Worlding Cities, Pied-à-terre Subjects

September 16, 2008

12:00 p.m. | Green College Coach House, 6323 Cecil Green Park Road, UBC

The Centre for Cross-Faculty Inquiry in Education (CCFI) Noted Scholars Lecture Series, co-sponsored by: Departments of Asian Studies, Anthropology, Critical Studies in Sexuality, Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies, Centre for Culture, Identity, and Education (CCIE) and the Centre for the Study of the Internationalization of Curriculum Studies (CSICS).

The rise of Asian cities as centers of spectacle and speculation challenges conventional notions about the global city as a site of universal human rights. Professor Ong argues that the ambitious Asian city is a branded state-space, a spectralized site that coordinates and generates flows of global knowledge, actors, and values. Pied-à-terre subjects, especially knowledge nomads, are recruited and favored for their production of diverse material and symbolic values. But, while pied‑à‑terre subjects are crucial to the prestige and wealth of the worlding city, they are the embodiment of the denationalized character of capitalism. Poised between staying and going, the knowledge nomad performs a transfer of value that shapes the hyper-metropolis as both a national space and a site of mutating citizenship.