Constructing Solidarities for a Humane Urbanism

Telling Stories and Building Alliances

Is it possible to develop non-exploitative alliance work across disparate sites such as a university classroom in the U.S. and a rural village in India? Is it possible to center marginalized voices? Richa Nagar and Tarun Kumar’s talk is an invitation to dwell on those questions. As they elaborate on their collaborations with rural laborers and small farmers in India, and students in U.S. universities, we are invited to reflect on how education is about learning as well as unlearning and how we can grow through acknowledging and working together by becoming radically vulnerable to each other. It is possible to build alliance by digging into our shared histories and unearthing the relations that bind us across dissimilar geographies. Theater and storytelling play a vital role in the praxis of alliance work. 

Reading Suggestions

Nagar, R. (2013). Storytelling and co-authorship in feminist alliance work: reflections from a journey. Gender, Place & Culture20(1), 1-18.

Nagar, R., & Ali, F. (2003). Collaboration across borders: moving beyond positionality. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography24(3), 356-372.

Benson, K., & Nagar, R. (2006). Collaboration as resistance? Reconsidering the processes, products, and possibilities of feminist oral history and ethnography. Gender, Place & Culture13(5), 581-592.

Nagar, R. (2014). Muddying the waters: Coauthoring feminisms across scholarship and activism. University of Illinois Press.

Nagar, R. (2006). Playing with fire: Feminist thought and activism through seven lives in India. University of Minnesota Press.

Throgmorton, J. A. (2003). Planning as persuasive storytelling in a global-scale web of relationships. Planning Theory2(2), 125-151.

Sandercock, L. (2003). Out of the closet: The importance of stories and storytelling in planning practice. Planning Theory & Practice4(1), 11-28.

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