The Bartlett School of Planning


Virtual Public Lecture: Racialized Geographies of Housing Financialization

25 November 2020, 6:00 pm–8:00 pm

Scenes from surrendered homes

Join us on Zoom for the second in our series of public lectures.

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Victoria Howard

Financial violence is racial violence: geographies of housing financialization spatialize hierarchies of death-dealing racial difference. However, research concerned with housing financialization rarely addresses the inextricable relationship between racism and capitalism. Racial division and subordination have been necessary to producing value in real estate since the colonial era. Today, financialization materially reproduces racial capitalism by reconfiguring the death-dealing abstraction of racism from systems of individual bias and racialized bodies into automated systems. But rather than reducing racially subordinated communities to experiences of oppression and domination, producing life-giving geographies of housing requires bringing collective resistance for emancipatory social change into the analytic frame.

Desiree Fields

About the Speaker

Desiree Fields

Assistant Professor of Geography and Global Metropolitan Studies at University of California, Berkeley

After attaining her PhD from the City University of New York in 2013, Fields was based in the Department of Geography at the University of Sheffield from 2014 to 2019. Fields sits on the board of the Urban Studies Foundation and is a core partner in the Housing Justice in Unequal Cities network led by Ananya Roy. Her research explores the financial technologies, market devices, and historical and geographic contingencies making it possible to treat housing as a financial asset, and how this process is contested at the urban scale. At the heart of this agenda is an interest in how financial capitalism unevenly restructures urban space and social relations, with a particular concern for how urban struggles for justice coalesce around these changes. Her recent work has addressed how housing financialization has been reconfigured to target rental housing in the post-2008 era, and the crucial role of digital technologies in constructing a new asset class in the rental market. She is currently building on this research by developing a framework for understanding the financialization of housing in terms of racial capitalism.

More about Desiree Fields