OpenSpace: 1st meeting of the semester – Wed 12 November

We would like to invite you to the first OpenSpace meeting of the semester on Wednesday 12th November at 2-4pm in room G16 in Arthur Lewis Building (number 36 on the University of Manchester campus map). 

For this session, we are very pleased to have

1) Sebastian Juhnke from Sociology speak on “Competing understandings of multiculturalism in two super-diverse urban neighbourhoods in London and Berlin“.
“Based on field work undertaken in super-diverse neighbourhoods in London and Berlin, I explore how middle-class professionals understand and experience multiculturalism – and how these understandings and experiences vary in different national contexts. Both field sites are in the process of accelerated gentrification and/or regeneration, and equally well-known for their ethnic, cultural and social diversity, and their importance for creative economies, leisure time consumption and “hipster” culture. Data drawn from in-depth interviews with creative professionals living and working in these settings – artists, designers, filmmakers and social entrepreneurs, among others – is supplemented by representations of these neighbourhoods in local medial, social networks and the respondents’ creative output.”

2) Matt Thompson from Planning speak on “Mutual ownership of housing and the politics of locality in Liverpool“.
“Since the first acts of capitalist enclosure and industrial urbanisation, popular struggles for collective control over land for affordable housing have produced radical alternatives to public/private property. From the Garden City movement, through cooperatives, co-housing, and Community Land Trusts (CLTs), such models for local autonomy and mutual ownership aim to fix in place increasingly mobile capital to capture the value of land locally for long-term community benefit. My research aims to understand how such models might provide the basis for more effective, participatory and self-sustaining urban regeneration to resolve ‘wicked’ problems of inner-city decline, where public and private-led approaches have failed. It traces a genealogy of radical moments in mutual housing development in a city-region richly endowed with such experiments: Liverpool. These include the city’s 1970s co-op movement and contemporary CLT campaigns, among the UK’s first urban CLTs, pioneering the model to address disinvestment/decline rather than speculation/gentrification. I aim to identify the main motivations, catalysts, drivers, barriers and opportunities shaping the development of mutual ownership projects; and explore the dialectics of commons/enclosure and politics/place.”

We look forward to seeing as many as of you there for what looks to be a fascinating discussion.

OpenSpace is an interdisciplinary forum for PhD researchers in SEED and beyond to discuss ideas and present their research in a critical but friendly and relaxed environment. The typical format is two presentations of approximately 20 minutes without powerpoint followed by questions and open discussion of ideas. We also provide a little food and drink to help us get into the spirit! You can find a little more info here on our website:

We are still looking for presenters for some of the meetings, so if you are thinking about presenting or would like to know more about it then please do contact us with any questions. Invitations to present are open to anyone in the mid to final stages of their PhD and we encourage presentations from across a broad range of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences.

Looking forward to seeing you on the 12th!


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