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The Division of Social Sciences Spring 2023 Luncheon Seminar Series

Speaker: Madeleine Hamlin, Visiting Assistant Professor in Geography

Date/Time:  Feb 9th, 12-1pm

Location: 27 Persson Hall Auditorium 

Title: Chicago's Public Housing Cops: Crime, Carcerality, and Urban Transformation.

Description: This talk will trace the decade-long career of the Chicago Housing Authority Police, an in-house public housing police department that operated from 1989-1999 in Chicago's public housing communities. Drawing upon ethnographic and archival data, I will explore the role of the force in mediating spatial and social relations in public housing as well as in shaping broader public housing policy in the waning years of the twentieth century. What, for example, did it mean for a housing agency to run its own police department? And, what does this ostensible expansion of the agency's role reveal about the nature of life in late-twentieth century urban housing projects? Through a careful consideration of historical-geographic factors, I argue that policing ultimately served to uphold racial capitalist property regimes that undercut the potential of public housing in Chicago as elsewhere, thus justifying the seeming need for widespread demolitions.

Lunch: Lunch provided w/ vegetarian options, while supplies last. We've removed the single use water bottles to help reduce the waste from these events. We'll provide a jug of water though, so feel free to bring your reusable cup to help us reduce waste.


The next talk in this series is on Feb. 23rd with Professor Newman (HIST).


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