David Harvey

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David Harvey

FBA
David Harvey2.jpg
Born (1935-10-31) 31 October 1935 (age 83)
NationalityBritish
Alma mater St John's College, Cambridge
Known for Marxist geography, quantitative revolution in geography, critical geography, economic anthropology, political anthropology, right to the city,
Time space compression, Accumulation by dispossession
Scientific career
Fields Anthropology, Geography, political economy, social theory
InstitutionsCity University of New York
Thesis Aspects of agricultural and rural change in Kent, 1800–1900 (1961)
Influences Marx, Lefebvre, Engels, Bookchin, Gramsci, Radhakrishnan
Influenced Neil Smith, Andy Merrifield, Erik Swyngedouw, Miguel Robles-Durán, the development of Marxist geography, critical geography and human geography as well as Anthropology as disciplines

David W. Harvey FBA (born 31 October 1935) is a British-born Marxist scholar and Distinguished Professor of anthropology and geography at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). He received his PhD in geography from the University of Cambridge in 1961. Harvey has authored many books and essays that have been prominent in the development of modern geography as a discipline. He is a proponent of the idea of the right to the city.

Fellow of the British Academy award granted by the British Academy to leading academics for their distinction in the humanities and social sciences

Fellowship of the British Academy (FBA) is an award granted by the British Academy to leading academics for their distinction in the humanities and social sciences. There are three kinds of fellowship:

  1. Fellows, for scholars resident in the United Kingdom
  2. Corresponding Fellows, for scholars not resident in the UK
  3. Honorary Fellows, an honorary academic title

Anthropology is the scientific study of humans and human behavior and societies in the past and present. Social anthropology and cultural anthropology study the norms and values of societies. Linguistic anthropology studies how language affects social life. Biological or physical anthropology studies the biological development of humans.

Geography The science that studies the terrestrial surface, the societies that inhabit it and the territories, landscapes, places or regions that form it

Geography is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and planets. The first person to use the word γεωγραφία was Eratosthenes. Geography is an all-encompassing discipline that seeks an understanding of Earth and its human and natural complexities—not merely where objects are, but also how they have changed and come to be.

Contents

In 2007, Harvey was listed as the 18th most-cited author of books in the humanities and social sciences in that year, as established by counting cites from academic journals in the Thomson Reuters ISI database. [1] Some of the artists influenced by Harvey's work are Elisheva Levy in Israel and Theaster Gates in Chicago.

Theaster Gates artist

Theaster Gates is an American social practice installation artist and a professor in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Chicago. He was born in Chicago, Illinois, where he still lives and works. Gates' work has been shown at major museums and galleries internationally and deals with issues of urban planning, religious space, and craft. He is committed to the revitalization of poor neighborhoods through combining urban planning and art practices.

Background

David Harvey lecturing a class

Harvey attended Gillingham Grammar School for Boys and St John's College, Cambridge (for both his undergraduate and post-graduate studies). Harvey's early work, beginning with his PhD (on hops production in 19th century Kent), was historical in nature, emerging from a regional-historical tradition of inquiry widely used at Cambridge and in Britain at that time. Historical inquiry runs through his later works (for example on Paris).

The Howard School, Kent


The Howard School is a boys' secondary school in Rainham, Kent, England with approximately 1,500 pupils. It offers a partially selective system and is one of only five bi-lateral schools in the United Kingdom. The partially selective system permits admission to the grammar school section by the 11-Plus selection, however a passing mark is not required if the pupil is seen to have the ability to work in the 'grammar stream', and non-selective admission to the high school. The school is a Sports College.

St Johns College, Cambridge college of the University of Cambridge

St John's College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge. The college was founded by Lady Margaret Beaufort. In constitutional terms, the college is a charitable corporation established by a charter dated 9 April 1511. The aims of the college, as specified by its statutes, are the promotion of education, religion, learning and research.

Harvey resides in New York. He has a daughter Delfina born in January, 1990. [2]

Life and work

David Harvey at Subversive Festival David Harvey on Subversive Festival.jpg
David Harvey at Subversive Festival

By the mid-1960s, Harvey followed trends in the social sciences to employ quantitative methods, contributing to spatial science and positivist theory. Roots of this work were visible while he was at Cambridge: the Department of Geography also housed Richard Chorley, and Peter Haggett. His Explanation in Geography (1969) was a landmark text in the methodology and philosophy of geography, applying principles drawn from the philosophy of science in general to the field of geographical knowledge. But after its publication Harvey moved on again, to become concerned with issues of social injustice and the nature of the capitalist system itself. He has never returned to embrace the arguments made in Explanation, but still he conforms to the critique of absolute space and exceptionalism in geography of the regional-historical tradition that he saw as an outcome of Kantian synthetic a priori knowledge.

Positivism philosophy of science based on the view that information derived from scientific observation is the exclusive source of all authoritative knowledge

Positivism is a philosophical theory stating that certain ("positive") knowledge is based on natural phenomena and their properties and relations. Thus, information derived from sensory experience, interpreted through reason and logic, forms the exclusive source of all certain knowledge. Positivism holds that valid knowledge is found only in this a posteriori knowledge.

Department of Geography, University of Cambridge

The Department of Geography is one of the constituent departments of the University of Cambridge and is located on the Downing Site. The department has long had an international reputation as a leading centre of research and is consistently ranked as one of the best geography departments in the UK. In 2013 the department was ranked by The Guardian University Rankings as the best geography undergraduate degree in the country.

Richard Chorley English geographer

Richard John Chorley was an English geographer, and Professor of Geography at Cambridge University, known as leading figure in quantitative geography in the late 20th century, who played an instrumental role in bringing in the use of systems theory to geography.

Moving from Bristol University to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore in the USA, he positioned himself centrally in the newly emerging field of radical and Marxist geography. Injustice, racism, and exploitation were visible in Baltimore, and activism around these issues was tangible in early 1970s East Coast, perhaps more so than in Britain. The journal Antipode was formed at Clark University; Harvey was one of the first contributors. The Boston Association of American Geographers meetings in 1971 were a landmark, with Harvey and others disrupting the traditional approach of their peers. In 1972, in a famous essay on ghetto formation, he argued for the creation of "revolutionary theory", theory "validated through revolutionary practice".

Johns Hopkins University Private research university in Baltimore, Maryland

Johns Hopkins University is a private research university in Baltimore, Maryland. Founded in 1876, the university was named for its first benefactor, the American entrepreneur, abolitionist, and philanthropist Johns Hopkins. His $7 million bequest —of which half financed the establishment of Johns Hopkins Hospital—was the largest philanthropic gift in the history of the United States up to that time. Daniel Coit Gilman, who was inaugurated as the institution's first president on February 22, 1876, led the university to revolutionize higher education in the U.S. by integrating teaching and research. Adopting the concept of a graduate school from Germany's ancient Heidelberg University, Johns Hopkins University is considered the first research university in the United States. Over the course of several decades, the university has led all U.S. universities in annual research and development expenditures. In fiscal year 2016, Johns Hopkins spent nearly $2.5 billion on research.

Baltimore Largest city in Maryland

Baltimore is the largest city in the state of Maryland within the United States. Baltimore was established by the Constitution of Maryland as an independent city in 1729. With a population of 602,495 in 2018, Baltimore is the largest such independent city in the United States. As of 2017, the population of the Baltimore metropolitan area was estimated to be just under 2.802 million, making it the 21st largest metropolitan area in the country. Baltimore is located about 40 miles (60 km) northeast of Washington, D.C., making it a principal city in the Washington-Baltimore combined statistical area (CSA), the fourth-largest CSA in the nation, with a calculated 2018 population of 9,797,063.

Marxist geography A strand of critical geography that uses the theories and philosophy of Marxism to examine the spatial relations of human geography

Marxist geography is a strand of critical geography that uses the theories and philosophy of Marxism to examine the spatial relations of human geography. In Marxist geography, the relations that geography has traditionally analyzed — natural environment and spatial relations — are reviewed as outcomes of the mode of material production. To understand geographical relations, on this view, the social structure must also be examined. Marxist geography attempts to change the basic structure of society.

Social Justice and the City (1973) expressed Harvey's position that geography could not remain 'objective' in the face of urban poverty and associated ills. It has been cited widely (over 6600 times, by 2017, in a discipline where 50 citations are rare), and it makes a significant contribution to Marxian theory by arguing that capitalism annihilates space to ensure its own reproduction. Dialectical materialism has guided his subsequent work, notably the theoretically sophisticated Limits to Capital (1982), which furthers the radical geographical analysis of capitalism, and several books on urban processes and urban life have followed it. The Condition of Postmodernity (1989), written while a Professor at Oxford, was a best-seller (the London The Independent named it as one of the fifty most important works of non-fiction to be published since 1945, and it is cited 30,000 times by 2017). It is a materialist critique of postmodern ideas and arguments, suggesting these actually emerge from contradictions within capitalism itself. Justice, Nature and the Geography of Difference (1996) focuses on social and environmental justice (although its dialectical perspective has attracted the ire of some Greens). Spaces of Hope (2000) has an utopian theme and indulges in speculative thinking about how an alternative world might look. His study of Second Empire Paris and the events surrounding the Paris Commune in Paris, Capital of Modernity , is undoubtedly his most elaborated historical-geographical work. The onset of US military action since 2001 has provoked a blistering critique – in The New Imperialism (2003) he argues that the war in Iraq allows US neo-conservatives to divert attention from the failures of capitalism 'at home'. His next work, A Brief History of Neoliberalism (2005), provides an historical examination of the theory and divergent practices of neoliberalism since the mid-1970s. This work conceptualises the neoliberalised global political economy as a system that benefits few at the expense of many, and which has resulted in the (re)creation of class distinction through what Harvey calls "accumulation by dispossession". His book The Enigma of Capital (2010) takes a long view of the contemporary economic crisis. Harvey explains how capitalism came to dominate the world and why it resulted in the financial crisis. He describes that the essence of capitalism is its amorality and lawlessness and to talk of a regulated, ethical capitalism is to make a fundamental error. [3] A series of events linked to this book across London academic forums, such as the LSE, proved hugely popular and sparked a new interest in Harvey's work.

Harvey returned to Johns Hopkins from Oxford in 1993, but spent increasing time elsewhere as a speaker and visitor, notably as a salaried Miliband Fellow at the London School of Economics in the late 1990s. In 1996, he delivered the Ellen Churchill Semple lecture at UK Geography. [4] He moved to the City University of New York in 2001 as a Distinguished Professor, now residing in its Department of Anthropology. He has spent most of his academic career in Anglo-America, with brief sojourns in France and a range of foreign visiting appointments (currently as acting Advisory Professor at Tongji University in Shanghai). He has supervised many PhD students. Several of these, such as Neil Smith, Richard Walker, Erik Swyngedouw, Michael Johns, Maarten Hajer, Patrick Bond, Melissa Wright, and Greg Ruiters now hold or held important academic positions themselves. In 2013 Harvey was asked by the Republic of Ecuador to help set up the National Strategic Center for the Right to the Territory (CENEDET), [5] which he directed with the urbanist Miguel Robles-Durán until its alleged forced closure in 2017.

Critical response to Harvey's work has been sustained. In the early years, there was competition between Harvey and proponents of quantitative and non-politicized geography, notably Brian Berry. A recent critical appraisal (Castree & Gregory, 2006) explores some critiques of Harvey in detail.

Reading Marx's Capital

Two constants in Harvey's life and work have been teaching a course on Marx's Capital [6] and his support for student activism and community and labour movements (notably in Baltimore). His course was put into a Youtube lecture series, [7] which gained immense popularity and resulted in two companion books for the two volumes of Marx's Capital. [8]

Recognition

David Harvey is widely recognized as a foundational scholar in urban geography. [9] Harvey's books have been widely translated. He holds honorary doctorates from Roskilde (Denmark), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Faculty of Social Sciences at Uppsala University [10] (Sweden), Ohio State University (USA), Lund University (Sweden) and the University of Kent (UK). Among other awards he has received the Anders Retzius Gold Medal of the Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography, the Patron's Medal of the Royal Geographical Society and the Vautrin Lud International Prize in Geography (France). He was made a fellow of the British Academy in 1998, and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2007. He is a member of the Interim Committee for the emerging International Organization for a Participatory Society. [11]

Affiliated institutions

Bibliography

Articles, lectures and interviews

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References

  1. "Most cited authors of books in the humanities, 2007" . Times Higher Education (THE). 26 March 2009. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  2. https://soundcloud.com/freshed-podcast/freshed-100-a-marxist-critique-of-higher-education-david-harvey
  3. David Harvey (2010). The enigma of capital: and the crises of capitalism. Profile Books. ISBN   1-84765-201-8.
  4. Ellen Churchill Semple Day (accessed 30 June 2015)
  5. CEDENET Ecuador
  6. Harvey, D. 2008 "Reading Marx's Capital" An open course consisting of a close reading of the text of Marx's Capital Volume I in 13 video lectures by David Harvey.
  7. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBazR59SZXk
  8. Harvey, David (2010). A Companion to Marx's Capital. Verso Books. ISBN   1844673596.
  9. Castree, N. and Gregory, D. eds., 2008. David Harvey: a critical reader. John Wiley & Sons.
  10. http://www.uu.se/en/about-uu/traditions/prizes/honorary-doctorates/
  11. 'International Organization for a Participatory Society – Interim Committee Retrieved 2012-3-31