Critical Cartography and Urban Spatial Ethnography: re-narrating and visualizing Im(migrants) and the 21st Century City

 Gender and Sexuality Studies     May 10 2017 | 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM HG 1010

In the contemporary spatial turn across disciplines, some scholars are attempting to recover the lives of everyday people
and life that have been systematically overlooked in data and visions of the city. This talk presents SLAB’s research and
public engagement strategies to build data-based and cinematic narratives about the vital role of im(migrants) in urban
regions through processes of spatial ethnography and critical cartography. Past visualized research projects include the
ingenious sharing of sidewalks between vendors in Ho Chi Minh City, the million people living underground in Beijing,
and cognitive ethnic neighborhoods in Los Angeles.

Annette Kim is Associate Professor at the University of Southern California’s Price School of Public Policy. She also
founded and directs SLAB, the Spatial Analysis Laboratory, that advances the visualization of the social sciences for
public service, primarily by incorporating fieldwork and humanities knowledge. Her research experiments with ways to
recover data of overlooked peoples and phenomenon. She utilizes critical cartography and spatial ethnography to reconceptualize
contemporary urbanism and find more inclusive and humane ways to design and govern the 21st century
city. Her books include Sidewalk City: Re-Mapping Public Space in Ho Chi Minh City (University of Chicago Press, 2015)
and Learning to be Capitalists: Entrepreneurs in Vietnam’s Transition Economy (Oxford University Press, 2008). She received
a Ph.D. in urban planning and Masters in design/visual studies from UC Berkeley, Masters in public policy from
Harvard University, a bachelor’s degree in studio art and architecture from Wellesley College, and was a professor at
MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning for ten years.

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