Jack Portman (WFU Anthropology 2021)

Jack Portman (WFU Anthropology 2021) will present at the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) Annual International Conference 2022. His paper, “The rhythm of renting: The spatiotemporality of precarity in Winston-Salem, NC” will be presented in the section titled “Encountering Lefebvre: Sensing and Appropriating the Neoliberal City.”

Session abstract
The work of Henri Lefebvre has inspired geographers around the world and, we argue, his theoretical lenses are now more crucial than ever in understanding the production of space in the (post-Covid19) contemporary neoliberal city. Of all of his vast oeuvre, we wish to revisit in this workshop two of his relatively standalone theoretical contributions, Rhythmanalysis and the Right to the City.

Rhythmanalysis has only recently inspired scholarly analyses as an entry point to sensing space, time and everyday life. Therefore, we invite presentations that mobilise rhythmanalysis as a theoretical device to critique our state of alienation in the neoliberal city, describe everyday life, or reflect on when our world came to a standstill under pandemic, reawakening to the seeds of a new future.

The theoretical relevance of the Right to the City – a “cry and a demand” for appropriating and fundamentally changing the contemporary city – has been reignited by the accelerated housing financialization of the 2010s and by the unimaginable experience of the pandemic. The suffering that the pandemic laid bare and governments’ temporary emergency measures have arguably increased the cry and the demand for a new vision of a more just city. We particularly invite presentations that engage the Right-to-the-City vision to document housing struggles worldwide in their quest of appropriating housing and the city as home.