Teaching the Geographic Political Economies of Ferguson

My esteemed and inspiring colleague, Kate Driscoll Derickson at UMN, sent around an email of her favorite teaching resources. There are so many of these resources out there but I thought a list with an explanation of what each of these resources affords the student or instructor was worth sharing. I found all of these sources incredibly helpful for prepping my own brief lecture on #Ferguson at Bowdoin today.
Updated 12/4/14: My equally esteemed and inspiring colleague, Josh Inwood at UTN, co-wrote an incredible political, economic, and cultural geographic analysis, “Remembering the Real Violence in Ferguson.” As Inwood and his colleagues write, “More specifically we highlight how the broader media focus on the “rioting” and “looting” in the aftermath of the police shooting deflects attention from the actually existing structures of violence that permit such killings.  This deflection is indicative of the ongoing legacies of traditional (mis)understandings of violence.”
I also want to add a short description of a paper by Sue Ruddick [1996], “Constructing Differences in Public Spaces: Race, Class and Gender as Interlocking Systems,” on the Just Desserts shooting in Toronto in 1990. The way that race, class, gender, and sexuality play out in space is specific to a certain place, especially public space. When we look again at Mike Brown’s shooting through his geography–not just the maps of St. Louis created by Colin Gordon (h/t to Anne E. Bonds)–but the actual residential street and neighborhood also plays a huge role of how we understand and our touched by this shooting. Excerpted from a section introduction to my co-edited reader, The People, Place, and Space Reader, here is more on Ruddick’s work and other related analyses.

Space and place are co-produced through many dimensions: race and class, urban and suburban, gender and sexuality, public and private, bodies and buildings. Feminist geographer, architect, and philosopher Susan Ruddick begins with an examination of the multi-layered relationship of power and place around the highly publicized 1990 shooting at Just Deserts in a Toronto mall. Ruddick unpacks the media attention to this tragic story through dimensions of public space and dynamics of power. She argues how the shooting of a middle-class, white woman by a black, male immigrant is used to create fear about public space, especially for women, and hatred and fear of non-white people and those marked outsiders like immigrants. The author spatializes Kimberlé Crenshaw’s (1996) concept of intersectionality to show how different identities interconnect with spaces to form different situations. Ruddick shows that the media frenzy around the event was related to what Neil Smith (1992) calls jumping scale. The concept of jumping scale explains how an issue at the level of a place can be magnified to commodify and objectify difference, at the same time that society rejects that difference. In this way, places are produced as raced, sexualized, classed, nationalized, ethnicized, and gendered through mechanisms of oppression, and, at the same time, these qualities are projected on to other spaces and places at different scales and these attitudes affect how we see ourselves.