Plenary Speakers

Spaces and Flows: An International Conference on Urban and ExtraUrban Studies will feature plenary sessions by some of the world’s leading thinkers and innovators in the field, as well as numerous parallel presentations by researchers and practitioners.

Julie MacLeavy
Kevin Ward
David Wilson

Garden Conversation Sessions

Plenary Speakers will make formal 30-minute presentations. They will also participate in 60-minute Garden Conversations – unstructured sessions that allow delegates a chance to meet the speakers and talk with them informally about the issues arising from their presentation.

Please return to this page for regular updates.


The Speakers

Julie MacLeavy
Julie MacLeavy is a Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Bristol, UK. In her research she aims to develop a ‘cultural political economy’ reading of state intervention and its geographies. This requires the application of methods, ideas and concepts drawn from the ‘cultural turn’ in the social sciences to investigate issues of ‘traditional’ political-economic concern, including labour market regulation, welfare provision and urban renewal. Her early work concentrated on how narratives of social exclusion had been consistently employed to legitimate temporary labour market attachments as a recurrent objective in welfare policies and participation in urban regeneration schemes in the UK. More recently, building on a long standing interest in gender and feminist geography, Julie has been concerned with the manner in which familiar feminist questions about recognition, rights and the redistribution of care are being resituated in light of contemporary economic, political, and social transformations. Julie’s work has published in a number of scholarly journals including Environment and Planning A, Urban Studies and Gender, Place and Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography.

Kevin Ward
Kevin is Professor of Human Geography and Director of cities@manchester at the University of Manchester. He is a geographical political economist with interests in urban politics and policy, on the one hand, and work and employment on the other. His current work explores urban policies to see where they come from, how they travel, where they end up and what these journeys means for the cities the policies pass through. Theoretically, this involves rethinking what is meant by ‘the urban’ in urban politics, as elements of different places are assembled and reassembled to constitute particular ‘urban’ political realms. Methodologically, this involves doing fieldwork in a range of sites inside and outside of the cities that are the objects of study, literally seeking to reveal the circuits, networks and webs in and through which policies are moved. His co-edited book (with Eugene McCann) Mobile Urbanism: Cities and Policymaking in the Global Age (Minnesota University Press) was published in 2011.

David Wilson
David Wilson is currently investigating projects pivoting around the political economy of the U.S. city. Specific projects examine the politics of urban growth regimes in Midwest cities, the politics of competing discursive formations that generate gentrified neighborhoods and poverty communities, and the racializing of the contemporary urban issues of crime and city growth. At the moment, he serves on the editorial boards of Urban Geography, Professional Geographer, Social and Cultural Geography, Syracuse University Press (Society, Space, and Place Book Series), Inter-Cultural Studies, the International Encyclopedia of Human Geography project and Acme: International Journal for Critical Geography.