Brandi Summers

Closed (1) Anti-Black Racism and Homelessness in Oakland

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This project examines Oakland's planning history (including redlining, urban renewal, transportation infrastructure), and current policy on homelessness that has been generated by both the city and Alameda County. The project examines connections between urban renewal (as "Negro removal") and contemporary policy that constrains the mobility of the unsheltered and unhoused.

Cross-disciplinary research skills; digital archiving of visual culture; image analysis; critical reading and literature review skills; digital map generation


Qualifications: Students must be detail-oriented, organized, and independent. They should also be interested in race/blackness, urbanism, and visual culture.

Weekly Hours: 3-5 hrs

Related website: https://branditsummers.com/

Closed (2) Black Googie: Race and Representation in Architecture

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How is race represented in the built environment? What are the ways we can think about the meaning of architecture to different communities? This project will focus on a mid-century, modern style of commercial architecture, Googie, that originated and was popularized in California. This work involves photography, visual analysis, mapping, and archival data collection. It will lead to both a research project and course development.

URAP students will take photographs in and around Oakland, collect and organize digitized images, produce maps. Students will gain skills in syllabi development/construction.

Qualifications: Looking for students interested in the critical geographies of architecture, visual culture, and race/representation. Interest in or experience with GIS mapping preferred. Must be organized and independent worker(s).

Weekly Hours: 3-5 hrs

Related website: https://branditsummers.com/
Related website: https://www.desireefields.org/

Closed (3) The Archive of Urban Futures

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The Archive of Urban Futures is a project of the Berkeley Lab for Speculative Urbanisms (BLSU), founded in 2021 by Professors Brandi T. Summers and Desiree Fields. The Archive of Urban Futures will take the form of a database of material about Oakland, CA and visions of and for its future over time. Our vision for the Archive of Urban Futures is to explore socio-spatial, political, and economic dimensions of Oakland’s past, present, and potential future by bridging the official, the top-down, and speculations of capital and development with the unofficial, the almost forgotten, the impossible struggles, the bottom up, and the speculative acts and visions of communities. We will collect a variety of items, ranging from official reports, plans, and legislation to videos, counter-maps, and material cultural objects. Over the course of the 2021-2022 academic year, we will develop the structure of the archive through a series of community workshops; devise protocols for data ownership, maintenance, and use; and pilot methods for populating the archive.

We are looking for two (2) undergraduate apprentices to support our efforts to establish and grow the archive. Students should submit applications to either Dr. Summers or Dr. Fields. One will be selected from each pool of applicants.

Apprentices will be responsible for identifying and compiling archival materials, searching existing archives (such as Bancroft Library, Oakland Public Library, African American Museum & Library at Oakland, Oakland Museum of California, etc.) while scanning and obtaining use permissions for relevant material. Apprentices will also serve as a key member of the team that assists with the scheduling and organization of workshops, walking tours, and the public launch.


Qualifications: - Strong organizational skills, self-directed - Proficiency in using Google Drive, Adobe (Photoshop, Illustrator, Photoshop, etc.) and Word suite products - Effective communication skills—ability to communicate through various means (email, phone, etc.) with community partners and colleagues - Students should also be comfortable collaborating as part of a team and actively contribute to group meetings that include off-campus organizations

Weekly Hours: to be negotiated

Off-Campus Research Site: Research may be completed remotely, with team meetings on campus as local public health guidance and University policy permit.