1. Here's a small sample of the barnraisers I've been fortunate to work with in the last year or so.
Read David Harvey, Anita Hill, Manning Marable, Terry Eagleton, Elizabeth Warren, Patricia McCoy, Auguste Comte, Kathe Newman, Tom Slater, Bob Lake, Bob Beauregard, Giovanni Arrighi, Phil Ashton, Lionel Youst, Jean Swanson ...
wrote with Sage Ponder, Pierson Nettling, Bjoern Surborg, Markus Moos, Pablo Mendez, Bosco Ho, Sophie Ellen Fung, Danielle Mckenzie, Dan Hammel, Mark Davidson, Jatinder Dhillon ...
met and learned from Bob Lake, Eric Sheppard, Greg Squires, Ruthie Gilmore, Susan Saegert, Mona Atia, Caitlin Cahill, John Goering, Susan Hanson, John Adams, Audrey Kobayashi, Anita Hill, Steve Holloway, Dick Walker, Susan Saegert, Michelle Fine, Brett Stoudt, Dan Sui, Kevin Cox, Mary Thomas, Mathew Coleman, Paul Plummer, Neil Smith, Robert S. Wyly, Mohinder Dhillon, Jatinder Dhillon ...
was supervised by Liz Lee, Nicholas Lynch, Markus Moos, Pablo Mendez, Liam McGuire, Tommy Thomson, Ren Thomas, Emily Rosenman, Sam Walker, Samuel Johns, Jean McKendry, Jatinder Dhillon ...
2. Here's a sample of stuff I've read [in the spare moments between the zillions of emails generated by bureaucrats and bots] in the last year or so, in no particular order.
[ekw glances at the bookshelf, across the disorganized stacks of the physical and mental offices].
Manning Marable, Malcolm X; Anita Hill, Finding a Home; Engel & McCoy, The Subprime Virus; Greg Grandin, Fordlandia; Terry Eagleton, Why Marx Was Right; Auguste Comte, Plan of the Scientific Operations Necessary for Reorganizing Society; Trevor Barnes' piece in Progress on the dusty archives; Philip Mirowski, Science Mart, excellent working papers, articles, and chapters on the financial crisis by Kathe Newman, R. Alan Walks, Phil Ashton, Manuel Aalbers, Saskia Sassen, Dan Immergluck, Andrew Ross Sorkin, Alex Schafran...
David Harvey, Enigma of Capital, and the 2008 Nik Heynen UGA Edition of Social Justice and The City. And of course David Harvey at Occupy London and other circulating simulacra of video clips ...
Susan Fainstein, The Just City. Erik Olin Wright, Envisioning Real Utopias. David Imbroscio on Critical Perspectives on Urban Theory. Jamie Peck on Suburbanism as the Neoliberal Spatial Frontier. Danny Dorling, Injustice. Updates on Tom Slater's book, Fighting Gentrification.
just a few pages of Lefebvre on Right to the City, E.P. Thompson on the Luddites, Chris Hamnett on the Unequal City, David Ley on Millionaire Migrants,
But wait! Is there even such a thing as a "usual" media diet? Could it ever be possible to share an exact, one-to-one correspondence in the information experienced on a sustained basis between all unique paired combinations of individuals in the human global population? Except for those people and places not yet articulated into the informational mode of production, every individual has at least one inescapably individualized identity, what Michael Curry calls the "digital individual." Nearly all "real" individuals today have many, many digital identities. We are all bombarded with increasingly customized information and media flows, based on the dialectic between advertising and the ripple effects of our own choices as measured and monitored across the surveillant Web.
3. The sampling fraction for  is much smaller than the fraction for .
It's hard to find time to read carefully and thoroughly, isn't it? But here's some of what I've been working on that we should use in a syllabus if you are interested in doing Geography 448, Directed Studies, with me this term.
This is, as Peter Gould once described it, our search for common ground and our common ground for search. In other words: consider my list as you create your own preferred list for directed studies. If you don't have any idea what you want to read in a directed studies, then I recommend that you root around the various chunks of my crazy disorganized website, to get a sense of what I know and what I don't know. If you find areas of common interest, then that will help you start making decisions on what kinds of books to read.
Can I tell you exactly what to read? Well, yes. But here is the fundamental rule of higher education in this part of our world today: If I can tell you exactly what to read, or what to do, then you are learning a skill that prepares you for exactly those kinds of jobs that are fast disappearing. If you learn how to do exactly what you are told to do, then you're learning how to do the jobs that are being replaced by something cheaper than you. That something might be a person somewhere willing to work for less than you. Or it might be a computer or the latest software app. These days, the only way to avoid slipping into the most insecure, poorly-paid work is to learn how to do something that the computers and software cannot yet do. With today's accelerating digital capitalism, there are fewer and fewer things that the machines can't do. We are all being reduced to code. The job markets of late capitalism have changed the entire social contract of education that prevailed in the 'industrial era' of university life: roughly from the passage of the Morrill Act in 1862 until sometime in the mid-1970s, when economic crisis intersected with dramatic shifts in the politics of the university in society.
What this means is that you have to invest a bit of time and effort yourself, and then we can have a conversation in which I can tell you what I'd recommend, but then you can perhaps disagree, and say, "what about this?" and so on. It's not me Telling You Exactly What to Do So You Can Tick the Right Box on The Multiple-Choice Test. (The reason why those exams do persist, of course, is that the industrial university had to achieve economies of scale, and now in the postindustrial university, a shrinking share of the money is devoted to small-class teaching experiences. The multiple choice test has to survive or everyone would be working 24-7 if we were to try to give students the small-seminar experience in today's large classes with fifty, one hundred, or even two hundred students.)
So: I'm happy to brainstorm with you if you catch me on the telephone, or if you see me in the hallway and you catch me before or after class. But try to avoid email. If you send me an email asking me what things to read, then you're putting me up against Google's speed and global comprehensiveness. I haven't read as much as Google. Have you?
But if you talk to me, with a minimum of electronic barriers in between, then things you say in our conversation will suddenly trigger parts of my rusty memory, and then I might think of something different I just read a few hours ago, or maybe half a lifetime ago, and then you'd ask me how that relates to something else you're interested in, and ...
and pretty soon we are doing our directed readings, our barnraising.
So: start working on your syllabus, chat with me if you want further advice, but I recommend you choose any five or six items below and make sure they're on your syllabus along with other items you've chosen based on your preliminary investigations and/or brainstorm conversations with me and other colleagues. That will give you some common ground in our conversations.
I am sorry for putting some of my own stuff on here. When I first learned what it meant to be a "professor," there was a gentle stigma against recommending one's own books or articles. Self-promotion was seen as a bit too arrogant and self-centered. But now it seems that everyone is forced to be self-promotional: in a world of endless information and more and more voices on all sorts of issues, all of us have to shout louder to be heard, so everyone recommends their own work. Yikes, have I completely sold out?
So I'd like you to see the "Wyly" references below from a different perspective. The Wyly name has to be there just because ... well, it's what everyone does when they write and there has to be a name on the database somewhere that says "author." And of course the Wyly name has to be there because it makes my dad proud, and that makes me feel worthwhile and useful. But, really, seriously, who are we kidding? Serious authors know that there comes a point where the individual writer's consciousness is so deeply affected by the gifts from other authors that it destabilizes the epistemological boundaries of individual minds and collectivities of knowledge production.
Ooh, such crazy cryptic polysyllabic verbiage!
Let me keep it simpler: Putting my stuff down there helps me promote my coauthors and others who have made it possible to write these things.
Wyly, Elvin K. and Sage Ponder (2011). "Gender, Age, and Race in Subprime America," Housing Policy Debate 21(4), 529-564.
Wyly, Elvin K., Ponder, C.S., Nettling, Pierson, Fung, Sophie Ellen, Liebowitz, Zachary, and Hammel, Daniel J. (2012). "New Racial Meanings of Housing in America." American Quarterly, forthcoming August.
Wyly, Elvin K. (2011). "Positively Radical," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 35(5), 889-912.
Wyly, Elvin K. (2012). "Automated (Post)Positivism." Vancouver: Department of Geography, University of British Columbia.
Eagleton, Terry (2011). Why Marx Was Right. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Harvey, David (2012). Rebel Cities: From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution. London: Verso.
Hill, Anita F. (2011). Finding a Home. New York: Norton.
Arrighi, Giovanni (2007). Adam Smith in Beijing. London: Verso.
Wright, Erik Olin (2010). Envisioning Real Utopias. London: Verso.
Marable, Manning (2011). Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention. New York: Norton.
John Freeman (2009). The Tyranny of E-Mail: The Four-Thousand-Year Journey to Your Inbox. New York: Scribner.
Ron Suskind (2011). Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and the Education of a President. New York: HarperCollins.
Baldwin, Andrew, Laura Cameron, and Audrey Kobayashi, editors (2012). Rethinking the Great White North: Race, Nature, and the Historical Geographies of Whiteness in Canada. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press.
Grandin, Greg (2009). Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford's Forgotten Jungle City. New York: Metropolitan Books.