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The Land Lab

A community of learners studying land in its manifold forms and possibilities

        Overview                 Convenors                 Format                 Themes                  Syllabus                 Student Work       

Themes explored in The Land Lab will appeal to students in several programs, including the M.S. in Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management, the M.S. in Design and Urban Ecologies, the M.A. in International Affairs, and the Ph.D. in Urban and Public Policy.  It will also appeal to students who are working on issues of land in various NSSR programs such as Anthropology, Politics, and Sociology.  It is our hope to convene students from a wide range of programs around this topic.  The following is a list of tentative themes that the lab will explore in the Fall of 2022.

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What is land?

Indigeneity and the cultures of land use

From hunting and gathering to pastoralism and agriculture

Ejido and usufruct: Land and reciprocity

Sacred and profane: Land, belief, and communities of worship

Making land from water: Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Mexico City

Enclosure: The origins of property and real estate

Settler colonization as a mode of imperial control

Subdivision: the ordinance grid as epistemic warfare

Land, labor, and capital: Circuits and circulations

Botanical colonialism and the looting of the globe

The radical promise and abysmal defeat of Reconstruction

Engineering landscapes: Technology and ideology

The export platform and neocolonial entanglements

Urban land and property: Agglomerations and accommodations

Parks, gardens, and cemeteries

The mortgage: Amortizing land value

Race, risk, and real estate in the making of cities

Gentrifcation as land grab

Militarism, surveillance, and displacement

Million dollar blocks: Land, community, and the carceral state

Politics and cultures of land reform around the world

Forms of informality: city building at the margins and interstices

Race, capital flight, and cities after abandonment

Reparations as a theory of land

The Brownfield: Toxic legacies, public capital, and private interests

How do we (re)build the commons?

Community Land Trusts, cooperatives, mutual housing

Land and remediation in the Anthropocene

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