© 2016 Joseph Heathcott

Race, Class, and Civic Life

Race is a fundamental component of American urban life.  It winds through our politics, culture, institutions, and civic life, and shapes the everyday relations between people on the city streets.  Since I wrote my dissertation, much of my work has focused on the ways that race—as much as class, gender, sexuality, and other lived and embodied experiences—has shaped the practice of planning since its origins.  At the same time, I am interested in the multiform efforts of diverse peoples over time to build resilient communities, demand justice, and define alternatives. By shaping a collective memory of an anti-racist “struggle for the city,” we create a trove of wisdom and experience on which to draw.

"Slow Motion Katrina: Race, Architecture, and Subtraction in North St. Louis." Keynote for conference marking the 20th anniversary of the Urban Planning program at Saint Louis University, 2018.
"Public Housing as a Tool of Racial Segregation." In Daniel D'Oca and Tobias Armborst, The Arsenal of Exclusion and Inclusion (Barcelona: Actar Press, 2017).
"Voices and Visions Of St. Louis: Past, Present, Future." Keynote speaker for conference on race, public policy, and design at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, Mar 2016.
"More Menacing that Fire and the Elements: Race, Neighborhood, and Urban Planning in the Twentieth Century." Lecture at the College of Art and Architecture, Washington University, Nov 2015.
"After Ferguson: Social Justice and the Right to the City." Panelist for plenary session at the annual meeting of the St. Louis Association of Community Organizations (SLACO), Nov 2015.
"Race, Class, and American City Planning." Essay for Black Lives Matter, a web-based resource project by the Aggregate Architectural History Collaborate, edited by Meredith TenHoor and Jonathan Massey, 2015.
"The Strange Career of Public Housing: Policy, Planning, and the American Metropolis in the Twenty-First Century." In the special issue of the Journal of the American Planning Association 78, 4 (2012).
"Moral Panic in a Plural Culture." Cross-Currents 61, 1 (March 2011).
"Why Are There So Many Foreclosures in Jamaica?" Participant in symposium organized by the Queens Museum of Art in conjunction with the exhibit "Red Lines." Held at the Queens Central Library, Aug 2009.
"LaClede Town: Architecture, Civil Rights, and the Quest for an Authentic Mode of Urban Living, 1965-1980." Lecture delivered to the Columbia University Urban History Seminar, Feb 2008.
"Black Archipelago: Politics and Civic Life in the Jim Crow City." Journal of Social History 38, 3 (March 2005).
"Urban Spaces and Working Class Expressions across the Black Atlantic." Radical History Review 87
(Fall 2003).
"Public Housing and the Search for Racial Justice." Lecture delivered at the Boston Urban History Seminar, Massachusetts Historical Society, Apr 2004.
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