The “Oakland School” of Urban Studies Reading List

Meeting #1: Interrogating “The School” in Urban Studies

Cenzatti, Marco. (1993). Los Angeles and the L.A. School: Postmodernism and Urban Studies. Los Angeles, CA: Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design.

Dear, Michael. (2003). The Los Angeles School of urbanism: An intellectual history. Urban Geography, 24(6), pp. 493-509.


Meeting #2: Race and Citizenship in Oakland History and Historiography

Hawthorne, Camilla & Werth, Alex. (2015, October 5). Oakland’s Matatu Festival: Interrogating for the place and time of an Afro future. Africa Is a Country. Available online:

Herrera, Juan C. (2012). Unsettling the geography of Oakland’s War on Poverty: Mexican American political organizations and the decoupling of poverty and blackness. Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race, 9(2), pp. 375-93.

Mahler, Jonathan. (2012, August 1). Oakland, the last refuge of radical America. New York Times Magazine. Available online: magazine/oakland-occupy-movement.html?_r=0.

Rhomberg, Chris. (2004). Corporate power and ethnic patronage: Machine politics in Oakland & The making of a White middle class: The Ku Klux Klan and urban reform. In No There There: Race, Class, and Political Community in Oakland (pp. 24-72). Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Roy, Ananya, Schrader, Stuart & Crane, Emma S. (2015). Gray Areas: The War on Poverty at home and abroad. In Ananya Roy & Emma S. Crane (Eds.) Territories of Poverty: Rethinking North and South (pp. 289-314). Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press.

Self, Robert. (2003). Redistribution. In American Babylon: Race and the Struggle for Postwar Oakland (pp. 135-76). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Staff. (2014, November 21). Oakland becoming the Bay’s queer center. The Bold Italic. Available online:


Meeting #3: Gentrification and Displacement

Hackworth, Jason & Smith, Neil. (2001). The changing state of gentrification. Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, 92(4), pp. 464-77.

Hodge, Chinaka. (2014, May 30). The gentrifier’s guide to getting along. San Francisco Magazine. Available online:

Lees, Loretta, Shin, Hyun B. & Lopez-Morales, Ernesto. (2015). “Gentrification”—A global urban process? In Loretta Lees, Hyun B. Shun, & Ernesto Lopez-Morales (Eds.) Global Gentrifications: Uneven Development and Displacement (pp. 1-18).

Li, Roland. (2015, February 19). Why Oakland isn’t yet the next Brooklyn. San Francisco Business Times. Available online: sanfrancisco/blog/real-estate/2015/02/oakland-gentrification-development-brooklyn.html.

O’Brien, Matt. (2014, February 13). Scorned Oakland “gentrifier” accepts the label but calls for truce. San Jose Mercury News. Available online: http://www.

Schafran, Alex. (2013). Origins of an urban crisis: The restructuring of the San Francisco Bay Area and the geography of foreclosure. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 37(2), pp. 663-88.

Tadiar, Neferti. (2007). Metropolitan life and uncivil death. PMLA, 122(1), pp. 316-20.

Tsai, Luke. (2014, October 1). Can Black-owned restaurants combat gentrification? East Bay Express. Available online: can-black-owned-restaurants-combat-gentrification/Content?oid=4085573.

Winstead, Brock. (2014). On becoming a historic resident of Oakland. Boom: A Journal of California, 4(4), pp. 37-45.

Wyly, Elvin et al. (2012). New racial meanings of housing in America. American Quarterly, 64(3), pp. 571-604.


Meeting #4: Art, Iconography, and Cultural Economy

Holson, Laura M. (2015, October 3). Mural painter’s killing reminds Oakland that revival can be slow. New York Times. Available online: http://www.nytimes. com/2015/10/04/us/mural-painters-killing-reminds-oakland-that-revival-can-be-slow.html?_r=5.

McLean, Heather. (2014). Digging into the creative city: A feminist critique. Antipode, 46(3), pp. 669-90.

Reed, Ishmael. (2105, October 12). Want a renewal? Rid your city of blacks. Counterpunch. Available online:

Rodriguez, Favianna. (2013, April 1). Change the culture, change the world. Creative Time Reports. Available online: change-the-culture-change-the-world/.

Thomas, Lynnell L. (2014). “The city I used to come visit”: Heritage tourism and racialized disaster in New Orleans. In Desire & Disaster in New Orleans: Tourism, Race, and Historical Memory (pp. 1-26). Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Zukin, Sharon. (2012). The Spike Lee effect: Reimagining the ghetto. In Ray Hutchinson & Bruce D. Haynes (Eds.) The Ghetto: Contemporary Global Issues and Controversies (pp. 137-58). Boulder, CO: Westview Press.


Meeting #5: Policing and Surveillance

Browne, Simone. (2012). Everybody’s got a little light under the sun: Black luminosity and the visual culture of surveillance. Cultural Studies, pp. 1-23.

Demilit. (2015). Okldcaan: Capital building of the Oakland security cloud. The Funambulist: Politics of Space and Bodies, pp. 26-31.

Farivar, Cyrus. (2015, March 24). We know where you’ve been: Ars acquires 4.6M license plate scans from the cops. Ars Technica. Available online:

______. (2015, August 6). “Ping susp phone”: An Oakland shooting reveals how cops snoop on cell phones. Ars Technica. Available online: http://arstechnica. com/tech-policy/2015/08/ping-susp-phone-an-oakland-shooting-reveals-how-cops-snoop-on-cell-phones/.

Murch, Donna. (2010). Fortress California. In Living for the City: Migration, Education, and the Rise of the Black Panther Party in Oakland, California (pp. 41-68). Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press.

Neocleous, Mark. (2014). Introduction & War is peace, peace is pacification. In War Power, Police Power (pp. 1-47).

No author. (2015, July 2). West Oakland park under surveillance. WeCopwatch. Available online:

Wong, Julia C. (2014, September 12). Militarized cops pretend to fight terrorists in Oakland. Vice. Available online:


Meeting #6: Urban Planning and Municipal Government

Jones, Carolyn. (2014, December 20). Oakland’s “Girl Scout Barracuda” ready to lead the city. San Francisco Chronicle. Available online: bayarea/article/Oakland-s-Girl-Scout-Barracuda-ready-to-5971185.php.

Murch, Donna. (2010). A chicken in every bag. In Living for the City: Migration, Education, and the Rise of the Black Panther Party in Oakland, California (pp. 191-228). Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press.

Self, Robert. (2000). To plan our liberation. Journal of Urban History, 26(6), pp. 759-92.

SPUR. (2015). A Downtown for Everyone (pp. 4-8, 12-23). San Francisco, CA: San Francisco Association of Planning and Urban Research.

Swan, Rachel. (2016, January 1). New Oakland agency to focus on racial, social equity. San Francisco Chronicle. Available online: aboutsfgate/article/New-Oakland-agency-to-focus-on-racial-social-6732291.php.

Tavares, Steven. (2014, December). Libby Schaaf let down her hair, and then rolled to victory. Oakland Magazine. Available online: http://www.oaklandmagazine. com/Oakland-Magazine/December-2014/Libby-Schaaf-Let-Down-Her-Hair-and-Then-Rolled-to-Victory/.

Talbon, Stephen. (2001). The comeback kid & Downtown revival. In The Celebrity and the City (film).

Tilton, Jennifer. (2010). Cruising down the boulevard & Potential thugs and gangsters: Youth and the spatial politics of downtown redevelopment. In Dangerous or Endangered: Race and the Politics of Youth in Urban America (pp. 153-89). New York, NY: NYU Press.


Meeting #7: Settler Colonialism and Indigeneity

Field, Les W. (2003). Unacknowledged tribes, dangerous knowledge: The Muwekma Ohlone and how Indian identities are “known.” Wicazo Sa Review, 18(2), pp. 79-94.

Goeman, Mishauna R. (2014). Disrupting a settler-colonial grammar of place: The visual memoir of Hulleah Tsinhnahjinnie. In Audra Simpson & Andrea Smith (Eds.) Theorizing Native Studies (pp. 235-61). Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Steinberg, Michelle G. (2014). Beyond Recognition (film).

Tuck, Eve & Yang, K. Wayne. (2012). Decolonization is not a metaphor. Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society, 1(1), pp. 1-40.