Last Project Standing: Civics, Sympathy and the City Without Public Housing

Quadrant: Design, Architecture, and Culture

Based on three years of ethnographic and archival research in Chicago (2002-2010), this book follows the transformation of a modernist public housing complex. It interrogates how urbanites experience the affective and material textures of changing housing in ways that compel them to re-examine the ethics of belonging to their city and their nation at a "post welfare" moment. Professor Fennell mobilizes insights from anthropological studies of materiality, perception and sympathy to argue that how urbanites grasp their citizenly duties and their bonds to strangers who share them is profoundly shaped by how they come into contact with a particular place, its things and their qualities. In sum, "Last Project" contributes to the critical study of contemporary urban transformation and welfare regimes by interrogating how emplaced encounters with the Fordist welfare state's changing infrastructures cultivate new stances on citizenly recognition and obligation. Additionally, this book will add to interdisciplinary conversations on citizenship, materiality and racial embodiment.

University of Minnesota