"High Stakes, High Hopes builds urban theorizing in partnership, between a South African township neighbourhood grappling with the legacies of apartheid, its civic organization, and a university, tasked to research and teach the city. The book explores the ways in which neighborhood partners and I experimented over a decade to build a research process and pedagogy. In its collaborative method and pedagogy, the approach rooted teaching and research in the literal and epistemic violence that entangled and divided this neighbourhood and university. Through the partnership we embraced partners’ expertise and recalibrated the community as a place of valid knowledge-making. The partnership produced an archive, a celebration of urban research. In the seminar I will reflect on this research and teaching partnership, as well as the change of form it inspired in my approach to writing."
Sophie Oldfield is professor and chair of the Department of City and Regional Planning at Cornell University and affiliated to the African Centre for Cities at the University of Cape Town. She is recognized for research on southern urbanism through her theoretical and empirical research. In contexts of housing, informality and governance. To substantiate political practice and everyday urban geographies, she has a track record of excellence in collaborative research practice, challenging how academics work in and between ‘university’ and ‘community’. Commitment to this collaborative approach lies at the heart of her research and writing on cities of the global south.