Thursday, February 29th, 2024

5:30pm - 6:30pm 

Kerwin Hall Room 301


What does it mean for a place to have a bad reputation? In his current book project, Jeffrey Parker explores this question by looking at three neighborhoods in Chicago and some of the people most impacted by (and thus most familiar with) what other people think of their neighborhoods: merchants whose livelihoods depend on people wanting to come to the neighborhood to spend money. Using these three cases of neighborhoods with historical and contemporarily relevant reputations—Wicker Park’s precarious hipness, Bridgeport’s notorious racism, and Woodlawn’s stereotyped violence—I examine how merchants employ different strategies to deal not only with what’s happening in their neighborhoods but with what people think is happening in them. Bad Reputation provides an in-depth look at how place reputation gets created, maintained, and contested in American cities, and how those processes often exacerbate existing inequalities.