Don Mitchell
Syracuse University

March 28, 2005
7:30 p.m.
268 Coleman 

To what degree do we have a “right to be left alone” or a right to privacy when we are in public space? In this talk Don Mitchell shows how a set of court decisions and laws about abortion clinic protest on the one hand, and legislation about homeless people’s behavior on the other, are creating a new geography of hyper-individualism and privacy in public space, usually in the name of “safety.” Mitchell likens such (false) feelings of separateness and safety to those engendered by SUVs.

Don Mitchell is Professor and Chair of Geography at Syracuse University. He received his PhD from Rutgers University. He is the author of The Lie of the Land: Migrant Workers and the California Landscape (1996); Cultural Geography: A Critical Introduction (2000); and The Right to the City: Social Justice and the Fight forPublic Space (2003) as well as numerous articles on the geography of homelessness, labor, urban public space, and contemporary theories of culture. Don Mitchell is a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship and recently held a Fulbright Fellowship in Oslo. He is the founder and director of the People’s Geography Project (


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