About me: Having studied for a BA and MA in English Literature, I made the switch to urban planning after working with artists in Phnom Penh, whose work on the city shone a light on social injustices around urban development [see http://sasabassac.com/%5D. I recently completed an MSc in Urban Development Planning at the Development Planning Unit. Since 2015, I have worked with Social Anthropologist Henrietta Moore at the Institute for Global Prosperity. I draw upon this diverse work and educational experience in my PhD.
My reasearch: In my PhD, I set out to identify civil society urban planners who I see as having non-sectarian subjectivities, and as actors who respond to emergent subjectivities of other urban inhabitants. I examine the relationship between non-sectarian modes of subjectivity and urban planning issues through a comparative study of two cities, one of which will be in Lebanon. I am particularly interested in investigating young urban inhabitants’ subjectivities. I plan to do so using qualitative and creative methodologies, such as creative writing and photography.
The difference my reasearch makes: This PhD will bring to the fore and examine emergent subjectivities in relation to sustainable and inclusive resource management agendas. This important and (so far) under-researched challenge to the predominance of ethno-religious sectarianism in Lebanese urban planning could inform the work of urban planners, development practitioners and socio-political analysts. Whilst my analysis is initially going to be grounded in the Lebanese political and planning context, there will be some relevant cross-overs with other cities where political voice and participation in urban planning is extremely low, and where ethno-sectarian divides are related to the distribution of goods and services. It will also contribute to an understanding of both the potential and the limitations of non-sectarian subjectivities to overcome ‘deep differences’, particularly through sustainable and inclusive urban planning movements.
Pathway: International Development
Location: UCL Development Planning Unit