Well, I’m tired of thinking, “I should start a daily writing practice.” So, here it is, just what the world needs: Another graduate student/narcissist with a blog!
Queer Urban Ecologies marks the beginning of an online presence for a project I have worked on in various ways since the phrase first occurred to me in 2006 as a student at NYU’s Program in Metropolitan Studies. You may know that I have been interested in the intersections of the city, the natural, and the sexual/embodied since my first days in New York. Since then I have worked on two major research projects, one focused on the queer history and ecology of New York City’s West side waterfront and one focused on the more recent invention of the High Line as an ecological icon. The latter is work in which I am still involved and on which I will continue to write and reflect here. The former indubitably informs my interests, but is a less active project at this moment. The current manifestation of my academic work is as a PhD Candidate in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University. In that regard, this blog will play a vital role in my aggregation of pieces of writing, commentary, and intellectual experimentation. I hope to use this space to engage with what I am reading and thinking about in the context of my ongoing academic work.
I also see this as a space of refraction and imagination. I hope to use this blog not just to circulate content with pithy taglines (though this will obviously still happen) but also to engage more meaningfully with already circulating bits of knowledge, culture, media, art, and writing in the blogscape and on the intersphere. Refraction has always been more interesting to me than reflection; despite my general desire to get away from the dominance of optico-geometric spatial and linguistic metaphors (hey Lefebvre, you’re here early!) the first step is to choose one that at least departs form the pallid genre of reflection. I’m more interested in how things change when they pass through various media. Queer Urban Nature is one such medium, doubtless it will be of varying density.
Finally, I hope this will be a space of engagement with the many talented people I have encountered across the world in the last several years in New York City, Budapest, the UK and elsewhere. Where platforms like Facebook serve as a sort of passive surveillance vehicle and steroidal address book/event planning service, I hope this will be a space where we might become embroiled in more substantive and ongoing discussions of topics which interest folks working, writing, thinking, and acting in areas of urban, queer, and ecological scholarship, activism, and experimentation.
And, in the words of one unnamed supernerd with whom I used to share an office space, there you go. Please waste your time with me as we dance together through the strange world that is Queer Urban Ecologies!