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CREES Noon Lecture. "The Housing Question" in Eastern Europe Today: Gentrification in Post-Socialist Cities

Liviu Chelcea (PhD anthropology ’04), professor of sociology, University of Bucharest
Wednesday, March 7, 2018
12:00-1:30 PM
555 Weiser Hall Map
An increasing number of scholars have asked if "gentrification" is a concept applicable in the post-socialist cities, but also what theories about gentrification can contribute to the understanding post-socialist condition, and what "Western" theories might learn from the specificities of gentrification in post-socialist contexts. The lecture will explore these questions by outlining eight core findings and three gaps in the knowledge about the class remaking of cities of Eastern Europe and FSU. Three gaps stand out in the existing urban studies literature on gentrification in Eastern Europe: the key role of Friedrich Engels’ ideas on housing nationalization from the "The Housing Question;" the linkages between housing restitution, evictions, and gentrification; and the problematic assumptions about time and temporality of gentrification. Despite its pros and cons, using the concept of gentrification has the potential to expand the public agenda with conversations about shrinking affordable housing, uneven development, and structural violence in urban Eastern Europe. Cities of Eastern Europe may contribute to gentrification theories through an increased attention to property rights transformations and through a better understanding of the politics of portable knowledge across the world.

Liviu Chelcea (PhD anthropology, 2004, U-M) is an urban anthropologist and professor at the Department of Sociology, University of Bucharest, Romania. Currently a Fulbright Senior Researcher at the New School for Social Research, he is interested in urban infrastructures, especially water infrastructures and tap water in New York City and Bucharest. In the past, he wrote on housing, gentrification, segregation, parking, time, work, and deindustrialization. His research has been published in "City," "Comparative Studies in Society and History," "International Journal of Urban and Regional Research," "Eurasian Geography and Economics," "Anthropology of Work Review," "Political and Legal Anthropology Review," "Time and Society," and "SAPIENS."
Building: Weiser Hall
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: Anthropology, European, International, Sociology, Urban Planning
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, International Institute, Weiser Center for Europe and Eurasia, Department of Anthropology