Dr. Samina Raja, founder and director of the UB Food Lab, will deliver a lecture, “Dis)entangling research(ers) from/in place,”
on Feb 14, 2024 at 6:00 PM. The lecture kicks of the school’s public program series at the School of Architecture and Planning – University at Buffalo for spring 2024.
Description of lecture: The theorist and economist Amartya Sen challenges the idea of identity as a solely emergent object. He argues identity constitutes three parts — individual, perceived (by others), and socially engaged (in a particular context) — and that identity is the result of reasoned choices subject to some (minimal) constraints. Drawing on Amartya Sen’s work, in this lecture, Samina Raja reflects on the importance of the identities of planners in making and unmaking spaces and places. For whom do they research, and from where do they draw their frames of inquiry? The identities of the researcher influence the relevance of their research, the rigor of their research, and, ultimately, urban planning as a field of inquiry and practice. Raja will draw on examples of food systems research in the cities of Buffalo (United States) and Srinagar (Jammu & Kashmir) to discuss the epistemological possibilities and challenges of researchers’ positionality vis-a-vis particular places, times, and people. In doing so, she explores the ethical dilemmas researchers encounter when entering, residing, and researching in, and often exiting the places of their planning and design inquiry and practice — places where they may belong or unbelong by virtue of their identities.
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