New Directions in Displacement Research

A Digital Blog Symposium hosted by the Displacement Research + Action Network

July 10, 2017

On behalf of the MIT Displacement Research Action Network we are honored to share with you our feature virtual symposium “New Directions in Displacement Research” an examination of recent scholarship on displacement and evictions from the Global North and South.  

Initiated by Professor Balakrishnan Rajagopal and co-edited by Sai Balakrishnan (Harvard GSD) and Nick Blomley (Simon Fraser University) this symposium invites five authors to share key insights their works provide in regards to the question of contemporary ‘displacement’ and the empirical, conceptual, normative and methodological implications revealed in their analysis.  

Four leading scholars- Ananya RoyTania Li, Richard SchraggerOren Yiftachel- read the individual responses and then provided general responses, critically engaging with questions such as: Why so much interest in displacement now? What does this literature tell us? Is displacement a useful category? How can we think globally or comparatively about displacement?

Beyond an introduction to these important new works, the discussion uplifted in this symposium generates important reflections for deepening our understanding of displacement across geographical contexts- from questioning the conventional boundaries constructed between ‘urban and ‘rural’ displacements to critically examining the particular mechanisms and logics that enable and naturalize displacement.

As stated in Professor Rajagopal’s introductory remarks, the books discussed in this symposium mark an important new turn in the study of global urban transformations, bringing displacement and evictions to the center rather than being treated as marginal.

We encourage you to help us continue this discussion, post your comments and reflections here in our community forum