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Join us on Wednesday, November 15 at 7 PM as Vanessa Rosa presents her new book Precarious Constructions: Race, Class, and Urban Revitalization in Toronto
This sharply argued book posits that urban revitalization—making "better" city living spaces from those that have been neglected due to racist city planning and divestment—is a code word for fraught, state-managed gentrification. Vanessa A. Rosa examines the revitalization of two Toronto public housing projects, Regent Park and Lawrence Heights, and uses this evidence to analyze the challenges of racial inequality and segregation at the heart of housing systems in many cities worldwide. Instead of promoting safety and belonging, Rosa argues that revitalization too often creates more intense exclusion. But the story of these housing projects also reveals how residents pushed back on the ideals of revitalization touted by city officials and policymakers. Rosa explores urban revitalization as a window to investigate broader questions about social regulation and the ways that racism, classism, and dynamics of inclusion/exclusion are foundational to liberal democratic societies, particularly as scholars continue to debate the politics of gentrification at the local level and the politics of integration and multiculturalism at the national level.
Vanessa Rosa is Associate Professor of Latinx Studies and Co-Chair of the Department of Critical Race and Political Economy at Mount Holyoke College. Her research explores the (re)production of race and racism in cities and housing policy, on the one hand, and community organizing in the context of structural inequality, on the other. Rosa’s first book, Precarious Constructions: Race, Class, and Urban Revitalization (UNC Press) investigates the national-identity making effects of the urban revitalization of two public housing projects in Toronto, Ontario. She has published in Meridians: feminism, race, and transnationalism, Journal of Critical Race Inquiry, Radical Teacher, Canadian Journal of Urban Research, and Critical Dialogues in Latinx Studies (NYU 2021). Rosa was awarded a 2017-2019 Duke University-Mellon SITPA Fellowship. She serves on the Editorial Advisory Board for Meridians, the national steering committee for the Consortium for Faculty Diversity, and the Board of Directors for Pa’lante Transformative Justice.
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