Prof. Dr. Alexa Färber
Institute for European Ethnology, University of Vienna, Austria
THE CITY AS PROMISSORY ASSEMBLAGE OR:
HOW TO THINK AND STUDY THE NON-/TRANSFORMATIVE
September 5th, 2018, 6 p.m.
at Georg-Simmel Center for Metropolitan Studies
Humboldt-University of Berlin
Cities are ever-changing arrangements of human and non-human actors, of ideas and their realizations, of lived, experienced and represented urban environments. Concepts in urban studies, therefore, focus on different kinds of transformations that have taken place throughout history, how these transformations have come about, and what urban morphologies result from these transformations. From the perspective of everyday routines, stability, dependability, and reliability are indispensable for secure ways of living and experiencing the city. This tension of the urban as non-/transformative is articulated by manyfold promises made in and by the city. In this lecture, Prof. Alexa Färber proposes to think this non-/transformative character of the urban together with the notion of promissory assemblage. An understanding of the city as promissory assemblage allows us to study how different urban scales of are interrelated, and enables us to grapple the contradictory character of concepts such as “commons” and “urban resilience.” The remaining question is: How do we meet situations where the non-/transformative is an issue of everyday concern in the city?