OpenSpace Meeting – Tuesday 24 February, G35/36 Arthur Lewis Building

We would like to invite you to the next OpenSpace meeting on Tuesday 24th February at 4-6pm in room G35/36 in Arthur Lewis Building (number 36 on the University of Manchester campus map). 

For this session, we are very pleased to have

1) Melissa García Lamarca from Geography speaking on “Mortgaging lives: the biopolitics of the housing boom-bust in the Barcelona metropolitan area“.
“During Spain’s third and most extensive real estate boom from 1997-2007, housing prices increased by 220% and 9.4 million mortgages were granted as homeownership came to characterise over 85% of the population. But the boom’s bust has resulted in a housing emergency, with over 415,000 foreclosures and 250,000 evictions since 2008 that leave many families indebted for life. The talk will focus on the role that mortgages have played as a mechanism to regulate and discipline the population, to optimise a state of life where the financialisation of housing is a key engine of urban capital accumulation. This process of accumulation by dispossession at the biological level will be detailed through empirical research uncovering the experience of people with mortgages who are now unable to pay and are struggling for debt forgiveness, highlighting differentials across race and class.”

2) Julie ann Delos reyes from Geography speaking on “Mining Shareholder Value: Financialization, extraction and the geography of gold mining“.
“The ownership and activism of institutional investors (e.g. hedge funds, pension funds) in large publicly-traded mining companies are seen to have re-oriented business strategies towards creating more value for shareholders. This paper examines these strategies in the context of the commodity boom (and bust) of 2003-2013, and the new geographies and political ecologies that they create. A study of the investment patterns and activities of some of the largest Canadian gold mining companies reveal how miners are aligning company operations to satisfy the yield requirements, investment motives and risk tolerance of institutional investors.  By prying open the blackbox of corporate activities, the expansion and subsequent contraction of mining activities are shown to have in part been enabled by the investment appetite of a particular class of investors and to have proceeded unevenly, in certain periods deepening the concentration of mining investment in favour of high reserve, low-cost assets located in low-risk, politically stable countries.  This makes the case for a more situated analysis of the corporation, a recognised key but understudied actor in political ecology studies.”

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: http://www.cities.manchester.ac.uk/study/openspace/

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 24th!

Caglar (Planning), Matt (Planning), Nadim (Politics)

caglar.koksal@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk
matthew.thompson@manchester.ac.uk
nadim.mirshak@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk

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