April 27, 2017, 7pm
Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. Discussion with director Sara Jordenö follows.

Olivier Vallerand

Queer potentialities: On space and communities

Thursday March 2 5-6:30pm
 Room 1000, Wurster Hall

Adam Nathaniel Furman

Queering Architectural design

Thursday April 20 6-7:30pm
 Room 1000, Wurster Hall

Andrew Herscher
Beryl Satter

Racial Urbanisms

Thursday April 27 4-6pm
 Wurster Hall 106

Kian Goh

Natalie Oswin

Beryl Satter

Sara Jordenö

Symposium: Queer Possessions and Dispossessions of the City

Friday April 28
Wurster Hall Lobby
11am-1pm Graduate student presentations and think-in
2-4pm Closing panel moderated by Greig Crysler

What aspects of contemporary urban politics relate to the history of queer activism and how does queer relate to diverse experiences of race, class, ethnicity and gender? Another way to ask the question is: what is political about queer studies today? Throughout the late 19th and 20th century, queer and non-conforming peoples used the city as a site for refashioning notions of identity and community. As many urban centers today exist in the grips of highly commodified real estate markets, capitalist and nationalist forces often function through the elaboration of a heteronormative or “homonormative” identity and household formation. How can we rethink the city as a site of alternative ways of being together?


Olivier Vallerand is a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design. Vallerand completed a PhD at McGill University after professional studies in architecture at Université Laval. He has taught at Université Laval, UQAM, and McGill University. After working for architectural firms in Washington, DC, Los Angeles, and Quebec City, he currently keeps an installation-based practice with 1x1x1 Creative Lab. His research has been published in the Journal of Architectural Education, Interiors: Design, Architecture, Culture, Captures, Inter, art actuel, The Educational Forum and the Sexuality volume of the Whitechapel Documents of Contemporary Art series.

Adam Nathaniel Furman was trained in architecture, but his practice has branched out to include a broad range of scales and media. He writes, makes films, designs products, furniture, architecture and interiors, as well as constantly pursuing research through his teaching role at Central St Martins, and the Research Group 'Saturated Space' which he runs at the Architectural Association, exploring colour in Architecture and Urbanism through events, lectures and publications. He was Designer in Residence at the Design Museum in London for 2013-14, received the Blueprint Award for Design Innovation in 2014, was awarded the highly prestigious UK Rome Prize for Architecture 2014-15, was one of the Architecture Foundation's "New Architects" in 2016, and has just been described by Rowan Moore, architecture critic for the Observer, as one of the four rising stars of 2017. In all his work Adam explores the relationship between memory, imagination, history and communication at multiple scales, always with a critical eye towards the way in which sensual architectural form, in a dialogue with the past and the future, can communicate complex issues through eloquent and expressive shapes and environments. He has laid out an approach to the relationship between form and the conveyance of complex content, which simultaneously draws on new technologies and mediums, whilst anchoring itself firmly in the wealth of past traditions; a dialogue between progress and positivity, memory and loss, the ephemeral and fashionable and the eternal and immutable, which is vital to the production of designs that accurately reflect our contemporary condition.

Andrew Herscher is a member of the We the People of Detroit Community Research Collective, Detroit Resists, and the San Francisco-based Commune Research Commune. Among his publications are Violence Taking Place: The Architecture of the Kosovo Conflict (Stanford University Press, 2010); The Unreal Estate Guide to Detroit (University of Michigan Press, 2012); Spatial Violence, co-edited with Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi (Routledge, 2016), and Displacements: Architecture and Refugee (Sternberg Press, forthcoming). He is currently Creative Cities Fellow at the Stanford Arts Institute and Associate Professor at the University of Michigan.

Beryl Satter is Professor of History at Rutgers University-Newark.  Her book Family Properties: Race, Real Estate, and the Exploitation of Black Urban America (2009) won the Organization of American Historians’ Liberty Legacy Award for best book in civil rights history and the Jewish Book Council’s National Jewish Book Award in History.  It was a finalist for the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize, and for the Ron Ridenhouer Book Prize, awarded to “those that persevere in acts of truth-telling.”  She is a cofounder, with Darnell Moore and Christina Strasburger, of the Queer Newark Oral History Project (  To support her current book project, a history of a pioneering community development bank called ShoreBank, she won a Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship in 2015, and was selected as an Andrew Carnegie Fellow in 2016.

This “indelible, must-see ode to gay New York” (New York Times) showcases the vibrant dance art form/way of life known as Kiki, born from the ballroom movement and led by an outspoken new generation of activist LGBTQ youth of color.

Details and tickets

Sara Jordenö, born 1974 in Robertsfors, Sweden, is a NYC-based documentary filmmaker, visual artist, researcher and educator, whose projects often concern communities facing different types of marginalization. Her work is informed by discussions around authorship andagency, and resides in the crossing points of site-specific and participatory art and documentary cinema. Jordenö’s longitudinal projects often engage with a specific site or community. In the process of making these works, she has collaborated with (and at times shared authorship with) sociologists, activists, community organizers and members of the communities that she investigates. Part of an international network of filmmakers, academics and community organizers working and thinking around hidden populations, Jordenö’s work is disseminated both in social sciences, contemporary art and film.

Kian Goh, RA, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Urban Planning at UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. She researches the relationships between urban ecological design, spatial politics, and social mobilization in the context of climate change and global urbanization. Professor Goh's current research investigates the urban spatial politics of climate change adaptation. This research traces flows of ideas and influence between sites and adaptation strategies in Southeast Asia, North America, and Europe. More broadly, her research interests include urban theory, urban design, environmental planning, and urban political ecology.

A licensed architect, Professor Goh cofounded design firm SUPER-INTERESTING! She has practiced professionally with Weiss/Manfredi and MVRDV. She was previously Assistant Professor of Urban Landscape at Northeastern University School of Architecture, and has also taught at MIT, the University of Pennsylvania, the New School, and Washington University in St. Louis. She has also conducted research as an affiliate of the Resilient Cities Housing Initiative at MIT, and the Urban Theory Lab at Harvard Graduate School of Design. Professor Goh received a PhD in Urban and Environmental Planning from MIT, and a Master of Architecture from Yale University.

Recent publications include coauthored articles on social justice and climate change adaptation in JPER and Nature Climate Change, an article on the sociopolitics of “smart cities,” a book chapter on queer activism in New York City, and a coauthored article on post-tsunami rebuilding in Indonesia in Places Journal. Forthcoming publications include an article on design and urban adaptation in Perspecta: The Yale Architectural Journal.

Natalie Oswin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at McGill University. She has published articles on South Africa’s post-apartheid gay and lesbian movement, the cultural politics of heteronormativity in Singapore, and pieces on the concept of queer geographies in such journals as Gender, Place and Culture, Environment and Planning A, Progress in Human Geography, Signs: A Journal of Women in Culture and Society, Social and Cultural Geography and Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. She has also co-edited special issues of the journals Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, Mobilities, and Antipode on the themes ‘Governing intimacy’, ‘Mobile City Singapore’, and 'World, city, queer', respectively. She is Managing Editor of the journal Environment and Planning D: Society and Space.

Funding for Queer Urbanisms provided by the Arcus Fund via College of Environmental Design Diversity Platforms. Funding for Racial Urbanisms/HTS Speaker Series provided by the Draper Architectural Research Fund.