Public Philosophy Network

Encouraging and Supporting Publicly Engaged Philosophical Research and Practices


Philosophers in the City

For those doing philosophical work on urban issues

Members: 47
Latest Activity: May 9, 2016



Please see a new project that I've been working on with a colleague in theater.  We taught a course this spring called "The City as Theater," and the final course project was a performance that we called "Performing the City:  An Experiment in Civic Street Theater."  The students developed individual performances inspired by, or based on, philosophical texts that engage urban issues, and then eventually worked out ways to interact with one another and the audience.  A radio interview on the project is available:   
Radio interview: click on May 9th program
arts weekly article:  In addition. we are starting to upload videos of the performances on a youtube channel  "OurCityMay2012"  If you log onto Youtube you can find the channel by searching for it by name, and you can then subscribe to it to receive notifications as we upload new video.



If you are interested in urban issues, you might be interested in the participatory budget movement.  This is a democractic, participatory budgeting process that is popular in many cities in the global South, and is now being adopted by some cities in North America. Also see the website of the nonprofit based in New York that involves philosophers from Brooklyn College and elsewhere in this movement:

Discussion Forum

CFP Philosophy in the City Conference

Started by Sharon M. Meagher May 23, 2013. 0 Replies

Philosophy began in the city, and the city is a recurrent topic in the history of philosophy. The urban promises to become an important challenge for humanity (and life in general) in the 21st…Continue

Proposed Panel on Segregation, Integration, and Justice in Housing

Started by Ronald Sundstrom Jun 22, 2012. 0 Replies

I meant to post a message to this blog but instead sent a message to everyone in the affinity group—sorry, I'm figuring out how this space works.As I mentioned in my message, I'd like to put together…Continue

Blogs and other Online Resources

Started by Robert Kirkman. Last reply by Sharon M. Meagher Oct 24, 2011. 2 Replies

I'm curious to know what blogs and other online resources exist that might inform philosophical engagement with cities. Before I get to the shameless plug for my own…Continue

Tags: ethics, sustainability, resources, online, blogs

'The BioPolitics of Homelessness' - a work in progress

Started by Kevin S. Jobe Dec 9, 2010. 0 Replies

The BioPolitics of Homelessness Kevin S. JobePhilosophy DepartmentSUNY at Stony BrookDissertation Proposal Outline, in progressOne of the central problems of the public health industry at least since…Continue

Tags: foucault, neoliberal, biopower, biopolitics, homelessness

Comment Wall


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Comment by Remmon Barbaza on June 26, 2011 at 5:35am
Thanks, Sharon, for putting up this group, and for your work on philosophy and the city. I look forward to an engaging exchange of ideas and learning from others in the group.
Comment by Sharon M. Meagher on April 25, 2011 at 3:11pm
Your work sounds really interesting.  thanks for the recent posts, and welcome to the Philosophers in the City group.  Sharon
Comment by Ross Lawrence Wolfe on April 23, 2011 at 8:04pm
Right now I am working on my Master's thesis on Soviet avant-garde urbanism in the 1920s.
Comment by Sharon M. Meagher on March 27, 2011 at 3:21pm

American Association of Geographers Panel

1477 City! Progressive Urban Praxis Now

Tuesday, 4/12/11, from 12:40 PM - 2:20 PM in Cedar Room - Sheraton Hotel Seattle, Second Floor


Bjoern Surborg - University of British Columbia

Sharon Meagher - The University of Scranton

Warren Magnusson - Department of Political Science, University of Victoria

Bob Catterall—Editor-in-chief, CITY

City is a journal that works to bring activists and academics into dialogue on the full range of issues that we face in the contemporary urban world. We record and analyse 'the city', cities and their futures, and urbanization from multiple perspectives including: the information and digital revolutions, war and imperialism, neoliberalism and gentrification, environment and sustainability, resistance and social movements, regeneration, resurgence and revanchism, race, class and gender, multi-culturalism and post-colonialism. 

The premise of the journal is that these issues can only be addressed by employing the critical theory of multiple disciplines and by encouraging and soliciting active dialogue between a wide range of academics and practitioners.  As such, the editorial board is composed of planners, practitioners, activists, scholars, and scholar-activists whose work is informed by a not only geography but by other social sciences as well as philosophy, literature, and the arts. 

In this panel discussion, we want to facilitate discussion and reflection on the complexity of the relationship between urban theory and practice.  Moreover, what kind of theoretical and practical work needs to be undertaken to understand and intervene in these crises to create more socially and ecologically just urban futures?  The panel will feature a multidisciplinary panel who will discuss how they struggle with these questions in their own research and practice.  We also welcome discussion and suggestions from the audience on how we might move forward with this work in the pages of CITY as well as in urban space and spaces of urbanization.

Comment by Sharon M. Meagher on March 27, 2011 at 3:20pm
Joshua:  your dissertation topic sounds great.  You might be interested in my article on anti-immigration legislation (I draw on Agamben).  Please see the file:  Declarations of Independence.pdf which appeared in the journal CITY.
Comment by Sharon M. Meagher on February 9, 2011 at 2:48pm

The Center for Labor Studies & the Urban Studies Research Cluster at the University of California Santa Cruz are pleased to present:


A one-day conference

David Harvey, keynote speaker

February 26, 2011

9:30 am - 5:00 pm

Humanities 206, University of California Santa Cruz

Workers, environmentalists, and urban social movements have recently converged under a new banner: "the right to the city." The phrase refers to the right of city dwellers-now the world's majority-to democratically control development and resources in the cities in which they live .  In today's global economy, this "right" is profoundly challenged.  Social divisions are experienced increasingly in spatial terms- through gentrified housing markets and polarized job markets; unequal access to green space and unequal exposure to environmental risk; and new modes of segregation, exclusion, and policing of public space. Against this backdrop, the process of urbanization itself has become a significant site of political contestation for a wide range of groups, and the idea of the "right to the city" both a critique and call to organize.  Bringing together leading scholars, practitioners, and activists from across California and the U.S., "Whose City?" will provide an opportunity to think critically and creatively about these emerging labor and urban-based coalitions-- from their historic roots to their possible futures, from their local to their global manifestations.

For more information about the event, go to:
Visit us on Facebook:

Comment by Sharon M. Meagher on December 4, 2010 at 10:16pm
NEW YORK PRAGMATIST FORUMFordham University at Lincoln Center - Lowenstein Building 708Columbus (9th) Avenue at 60th StreetNew York, New York, USA - - - - - - -Friday, December 10, 20105:30 – 7:30 p.m.- - - - - - - "Pragmatism, Ethics, and Civic Renewal" - - - - - - - John Capps, Rochester Institute of Technology “Truth, Ethics, and Pragmatism” David W. Woods, New School University “Rebuilding the City after 9/11:Why Civic Renewal Movements Need a Braided Rope of Social Democratic Theories” - - - - - - - Refreshments Will Be Served For More Information:JMGreen@Fordham.EduHMcDonald@CityTech.CUNY.Edu
Comment by Sharon M. Meagher on November 20, 2010 at 1:27pm
Annual RC21 Conference 2011
The struggle to belong. Dealing with diversity in 21st century urban settings
Amsterdam (The Netherlands), July 7-9 2011
SLUMS, GHETTOES, AND THE INTERNAL PERIPHERY OF THE GLOBAL URBANFrom the ghettoes of Detroit, to the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, the banlieues of Paris and the slums of Mumbai, this session seeks to address the contemporary and historical significance of the urban periphery to the development of the global urban and the global system more generally. What has been informally dubbed ‘slum studies’ explores the implications of what is expected to be a tremendous growth in urban areas around the world over the next 30 years, most of which will occur in the global South. Growth in metropolitan areas will lead to growth in the slums, favelas, and shanties that form the urban periphery. Just as important is the significant reshaping of urban peripheral areas in the cities of the developing world as a consequence of the global financial crisis of 2008.
With these changes in the nature and structure of the urban periphery around the world comes the need for a greater understanding of the cost and benefits associated with the political, economic, and social integration of slum areas, as well as the potential developmental consequences for the global urban if further peripheralization becomes an integral component of growth in metropolitan areas. Slums, favelas, and shantytown could be future flash points for political and economic struggle in the developing world. They might serve as incubators for novel forms of more equitable urban development. Moreover, internal dynamics in existing ghettoes and poor neighborhoods in western countries are of great significance for the world economy, as the subprime crisis has shown.
This session seeks to bring together theoretical and empirical analyses of slums, ghettoes, favelas and shantytowns. One issue that papers might address are the various ways in which inequality becomes spatialized in the world economy. Also, given the rather limited nature of capital flows in the global economy, can we say that slums and favelas inevitable? This session also welcomes papers that foster an original theoretical and/or empirical understanding of social differentiation and identification in the ever-changing landscapes of slums and ghettoes.
The selection process
The deadline for abstract submission is December 21st, 2010.
Session Organizers:
Francois Bonnet, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Amsterdam
Delario Lindsey, Department of Africana World Studies, William Paterson University
Comment by Sharon M. Meagher on November 15, 2010 at 10:04am
Seeking spatial justice in Los Angeles: Why spatial? Why justice? Why now?
A lecture by Edward W. Soja, Professor of Urban Planning, School of Public Affairs, University of California Los Angeles

Tuesday, 23 November 2010, 6.30pm, Cruciform LT1, Cruciform Building, UCL, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT

Introducing his new book, Seeking Spatial Justice, Edward Soja looks at how explicitly spatial strategies and a new critical spatial consciousness has infiltrated urban social movements and labor-community-university coalition building in Los Angeles. Through such organizations as the Right to the City Alliance, what has been happening in Los Angeles has been spreading to London and other city-regions of the world as a mobilizing force and a more concrete strategy for achieving social justice and fundamental human rights. Soja builds his argument on the so-called spatial turn and new discoveries about urban spatial causality and the stimulus of urban agglomeration; as well as on the reinvigorated rallying power of justice struggles (including workers justice and environmental justice) in the contemporary world. Particular attention will be given to the role of the university and especially departments of Urban Planning and Geography in promoting coalition building and struggles for transforming the unjust geographies in which we live.

Edward W. Soja is Distinguished Professor of Urban Planning at the School of Public Affairs, University of California Los Angeles, and for many years was Centennial Visiting Professor in the Cities Programme, London School of Economics. He is the author of Postmodern Geographies: The Reassertion of Space in Critical Theory, Thirdspace: Journeys to Los Angeles and Other Real-and-Imagined Places, and Postmetropolis: Critical Studies of Cities and Regions.

His lecture is sponsored by the Journal CITY: analysis of urban trends, culture, theory, policy, action and UCL Urban Laboratory.

In general, I'd urge members to check out the Taylor and Francis is journal CITY. They are doing great work on critical urban theory and interdisciplinary discussions that bring urban theory together with the best critical social science research.

Members (47)


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