Plenary Speakers

Teresa Córdova is the Director of UIC’s Great Cities Institute. She is also Professor of Urban Planning and Policy in the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs (CUPPA) and affiliate of the Departments of Sociology and Gender and Women’s Studies. Professor Córdova received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. As an applied theorist, political economist, and community-based planner, Professor Córdova approaches her work as a scholarship of engagement in which research, pedagogy, and service are integrated. Her analysis of global/local dynamics, including impacts of globalization on Latino communities, informs her publications in Community Development and Latino Studies. Throughout her career, Teresa has engaged with communities outside the university and is an expert in community/university partnerships. She publishes in the fields of Community Development and Latino Studies. Before returning to Chicago, where she taught in the late 1980s, she was Chair and Professor of Community and Regional Planning at the University of New Mexico (UNM). During her twenty-one years at UNM, she was founder and former Director of the Resource Center for Raza Planning in the College of Architecture and Planning at UNM.  While director, the Center engaged students in research, policy writing and analysis, public participation, design, strategic and sector planning, and curriculum related to issues of economic development, infrastructure (water, sewer, drainage and road improvement), land use, neighborhood stabilization, agricultural preservation and youth development. Professor Córdova is currently President of the Board of Directors of The Praxis Project, a national, nonprofit organization that provides research, technical assistance and financial support to tackle issues impacting the well being of communities. She also sits on the Board of Directors of CANTV, Chicago’s public access television. Dr. Córdova is a featured speaker at conferences, symposia, and community events nationally and internationally.

Byron Miller’s recent work focuses on the spatial constitution of social movements, urban governance and governmentality, and the politics of urban sustainability. He worked as an urban planner for the city of Scottsdale, Arizona, in the early 1980s, spent three years living and studying in Freiburg, Germany, in the late 1980s, and taught at the University of Cincinnati (1993-2000), before taking his current position at the University of Calgary where he coordinates the Urban Studies Program. He teaches courses on urbanisation and urban planning, urban social geography, urban politics and governance, globalization, and field courses on urban sustainability in Europe. He is the author of Geography and Social Movements (2000) on the University of Minnesota Press, and co-editor (with Walter Nicholls and Justin Beaumont) of Spaces of Contention: Spatialities of Social Movements (2013) on Ashgate. He recently co- edited a special issue of Urban Geography on “The City as a Space of Politicization” in which he co-authored, with Walter Nicholls, “Social Movements in Urban Society: the City as a Space of Politicization.” He is also co-author of two chapters in the forthcoming book, The Political Ecology and Governance of Alberta: First World Petro-Politics.


Conference Chair and Introductory Comments

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.