In Today’s Global Flaneuse. Special issue of Wagadu: Journal of Transnational Women's and Gender Studies 7 (2009): 77-80. Print and Web. Winter 2010.
Spaces and Flows: An International Conference on Urban and ExtraUrban Studies, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, 2010
Atmosphere 2011: Mediated Cities, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada.
I push my son in a stroller through the neighborhood. Wandering with no agenda other than outside time with my child, I reflect upon this locomotion that constitutes the most public and stereotyped activities of motherhood. The pace of the walk forces me to notice the minutiae of suburbia examining the environment for patterns and narratives. Semi-tropical Florida, Home Depot domesticity, traces of the historic, but little known Liberty Hill African-American community, the current recession, and the omnipresent desperate drone of condominium construction collide in the geography that constitutes my local. I attempt to discern the genealogy of architectural structures and topographies visually leafing through the layers of additions, subtractions, road surfaces and plantings. Simultaneously, I search for items of possible interest to my son—animals, vehicles and lawn decorations. With the advent of intelligible speech, he, too, participates in this free association. A dialectic emerges between me, my son, and my surroundings, that recalls my own history. The methodology that informs this piece is a gendered rift on the practice of the flâneur where the necessity of childcare is the platform for textualizing suburban space. My version of flânerie is a spatial practice (ala deCerteau) of my neighborhood and the surrounding environs.