Colloquium with Helga Leitner (UCLA) and Eric Sheppard (UCLA)

Wednesday, May 5, 2021
5:00 PM - 6:30 PM (Pacific Time)
Registration Required

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  • Helga Leitner, Professor of Geography, UCLA
  • Eric Sheppard, Distinguished Professor and Alexander von Humboldt Chair, Geography, UCLA

Moderator: Nancy Lee Peluso, Professor of Environmental Science, Policy & Management, UC Berkeley

Peri-urban areas are no longer simply an appendage to urban cores in southern metropolitan regions. Peri-urbanization is dominated by domestic and global firms investing in spectacular, speculative residential and industrial real estate inducing widespread displacement of peri-urban residents, transforming rural landscapes. This talk proposes to shift the optic away from these larger players to examine how periurban residents respond to the pressures and uncertainties created by the proliferation of planned developments and skyrocketing land values. The talk will show that displaced periurban kampung residents engage in their own everyday speculation, seeking to manage risk in uncertain circumstances in order to improve their livelihoods, accumulate wealth, and to realize social and cultural aspirations.

With research based in multiyear fieldwork in eastern periurban Jakarta, the talk will show how residents respond to and manage unexpected developments and residual uncertainties, making the most of rapidly changing land values across time and space and devising ways to both improve their livelihoods and reproduce the sociality of kampung life, realizing social and cultural aspirations. This requires retheorizing displacement beyond accumulation by dispossession, which neglects both residents’ agency in pushing back against dispossession through everyday speculation and negotiation, and the particularities of place. Everyday speculations have their own unequal implications, however: The highly differentiated ability of kampung residents to extract value from relocation, land transactions and developments depends on their socio-spatial positionality: Their class location, access to land, and kinship and information networks. By transforming peri-urban kampungs, everyday speculation is shaping peri-urban landscapes outside the planned developments.

To register for Zoom link, click here.


UCLA CSEAS and UC Berkeley CSEAS are a consortium U.S. Department of Education Title VI National Resource Center for Southeast Asian Studies. This event is part of the consortium's programming to highlight research on Southeast Asia being conducted by scholars at California's public universities.

Sponsor(s): Center for Southeast Asian Studies, UC Berkeley Center for Southeast Asia Studies