The Sexuality and Space Specialty Group is thrilled to have Dr. Lorena Muñoz deliver the Sexuality and Space Keynote Address at AAG 2019 in Washington, DC. Dr. Muñoz is an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota and jointly affiliated in the Department of Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies; the Department of American Studies; the Department of Chicano & Latino Studies; and the Department of Geography, Environment & Society.
Read the abstract to her keynote address, “Queering Economies and Messy Urban Futures,” below.
Abstract: Since the 1990s, cities in the global south have implemented revanchist neoliberal urban regeneration policies that cater to urban elites based on “recovering” public space for capital accumulation purposes. These policies often work to reify street vending as survival strategies of ‘last resort’ for marginalized people and as unorganized, unsystematic economic activities that need to be disciplined, incorporated and institutionalized into the formal economy. So how do we move away from formal/informal economy frameworks that shape neoliberal urban regime policies, towards a framework that understands street vending as valuable, flexible, entangled, non-criminal and productive? I argue, that by moving away from frameworks that reify formal/informal spheres of the economy, we are able to disrupt and rethink normative understandings of economic practices categorized as ‘informal’. Through queering economies, we prioritize and center informal workers’ own understandings of their own self-value and legitimacy of their economic lives and contributions to urban life. We need to move away from totalizing binary frameworks of informal/formal economy that flatten out diverse capitalisms, in what feminist political economists Gibson-Graham (1996:6) term “capitalcentrism.” Queering economies, opens possibilities for understanding the complexity of multiple, incomplete, embodied, everyday processes of subaltern populations that reconfigure, deconstruct, and challenge assumptions about what constitutes, produces, and operationalizes informal economies. To this end, we can account for temporal entanglements of material and non-material processes that inform and affect the way bodies construct, organize, and consume local informal economies.
The 2019 Sexuality and Space Keynote Address will take place on Saturday, April 6, 2019, from 1:10 PM – 2:50 PM, in Marriott Wardman Park – Hoover (Mezzanine Level).