Last month, two articles that had been in the making for a while (welcome to the world of academic publishing) finally came out in the journal CITY. I authored one of them by myself, an opinion piece that constitutes my final two cents on the entire postcolonial urbanism debate in the context of gentrification and rent gaps. A friend has likened it to me putting a chainsaw to some of the postcolonial critique, so do read it if you enjoy polemics! The other article was co-authored with the formidable Dr. Mona Fawaz and Daria El Samad, and discusses the relationship between gentrification and property using the case study of the Mar Mikhael quarter in Beirut.
The single-authored article is called “Gentrification and the creation and formation of rent gaps” and free e-prints are available here and on my Academia page.
The co-authored piece is titled “A property framework for understanding gentrification. Ownership patterns and the transformations of Mar Mikhael, Beirut” and has free e-prints available here. If these run out (only 50 are provided), contact me via email or Twitter to request a copy.
Excited to announce that I’m now a member of Editors Canada (check out my awesome member badge at the About me page)! I have my own listing in the directory and have explored the many benefits that membership brings, including a long list of resources, training documents, and guidebooks; courses for continuous professional development; discounts on style guides, courses, and events; and of course networking opportunities such as conferences and local meet-ups. Eventually, experienced editors can qualify for certification through an exam. I’m not there yet, but as I’ve mentioned earlier, I have registered for a copyediting course at Queens University, Toronto, that begins in thirteen days!
It’s been a busy summer! I have worked on a number of large projects, including the brochure of the Lebanese pavilion at the Venice Biennale and some developmental edits of PhD-theses, and I’ve also learned some skills involved in digital ethnography by working for MotivIndex, a consumer research company based in Toronto. That was fun and a nice change from the editing work, which I have drowned in this summer (not that that’s a bad thing, but I must say I am glad that I’m finally able to breathe again, even though it’s just a little bit).
After (almost) completing two large developmental editing jobs recently, I have learned that this type of editing is very draining but also very rewarding. It takes so much effort and concentration to put myself in the author’s shoes, understand what story they are trying to tell, and suggest how that message, story, or argument can be conveyed in the clearest, most engaging, and best-structured way. While the effort is considerable, once I see how I can help improve the structure, flow, or argument of the text, I love sharing my insights with the author to see if they agree with me, and making a plan to move forward. There’s nothing better than a happy, satisfied client. Every writer benefits from a fresh pair of eyes for their text, myself included. While it is definitely not the only type of editing that I want to do, I definitely want to keep offering this service.
In October last year, I published a blog post with tips for staying mentally healthy as a PhD-student. You can find the original here. I wrote it for the blog Pubs and Publications, a great resource for PhD-students, by PhD-students.
“The mental health of PhD-students is an increasing cause for concern. A recent study conducted in Belgium found that one third of PhD-students was at risk of developing a common psychiatric disorder like depression. Unfortunately, this does not surprise me. The rise of mental health problems among PhD-student populations has been attributed to increasing job insecurity, pressure to deliver results before the PhD is finished, and the isolation that comes with having to produce a dissertation by oneself. While I cannot present easy, clear-cut solutions to these problems, there are ways to decrease your risk of developing mental health problems, and to ensure that you seek help in time. I, for one, wish I had known these things when I started my PhD! Continue reading
While not everyone might associate the work of David Harvey or Neil Smith, two Marxist geographers, with poetry, I must say that while reading their work, I was very often struck by its poetic quality. Consider this quote:
“Capital represents itself in the form of a physical landscape created in its own image” (Harvey, 1978, p. 124)
How did these geographers end up with sentences that carried such literary quality?
Both Harvey and Smith, Harvey’s PhD-student, tried to understand the relationship between capital and space from a Marxist perspective, and focused especially on the built environment. As it turns out, the built environment presents capitalists with an inherent contradiction: they need it, but once it has been created, it presents barriers to further accumulation. Continue reading
The academic services portal Peerwith has interviewed me about what it is like working for them. You can find the interview here. Some quotes:
“My work for Peerwith, which consists mostly of language editing, is now part of my business as a self-employed researcher, writer and editor, based in The Netherlands. I love my work and have not regretted my decision to leave academia, not even for one second! And in a sense, I have not left academia, because I am working with academic texts on a daily basis and I still write and publish my own journal articles.”
“Is there anything you want to say to people who are hesitant about getting support, or advice to people who are considering using the Peerwith Platform?
I would of course say go for it! A second pair of eyes makes everyone’s work better, my own included. There is no such thing as an embarrassing paper; almost everyone’s first draft looks bad. Editors want to help you, and I really enjoy improving others’ work. So go ahead and post your request; I’m sure someone will be able to help you!”
I am happy to announce that I will co-edit a special issue for the journal Housing Policy Debate on the financialization of home in the Global South. The international comparative special issue is planned to be published in 2019 and will also be edited by Manuel B. Aalbers (KU Leuven, Belgium), and Raquel Rolnik (University of São Paulo, Brazil). Interested researchers are encouraged to submit an abstract! Instructions below.
Deadline for Abstracts: June 1, 2018
Notification of Abstract Selection: July 1, 2018
Deadline for Full Paper Submissions: December 1, 2018