Events & exhibitions
event • Conferences & Symposia

Intersections: Understanding Urbanism in the Global Age

  • Friday, April 28, 2017
  • Knafel Center
    10 Garden Street
    Cambridge, MA 02138
Panel at the Intersections conference.
Intersections conference. Photo by Kevin Grady

Urbanism is a global phenomenon, presenting us with a range of pressing issues to consider—economic, political, and material, but most of all human.

Our conference is designed to stimulate a broad-based discussion about “the urban” in the 21st century, a much more complicated concept than 19th- and 20th-century cities. This change has been much studied by social scientists, but we often overlook how these new urban centers are being experienced by their inhabitants. This Radcliffe Institute conference will take a multidisciplinary and international approach to explore the challenges and tensions that people in urban communities face today.

Free and open to the public.


Event Videos

Speaker at the Intersections conference.



Lizabeth Cohen, dean of the Radcliffe Institute and Howard Mumford Jones Professor of American Studies, Harvard University


Angela Flournoy, author of The Turner House; Rona Jaffe Foundation Fellow at the New York Public Library Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers

Panel at the Intersections conference.

Ways of Knowing the City

Heidi Ewing, filmmaker; codirector of the Emmy Award–winning film Detropia

Mark Shepard, associate professor, Departments of Architecture and Media Study, School of Architecture and Planning, University at Buffalo

Sooni Taraporevala, photographer; award-winning screenwriter (Mississippi Masala, Salaam Bombay!, The Namesake) and director (Little Zizou)

Moderator: Julie A. Buckler, faculty director of the Humanities Program at the Radcliffe Institute; co–principal investigator, Harvard-Mellon Urban Initiative; Samuel Hazzard Cross Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures and of Comparative Literatures in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University

Speaker at the Intersections conference.

Beyond the Nature/Technology Divide

Dilip da Cunha, adjunct professor, Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning, University of Pennsylvania

Anna Schuleit Haber, visual artist

Matthias Schuler, founder, Transsolar KlimaEngineering, and Anja Thierfelder, architect (Germany)

Moderator: Erik Ghenoiu, research manager, Harvard-Mellon Urban Initiative

Speaker at the Intersections conference.

Planned and Unplanned

Edgar Pieterse, South African research chair in urban policy and director, African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town (South Africa)

Ana Elvira Vélez Villa, architect (Colombia)

Ricky Burdett, professor of urban studies and director, LSE Cities, the London School of Economics and Political Science

Moderator: Eve Blau, co–principal investigator, Harvard-Mellon Urban Initiative; adjunct professor of the history and theory of urban form and design, Harvard Graduate School of Design


Julie A. Buckler

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