Mike Davis

Who Will Build the Ark? The Architectural Imagination in the Age of Catastrophic Convergence
Thursday, November 6, 2008 - 7:00pm
Kane 120

Listen to a full podcast of this lecture.

A native Southern Californian with a varied background in activism, journalism, and urban studies, Mike Davis is the award-winning author of eighteen books. During the 1990s, Davis taught at the Southern California Institute of Architecture and published controversial polemics about Los Angeles in crisis, including City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles (1990) and Ecology of Fear: Los Angeles and the Imagination of Disaster (1999).

 More recently, Davis’s research has encompassed an impressive range of urgent contemporary issues: the Latinization of large American cities in Magical Urbanism: Latinos Reinvent the U.S. Big City (2001), the history of famine and empire in Late Victorian Holocausts: El Niño Families and the Making of the Third World (2002), the future of poor cities in Planet of Slums (2006), and urban vulnerability in Dead Cities and Other Tales (2003), The Monster at Our Door: The Global Threat of Avian Flu (2006), and Buda’s Wagon: A Brief History of the Car Bomb (2007).
He is currently working on a book about climate change in the urban Southwest.

 Mike Davis is Distinguished Professor in the Department of Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside.

Colloquium

November 7, 2008 – 10:00 AM – Communications 202

Join Mike Davis, Solomon Katz Distinguished Lecturer in the Humanities for Fall 2008, in a discussion of his current research.  Governments of the Poor, the sequel to Planet of Slums, explores alternative forms of dual power that have arisen in the vacuum of public services and legitimate government in poor cities across the world. Other projects include a study of climate change in the urban Southwest and a history of the moral economy of classical revolutionary terrorism from the 1860s to the 1970s.

 Following his visit to UW, Davis will begin writing on the underlying sociology of the elections (a continuation of pieces he has been writing since 1984), the exploded debt-export nexus between the United States and China, and the Chinese working class’s potential role in reshaping the world economy.

 With a varied background in activism, journalism, and urban studies, Mike Davis is the award-winning author of eighteen books. During the 1990s, he taught at the Southern California Institute of Architecture and published controversial polemics about Los Angeles in crisis, including City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles (1990) and Ecology of Fear: Los Angeles and the Imagination of Disaster (1999).

 More recently, his research has encompassed an impressive range of urgent contemporary issues: the Latinization of large American cities in Magical Urbanism: Latinos Reinvent the U.S. Big City (2001), the history of famine and empire in Late Victorian Holocausts: El Niño Families and the Making of the Third World (2002), the future of poor cities in Planet of Slums (2006), and urban vulnerability in Dead Cities and Other Tales (2003), The Monster at Our Door: The Global Threat of Avian Flu (2006), and Buda’s Wagon: A Brief History of the Car Bomb (2007).