While urban life has been overturned by the pandemic, this crisis invites us to think more broadly how the urban is an emergent form that can be redesigned to promote life and human flourishing. The pandemic has reactivated hidden circuits of racialization and social differentiation. The very conditions of living with the virus have posed new questions about the limits of the human, and the possibility of sociability. As an early epicenter, New York City has been forced to question anew its contested globality—both global capital and its dependence on labor and precarity. Over six weeks, the series will pick up these themes related to New York City and its global peers; pandemic urbanisms; race, climate, and housing; and utopian/dystopian imaginaries.
Maria John, Assistant Professor of History at University of Massachusetts, Boston