University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

March 28, 2013: Project Heat: Race and Embodiment in Chicago Public Housing’s Aftermath

Thursday, March 28
4:00 p.m., 125 Nolte Center

13-03-28-FennellCatherine (Cassie) Fennell teaches courses at Columbia University and serves as an advisor for AREA Chicago which supports the work of people and organizations building a socially just city. AREA actively gathers, produces, and shares knowledge about local culture and politics. Its newspaper, website, and events create relationships and sustain community through art, research, education, and activism.

Over the past fifteen years, Chicago has charged ahead with the most  ambitious urban planning experiment of its kind: The demolition of its  troubled public housing projects and their redevelopment into much smaller, partially-privatized, mixed-income developments. This talk examines the affective aftermath of these projects through the demise of ‘Project Heat’, an intense form of home heating once generated at the city’s public housing projects and pumped into residents’ apartments at abundant levels largely beyond their control. Fennell traces how transitioning public housing residents pursued sensations and comforts associated with project heat in new residential contexts, as well as politicized the serious financial and physical risks that accompanied these pursuits. Throughout, she pursues an analysis of racial differentiation capable of accommodating concerns about embodiment and sensation.

Organized by the Design, Architecture, and Culture group of Quadrant.

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