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Sheryl-Ann Simpson

Tue, Jan 24, 2023    1:15pm

Performing and Audiencing Citizenship

Lecture by Sheryl-Ann Simpson, Assistant Professor at Carleton University.

Professor Simpson’s research and teaching are informed by an interest in the ways in which states and communities interact in place. She asks questions such as how are government policies and programs implemented or translated into everyday experiences; how do community members use, narrate and shape their environments; and in turn how do those actions and stories influence new government policies and programs. Professor Simpson focuses this general interest through questions around citizenship and immigration, and environmental justice and urban health. These interests also reflect Simpson’s interdisciplinary training centered around social planning and community development with stops in political science, biology and geography. The second half of her research and teaching focuses on research methodologies and methods thinking about the ways in which we can better address the questions above. In Simpson’s own work, she combines quantitative, qualitative and interpretive spatial methods with participant observation, visual (and sensory) studies, archival research, community design and participatory methods. All of Simpson’s work is strongly informed by both feminist and critical perspectives, and so praxis – bringing together ideas, and action – and a focus on using methods and technology to promote increased social justice are also important links between all of her research.

This lecture will be presented virtually. Please access the lecture through the Zoom webinar link here.

The idea of citizen participation has been standard in planning practice for decades. Yet there is a tendency for planners to recognize only a narrow group of people as citizens – as members of a self-governing group or polity – and view only a narrow range of activities as participation. The rest is described and treated as noise. In this talk Professor Simpson will look at three cases in urban and rural settings in Europe and North America to examine the ways in which residents who are often excluded from the category of citizen still perform citizenship within their communities; how the audiencing practices of urban planners and other institutional actors impact those performances; and think about what planning practice can learn from these performances.