|Tuesday, April 11th|
North Bennett, Whitman College
3:45 PM - 4:00 PM
Portland, Oregon is in the midst of an affordable housing crisis. Many residents are being pushed out of the city by rent hikes and a booming population. While real estate data abounds in the media, coverage often ignores the cultural effects of such change. “Olive and Dingo,” a short documentary I produced with Lindsey Smith (Macalester College ‘16) through the Media Institute for Social Change, tells the story of Portland’s favorite clowns as they struggle to stay true to their punk roots while still earning enough money to afford staying in a fast-gentrifying Portland. In addition to showing the film, I discuss the tension between our subjects’ interpretation of their story and our own, and how we attempted to deal with that tension through the film’s narrative. I also address the representational and journalistic concerns we encountered during the production process.
Michelle Christy, Whitman College
4:00 PM - 4:15 PM
ChengZhongCuns (CZCs) are an urban development phenomenon specific to China. CZCs are villages in the middle of Chinese cities. Because of China's dual land system, a large city can surround a small village. Although the village is completely encompassed by the city, it remains autonomous. CZCs become enclaves within Chinese cities that are home to primarily low-income migrants looking to gain access to the wealth and job opportunities that only cities can provide. I examine these cities through sociological understandings of borders and borderlands. CZCs occupy a very precise position between Chinese understandings of urban versus rural. Although CZCs are an essential part of the Chinese rental market, they are constantly being destroyed to make way for new upscale development.
Gambhir Kunwar, Whitman College
4:15 PM - 4:30 PM
Through a Perry Summer Research Award, I collaborated with a faculty member to design an experiment in international finance. Our experiment helps students understand the role of an international lender of last resort such as the International Monetary Fund. We show how the IMF can help a government in a liquidity crisis. This crisis occurs when the government cannot convince enough lenders to roll over their short-term debt. The problem is that the infrastructure (an airport, for example) the government built with these loans cannot immediately generate the cash to repay lenders. Through participation in the experiment and an analysis of results, students see how the IMF can help the government overcome this short-term funding gap. Students also come to understand that the IMF’s lender-of-last resort role gets more complicated in cases where the airport has some chance of failing, thereby sparking an insolvency crisis.