Calendar of Events

Spring 2017

Friday, January 27, 2017
Cindi Katz (Geography, CUNY Graduate Center)
Overlay Map from William Bunge, Fitzgerald: Geography of a Revolution
Refusing Mastery: The Detroit Geographical Expedition and Institute as Minor Theory
3:30 pm Curtin 175
Recorded video

Minor theory is a way of doing theory differently, of working inside out, of fugitive moves and emergent practices interstitial with “major” productions of knowledge. To “do” minor theory is to refuse mastery and make conscious use of displacement so that new subjectivities, spatialities, and temporalities might be marked and produced in spaces of betweenness that reveal the limits of the major as it is transformed along with the minor.

Inspired by Deleuze and Guattari’s concept of “minor literature,” via Tom Gunning’s writing on “minor cinema,” I wrote a piece about minor theory twenty years ago, causing a “minor” stir, but little else. In the past couple of years the idea of the minor has surfaced in several places. Asking what might underlie this “surgence” of interest, I have been thinking about some of the political economic, social, and cultural relations that produce contemporary social formations and the practices through which people negotiate, resist, and might remake them. As this interest in minor theory percolates in Geography and elsewhere, I want to think about what working this way offers for thinking and acting differently in the face of growing economic inequality at all scales, persistent violence against people of color, intensifying environmental crises, joblessness, and social relations of production and reproduction that remain exploitive and oppressive in their articulations of race, class, gender, and sexuality. There is a lot to refuse, resist, and rework!

I will discuss the Detroit Geographical Expedition and Institute--a project of radical geography in the late 1960s--as an example of minor theory and practice, probing its accomplishments, failures, and fables to see what they might have to say about present field imaginaries and possibilities for radical practice.

Brown bag lunch discussion
Friday, January 27
12 noon Curtin 939
Reading: Cindi Katz, "Accumulation, Excess, Childhood: Toward a Countertopography of Risk and Waste," Documents d'Anàlisi Geogràfica 57, no. 1 (2011): 47–60.

Photo of Cindi Katz Cindi Katz is professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the City University of New York Graduate Center. She is the author of Growing Up Global: Economic Restructuring and Children’s Everyday Lives (2004), and is co-editor of Life’s Work: Geographies of Social Reproduction (2004) and The People, Space, and Space Reader (2014).

Map overlay from William Bunge, Fitzgerald: Geography of a Revolution (Cambridge, MA: Schenkman Pub. Co., 1971), via

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