Andy, Janet, Jenny and Cecilia in San Francisco at the AAG – the American Association of Geographers’ annual meeting
CCI staff presented papers at the AAG in San Francisco this March: Dr Janet Merkel organised, together with Friederike Landau (Technischen Universität Berlin), two sessions on ‘Negotiating the ‘Creative City’: A new cultural governance for the ‘the creative city’?, in which Prof Andy Pratt, Dr Jenny Mbaye, Dr Cecilia Dinardi, among others, delivered presentations. Janet and Friederike also gave a detailed paper on the institutionalisation and negotiation of creative city policies in Berlin; Andy provided an encompassing review of cultural policy in times of austerity and post-Welfare state, proposing the notion of ‘curation’; Jenny suggested the idea of being in and out of the ‘creative polis’ in light of contemporary, informal art and cultural undertakings in West Africa (Dakar, Senegal; Segou Mali and Lagos, Nigeria); and Cecilia shared emerging findings of her research on the social foundations of the creative city in Latin America, looking at popular creativity and political resistance in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The discussion continued at an interactive panel, which Cecilia moderated, and was comprised by international speakers – Prof Tom Hutton (University of British Columbia), Prof Chris Gibson (University of Wollongong, Australia), Dr Max Nathan (LSE), Prof Andy Pratt and Dr Jenny Mbaye, from City University. The panel discussed new directions for creative city research, examining the relationship between the cultural economy and high-tech industries, providing methodological reflections on the limitations and opportunities that the notion of the ‘creative city’ presents, and reflecting critically on academic engagements with policy communities, particularly international organisations’ reports on the creative economy, and the important role of early-career researchers in expanding and contesting the creative city field.
The American Association of Geographers’ (AAG) annual meeting attracted over 9,000 scholars from 87 different countries who gathered in sunny San Francisco for a week of an exciting interdisciplinary programme of panels, sessions and lectures.