About Us

Spaces for the Future:
Religion in Urban Place-making

Spaces for the Future is the collaborative project of a University of California Multi-campus Research Group [MRG] interested in religion and urban place-making; it is funded by the UC Humanities Network. The project’s Principal Investigator Mary Hancock is a Professor in the Departments of Anthropology and History at UCSB, Co-Principal Investigator, Smriti Srinivas, is a Professor in the Department of Anthropology, UCD. Faculty affiliates include: Mark Elmore (Anthropology, UCD), George Lipsitz (UCSB), Vivian-Lee Nyitray (UCR), Allen Roberts (World Arts and Cultures, UCLA), Mary Nooter Roberts (World Arts and Cultures, UCLA), Christina Schwenkel (UCR), and Roxanne Varzi (UCI). Graduate affiliates are M. Bascom Guffin (Anthropology, UCD) and Lauren Smyth (Anthropology, UCSB).

Participants, whose individual regional and disciplinary specializations are diverse, share common interests in the ways in which communities inhabit and make cities through the practices, sub-cultures, discourses, media, and materialities that together constitute “religion.” Through symposia, publications, photo-essays, pedagogy resources, and public humanities initiatives, we seek to provide opportunities for developing a sustained interdisciplinary appraisal of religiosity’s articulation with urban places and their mutual contribution to the formation of “post-secular” imaginaries.