Centre for URBan research (CURB) ‌


Click below to book tickets for Anna Bialkowska - An introduction to the Tang Hall Big Local Project

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Dan Swanton

Multicultural Atmospheres: Affect, Living with Difference and the Craft of Writing

Dan Swanton, Geography, University of Edinburgh

11/11/15 - 5:00-6:30PM - W/243


My paper is an experiment in geographical storytelling that begins with a walk through the streets of Keighley, a former mill town in northern England.  The walk is a fictionalised reconstruction that stitches together diverse research materials (dérives, participant observation, interviews, newspaper archives, photographs, urban myth and hearsay) to evoke and dramatise experiences of living with difference in a northern mill town.  The story is my attempt to work through a set of worries about what is at stake when I – and we – write. In particular, the walk offers an opportunity to reflect on a resurgent interest in storytelling and the craft of academic writing that focuses on the creativity of writing, cultural poetics and the performativity of stories.  Along the way this story seeks to perform a different kind of analysis, developing ways of writing about affect, the everyday, and the more-than-representational geographies of living with difference and urban encounters.

Anna Bialkowska

An introduction to the Tang Hall Big Local Project

This event is FREE, but you need to register via eventbrite, or by using the form above 

Anna Bialkowska

18/11/15 - 5pm followed by a drinks reception - M023 (Department of Biology, University of York)


Tang Hall has received £1m of National Lottery money via Local Trust, to spend over 10 years to help improve the lives of its residents. The Tang Hall Big Local area lies to the east of York city centre and around 9,000 people live in the area.  

We are delighted to welcome Anna Bialkowska, the Chair of the Tang Hall Big Local Partnership, to the University to introduce the project and the First Two-Year Local Plan 2015-17. Anna’s seminar will not only introduce the project but outline the reasoning behind the plan, its priority areas and the next steps. 

The seminar will be followed by a panel led discussion and provide a great opportunity to hear about this local project and explore how the University research community can engage with Tang Hall Big Local in the future. 

For more info about the Tang Hall Big Local project see: http://localtrust.org.uk/get-involved/big-local/tang-hall

The seminar is being jointly hosted and organised by:

The York Environmental Sustainability Institute – YESI (https://www.york.ac.uk/yesi/

The Centre for URBan research – CURB  (http://www.york.ac.uk/CURB)

Alice Mah

Port Cities and Toxic Hazards: from Tianjin to New Orleans

Alice Mah, Department of Sociology, University of Warwick

25/11/15 - 5:00-6:30PM - W/243

The recent Tianjin blasts in August 2015 brought public attention, once again, to growing concerns over environmental problems in China. But it also highlighted an important global problem, which is often overlooked: the worrying relationship between port cities, logistics, and toxic hazards. Tianjin is a major industrial port city in Northern China. The Tianjin blasts occurred in a warehouse that stores hazardous and inflammable chemicals, including some highly toxic chemicals such as sodium cyanide. Prior to the blasts, few workers or residents knew that those chemicals were there. This is the case, I suggest, in many other port cities around the world.

Dangerous cargo, including explosives, petroleum products, petrochemicals, chemicals, acids, and radioactive materials, is typically shipped in bulk rather than containers and accounts for more than 50% of cargo transported by sea. Much of the focus on the injustices of international shipping and port city logistics has been on the ubiquitous global shipping container, but little attention has been paid to the relationship between ports and hazardous goods. Dangerous cargo is not only transported through port cities; it is embedded within port landscapes. For example, chemical and petrochemical complexes are typically situated close to ports (e.g. New Orleans, Marseille, Castellón, Dalian), as a result of agglomeration economies of interrelated industrial activities and the technical requirements of shipping transport. The production, storage, and transport of dangerous goods is highly regulated in more affluent regions and less regulated in poorer areas, reflecting an uneven global political economy of profit and risk. Sociologically, it is important to map and reveal global embedded infrastructural port landscapes of toxic hazards— a project that I am currently undertaking-- and to think more critically about their implications for society, the environment, and health.