As Princeton University and cities across the U.S. “return” to a pre-pandemic normal, the Fall 2021 edition of the Princeton-Mellon Research Forum on the Urban Environment asks the question, what does it mean to return? Under whose terms? As we reacquaint ourselves with in person learning and scholarly dialogs, our aim is to use this time to reflect on not only the events of the past 18 months, but the ways that this period has encouraged us to reframe the questions and categories that we use to discuss cities and the built environment. With the loss of millions of lives globally, a true return to normal is unattainable, and our individual and collective grief points to the impossibilities of return and/or its challenges. Yet, return can also mean remediation, both for communities, societies, and our environment. At the same time, return allows us to challenge the implicitly normative ideas of the future that undergird remediation projects. The framework opens up questions about whose ideas of the past and future dictate what constitutes a return.
All events will be at 12pm ET in Betts Auditorium. In-person attendance is currently available for registered Princeton University ID holders only and face coverings are required. In-person attendance is contingent on University guidelines for indoor events — updates will be posted as necessary.
Click here to attend the first discussion on September 22 in Betts Auditorium. You must have your PUID and follow University guidelines.
Click here to attend via Zoom link, open to both PUID and non-PUID holders.
Returning to the Lacustrine City in La Ciudad de México
Vera Candiani, History, and Princeton Mellon Fellows Dean Chahim and Seth Denizen
Architecture, Customs and Return in Lagos
Adedoyin Teriba, Vassar, and Princeton Mellon Fellow Chukwuemeka V. Chukwuemeka
HighWaterLine: New Jersey
Christina Gerhardt, HMEI, and Jerry Zee, Anthropology/HMEI
Coastal Worlds: Ecologies and Infrastructures in Western India
Ryo Morimoto, Anthropology, and Princeton Mellon Fellow Chandana Anusha
Predatory Development and Climate Change
Christina Jackson, Stockton, and Princeton Mellon Fellow Davy Knittle