New York University will host “The Global Pigeon,” a lecture by NYU Professor Colin Jerolmack and author of a recently released book by the same name, on Wed., April 3, 6-8 p.m. at NYU’s Department of Social and Cultural Analysis, 20 Cooper Square (between 5th and 6th Streets), 4th floor.
The event, sponsored by NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge, is free and open to the public. To RSVP, call 212.992.9562 or click here. Subways: 6 (Astor Place); N, R (8th Street). Reporters interested in attending must contact James Devitt, NYU’s deputy director for media relations, at 212.998.6808 or email@example.com.
Perhaps no creature is more synonymous with urban life than the pigeon. Though commonly seen as an irritant—“a rat with wings”—its relationship with its urban surroundings is a complex and long-standing one. In The Global Pigeon (University of Chicago Press, 2013), NYU’s Colin Jerolmack examines how society’s complex and contradictory relationships with pigeons—from city campaigns to evict them to working-class and immigrant communities who breed and race them—offer insights into city life, community, culture, and politics.
Jerolmack, an assistant professor of sociology and environmental studies, considers these questions by drawing on extended participant observation in New York neighborhoods as well as ethnographic case studies in Berlin’s Kreuzberg section, London’s Trafalgar Square, Venice’s Piazza, and South Africa’s Sun City—home of the Million Dollar Pigeon Race.
“The pigeons that occupy our sidewalks never existed in the wild,” he writes. “They are descendants of escaped domesticated pigeons that were imported to the United States, Europe, and elsewhere centuries ago. This is a book about how interactions with animals—pigeons, in particular—animate people’s social worlds and their experience of the city.”
The author will be joined in a discussion of the book by NYU Professor of Sociology and Social and Cultural Analysis Harvey Molotch.