Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Lumpen City: Discourses of Marginality / Marginalizing Discourses

(Red Quill Books, 2011)
In spring of 2009 I travelled to York University to participate in an international sociology conference. The conference concerned problems of representation and research into the 21st Century Lumpenproletariat. I was impressed by the breadth and quality of the talks delivered, cheered by the considerable time and scholarly attention devoted to urban margins all over the world. My own contribution concerned my time as a volunteer with the Ottawa Panhandlers' Union, delivered as an avowedly partisan report and largely bracketing the usual methodological self-reflexivity that can be expected in such conferences. Discussion was high quality and the conference very well organized.

The conference proceedings have been boiled down into an impressive volume recently published by Red Quill Books (http://redquillbooks.com/Lumpencity.html). I'm happy to announce that my paper, amended to include a short section on methodology and research ethics, has been included. I'm particularly pleased that the editors have included a thematically broad array of interventions, from nuts-and-bolts practical matters to literary theory (on this count, I especially like "Samuel Delany’s Lumpen Worlds and the Problem of Representing Marginality" by Lisa Estreich). I hope this text will find a wide audience.

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