PhD Candidate, University of Oregon
Alex Farrington is a PhD candidate in Political Science at the University of Oregon. His current research examines the self-organization and direct action of communities facing housing precarity. His work sits at the intersection of radical political thought, housing politics, and urban studies. Alex is a passionate educator who believes strongly in participatory modes of pedagogy.
INSURGENT PLANNING AND MUTUAL LEARNING
This paper contributes to recent literature on insurgent planning and insurgent citizenship by examining the grassroots movements for self-managed transitional housing in Portland and Miami. Drawing on fieldwork, interviews, and archival research, I trace how organizers for Dignity Village in Portland and Take Back the Land in Miami managed to act strategically in relation to city officials while still retaining the autonomy of their broader movements. I find that both movements benefited from networks of mutual learning between concurrent housing struggles in other cities.
AT THE TABLE VS. IN THE STREETS: TENANT COLLABORATION AND PROTEST IN U.S. PUBLIC HOUSING
The literature on collaborative governance notes the importance of a rough balance of power among stakeholders as a precondition for successful collaborative outcomes (Ansell & Gash, 2007; Fung & Wright, 2003). Given the inherent power disparity between public housing tenants and their housing authorities, are attempts at collaborative governance in public housing doomed to fail? Do explicitly adversarial tenant strategies – like protests and rent strikes – secure a better position for tenants ‘at the table’ with public officials? To answer these questions, we compare two distinct responses to the degradation of public housing conditions in the United States. First, we investigate public housing tenant protests and rent strikes in St. Louis and Newark in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Second, we investigate the creation and implementation of HUD’s HOPE VI program in Portland and Newark in the 1990s and early 2000s.
MARXISM AND RADICAL THOUGHT
University of Oregon
This class explores key thinkers, debates, and movements within Marxism, anarchism, and radical thought. It covers foundational texts by Marx, examines the historical origins of (and key differences between) the Marxist and anarchist traditions, and explores some of the intellectual legacies of these traditions (e.g. critical theory and critical geography). It also explores the intersections of race, gender, and colonialism within radical thought and analyzes a diverse sample of radical movements from around the world.
SPATIAL POLITICS IN THE UNITED STATES
Summer Enrichment Program, Oak Hill School
This course provides an introduction to spatial politics – with a focus on the control of land and housing – in the United States. The first module introduces theoretical questions and concepts for the course, highlights major historical trends in the spatial and urban development of the United States, and reviews some of the major problems and contestations over space today. The second module compares three different approaches to dealing with spatial dilemmas: privatization and markets, public control, and grassroots organizing by local communities and activists.
833 Prince Lucien Campbell Hall
Department of Political Science
1284 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403-1284