[URBANTH-L]2 Philadelphia events to promote new urban studies book

chesluk at ix.netcom.com chesluk at ix.netcom.com
Wed Jan 9 12:57:16 EST 2008

Dear friends,

I am pleased to announce 2 upcoming events in the Philadelphia area to promote my book, "Money Jungle: Imagining the New Times Square."

The first event will be will also be a colloquium at the University of Pennsylvania urban studies program. The Colloquium will be held on Wednesday, January 23, from 9:15 to 10:30 at the Penn Institute for Urban Research in the Conference room.  Penn IUR is at Meyerson Hall, G-12, 210 S. 34th Street.  Meyerson Hall is the School of Design building.  Breakfast will be served.

The second event will be a signing at the University of Pennsylvania Bookstore. The signing will be held on January 31st at 7pm at the UPenn Bookstore, which is located at 3601 Walnut St. 

Please feel free to email me back at chesluk at ix.netcom.com if you have
any questions--and of course, also please feel free to forward this information to anyone else you think may be interested!

Ben Chesluk
chesluk at ix.netcom.com

ps For those who are interested, here is some information about "Money Jungle" (from the Rutgers UP website):

Praise for Money Jungle 
“Alternately Herculean and Sisyphean, the struggle to clean up Times Square has 
never been chronicled with more thoroughness or insight, nor with greater sensitivity
to the ramifications of the attempt.”—Charles Ardai, founder and editor of Hard 
Case Crime

"A thousand-yard stare into the machinations of gentrification."-Steve

“The strength of this book lies in Chesluk’s ability to ground his ethnographic 
inquiries with a historically informed sensibility of the cultural career of redevelopment
efforts in Times Square. Unique and innovative, Money Jungle represents an important
contribution to urban anthropology and to the studies of cities generally.”—John
Hartigan Jr., Department of Anthropology, University of Texas

For more than a century, Times Square has mesmerized the world with the spectacle
of its dazzling supersigns, its theaters, and its often-seedy nightlife. New York
City’s iconic crossroads has drawn crowds of revelers, thrill-seekers, and other
urban denizens, not to mention lavish outpourings of advertising and development

Many have hotly debated the recent transformation of this legendary intersection,
with voices typically falling into two opposing camps. Some applaud a blighted red-light
district becoming a big-budget, mainstream destination. Others lament an urban zone
of lawless possibility being replaced by a Disneyfied, theme-park version of New
York. In Money Jungle, Benjamin Chesluk shows that what is really at stake in Times
Square are fundamental questions about city life—questions of power, pleasure, and
what it means to be a citizen in contemporary urban space.  

Chesluk weaves together surprising stories of everyday life in and around the Times
Square redevelopment, tracing the connections between people from every level of
this grand project in social and spatial engineering: the developers, architects,
and designers responsible for reshaping the urban public spaces of Times Square 
and Forty-second Street; the experimental Midtown Community Court and its Times 
Square Ink. job-training program for misdemeanor criminals; encounters between NYPD
officers and residents of Hell’s Kitchen; and angry confrontations between city 
planners and neighborhood activists over the future of the area. 

With an eye for offbeat, telling details and a perspective that is at once sympathetic
and critical, Chesluk documents how the redevelopment has tried, sometimes successfully
and sometimes not, to reshape the people and places of Times Square. The result 
is a colorful and engaging portrait, illustrated by stunning photographs by long-time
local photographer Maggie Hopp, of the street life, politics, economics, and cultural
forces that mold America’s urban centers. 


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