Dissertation Abstract Draft

I’m submitting the document to my committee on December 16…

The Coordinated City’s Mutation Machine: Sympathy and Urbanization In Seattle’s South Lake Union Neighborhood

This dissertation intervenes in a debate over how Deleuze and Guattari’s conceptual repertoire might profitably contribute to critical urban inquiry that was published in the journal City in 2011. However, rather than siding with the pro-Deleuze and Guattari contingent that can loosely be lumped together as “assemblage urbanists” on the one hand, or with the proponents of more traditional Marxian critical urban theory on the other, I first argue that Deleuze and Guattari’s underexplored political philosophy is not only capable of grounding critical urban inquiry, but also highlights the productive role of political economy in conjunction with extraeconomic concerns such as ethics and visions of the city, before concluding that all three of these dimensions are but different expressions of sympathy that are integrated in specific ways. This argument is based on a close reading of Deleuze and Guattari’s conceptualizations of the relationship between the state and capitalism across both volumes of Capitalism and Schizophrenia that I adapt for urban studies via a Foucauldian archaeology of the rapidly transforming South Lake Union (SLU) neighborhood of Seattle from a sleepy light industrial area into a compact and connected hub for the local innovation economy.

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