Brandi Thompson Summers


Assistant Professor, Geography and Global Metropolitan Studies
University of California, Berkeley
CSTMS Research Unit: Berkeley Program in Science and Technology Studies, Office for the History of Science and Technology, CSTMS

Research Areas

• Uses of space and place-making practices that inform productions of place and spatial knowledge
• Race, space, media, and surveillance technologies
• Architecture, emerging technologies and culture

Brandi Thompson Summers is an assistant professor of Geography and Global Metropolitan Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research engages theoretical themes that cut across multiple domains of social life. She builds on epistemological and methodological insights from cultural and urban geography, urban sociology, African American studies, and media studies by examining the cultural, political, and economic dynamics by which race and space are reimagined and reordered.

Her book, Black in Place: The Spatial Aesthetics of Race in a Post-Chocolate City, explores how aesthetics and race converge to locate or map blackness in Washington, D.C. In it, she demonstrates the way that competing notions of blackness structure efforts to raise capital and develop land in the gentrifying city. Her current book project, tentatively titled Routes of Race, Resistance, and the Geographies of Belonging in Oakland, California, is an interdisciplinary study that examines the complex ways in which uses of space and placemaking practices inform productions of knowledge and power. The study examines representations and experiences of space, place, and landscape in Oakland across historical contexts.

She has published several articles and essays that analyze the relationship between race, power, aesthetics, and urbanization that appear in both academic and popular publications, including the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research (IJURR), ASAP/Journal, QED, Public Books, and The Funambulist.  

last updated: December 20th, 2019