career academics is especially welcome. Participants will
present papers related to one of the following two tracks:

1. Interrogating Theories and Methodologies
Papers in this track will explore how built spaces have been
integrated into historical research in a variety of
disciplines, or discuss the use of particular theoretical
formulations that have become influential in studying the history
of the built environment. We are especially interested in work that
assesses the potentials and limits of research
methods, such as ethnography and oral history, as well as the use of
various types of archival evidence.

2. History as Pedagogy: Teaching and Practice
Papers in this track will examine pedagogical approaches to history
in design education and their implications for the
making of the built environment, including professional practice.
Topics of interest include the use of history as
precedent, the construction of a survey course, the relationship
between history teaching and the design studio, and
other interdisciplinary approaches to historical research such as
experimental art practice and other creative mediums.

As part of the activities of this conference, we will be holding a
special poster exhibition that explores the relationship between
historical thinking and the making of the built environment. This
exhibition especially welcomes the participation of graduate
students in professional programs as well as advanced undergraduate
students. For submission guidelines for posters, please refer to
the forthcoming conference website at

Applicants should submit a 250-word abstract and a short CV in Word
format to and to ceciliachu_at
by January 8, 2010. Accepted participants will be notified by February
5, 2010. Authors of accepted proposals should submit a
completed paper of no more than 10 pages that summarizes the main
points of the presentation by April 2, 2010.

This conference is organized by graduate students Tiago Castela,
Cecilia Chu, Clare Robinson, Yael Allweil and Huey Ying Hsu.
The event is jointly sponsored by the Draper Architectural History
Research Endowment of the College of Environmental Design
at UC Berkeley and by the Townsend Center for the Humanities at UC
Berkeley. For additional information about the conference,
please contact the organizers, or visit the conference website.

Next Autry Western History Workshop – Nov. 10 – On Lewis & clark

he next meeting of the Autry Western History Workshop will take place on Tuesday, November 10.  The presenter will be Elliott West from the University of Arkansas; his paper is entitled “Why It Matters That Lewis and Clark Didn’t Get Sick (Or At Least Really Sick),” and available to read ahead of time from the Autry.

As usual, the workshop will meet in the classroom at the Autry’s Griffith Park campus.  The seminar will begin at 7PM, with dinner at 6:30 to those who reserve a place by Thursday, November 5.  Reservations are required for dinner for this session.  To reserve, please contact Belinda Nakasato-Suarez at

Solnit: California’s deficit of common sense —


California’s deficit of common sense

The state has plenty of money and resources. What we’ve been lacking is a real-world discussion about how we distribute them.

California is rich. Even in the midst of a drought, we have lots of water, and in the midst of a recession, we have lots of money. The problem is one of distribution, not of actual scarcity.This is the usual problem of the United States, which is not just the richest and most powerful nation on Earth now, but on Earth ever, and one of the most blessed in terms of natural resources. We just collectively make loopy decisions about how to distribute the money and water, and we could make other decisions. Whether or not those priorities will change, we could at least have a reality-based conversation about them.


Take water. My friend Derek Hitchcocka biologist working to restore the Yuba River, likes to say that California is still a place of abundance. He recently showed me a Pacific Institute report and other documents to bolster his point. They show that about 80% of the state’s water goes to agriculture, not to people, and half of that goes to four crops — cotton, rice, alfalfa and pasturage (irrigated grazing land) — that produce less than 1% of the state’s wealth. Forty percent of the state’s water. Less than 1% of its income. Meanwhile, we Californians are told the drought means that ordinary households should cut back — and probably most should — but the lion’s share of water never went to us in the first place, and we should know it.

Americans usually have fantastic visions of where our resources come from and go. A lot of Americans seem to believe that the federal government spends tons of money, rather than a small percentage of the federal budget, on the arts and foreign aid; but in fact, about half of discretionary spending goes to the military — the largest and most expensive military the world has ever seen, one that costs nearly as much as all the other militaries put together.

In discussing the national financial crisis, the military was never really on the chopping block, even though its budget could, with a little paring, provide healthcare, education, environmental restoration, some cool climate-change adaptation and all the other pieces of a good society and a great nation. Do we really need several hundred military bases in more than 125 countries? And all those expensive toys? And the research programs to do things like weaponize insects? Do we need them more than we need to keep children healthy?

Speaking of poor children reminds me of Sitting Bull, as good an authority on our economy as anyone, even if he wasn’t an economist and even though he died in 1890. After the Lakota were defeated, he joined Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show for a season, but he never got ahead financially. He gave the bulk of his earnings to the street urchins who hung around the show. He was shocked that a nation powerful enough to conquer his people couldn’t or wouldn’t feed its own future. The white man was good at production, he concluded, but bad at distribution.

It’s the same today. We have enough in this nation to feed, clothe, shelter, educate and provide medical care to everyone. If the will was there.

In California, the story is the same in spades. Take our state budget crisis. A British newspaper recently ran a rather melodramatic piece about California as a failed state and compared us to Iceland. It was a wacky comparison. Iceland went bankrupt because its bankers spent lots of money they didn’t have. California is in conniptions because it has lots of money it won’t spend. I’m not talking about raising individual taxes, though it would certainly make sense to revisit Proposition 13, and we’d have an extra billion dollars if we hadn’t phased out estate taxes.

But look at corporate taxes! According to the nonpartisan California Budget Project, if we taxed corporations the way we did in 1981, we’d have $8.4 billion more coming in. That would wipe out more than a third of the budget shortfall that led to the draconian cuts (and cover about what we spend annually on the world’s second-biggest prison system). We’re home to the fifth-largest corporation in the world, Chevron, whose profits were $24 billion last year. Chevron has lobbied to keep corporate taxes low and to avoid paying an oil severance tax — a tax on oil taken out of the ground (and we’re abundant in oil too, for better or worse). Texas charges one, but we don’t. A few years ago, Chevron worked hard to defeat Proposition 87, which would’ve levied a severance tax capped at 6% of the oil’s value — but Sarah Palin’s Alaska raised its severance tax to 25%, a figure that would bring in an estimated $4 billion or more.

Examine the way that we changed corporate income tax policy in the crisis years of 2008-2009 to give a small number of corporations tens of millions of dollars a year in tax breaks — $33.1 million apiece, on average, for nine corporations; $23.5 million to six others, according to the California Budget Project. There’s money there, ripe for the picking, and powerful forces to prevent that from ever happening — or maybe weak forces, because it’s our Republican legislative minority that prevents us from ever achieving the supermajority to raise taxes (and our weak Democratic majority that goes along with crazy tax cuts amid a crisis).

Turning California into a Third World nation where the environment is neglected, a lot of people are genuinely desperate and a lot of the young have a hard time getting an education or just can’t get one doesn’t benefit anyone.

We’re not poor in money or water. We’ve just chosen to allocate them in ways that benefit tiny minorities at the expense of the rest of us. We should at least have a conversation about how we distribute our abundant resources. Derek is right: California is a place of abundance, except when it comes to political sense.

Rebecca Solnit, a product of California public schools from kindergarten to graduate school, is the author most recently of “A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster.”