Cities under FIRE: “Slash-and-Burn” Investment in a Postindustrial Cities

This year, I was appointed to Co-Chair the Urban History Association’s Early Career Committee, where I support young professionals and graduate student members through advocacy, programming, and professional development. This month, we held our first public programming: a first-author roundtable with a group of emerging scholars. Our panelists — Destin Jenkins, Rebecca Marchiel, and Gabriel Winant — joined us in a meta-discussion about publishing urban history research during our ongoing pandemic. Their texts show how legal concepts like municipal bonds, mortgage debt, or labor arbitration allowed financial investors to intervene in urban development and create the metropolitan landscape for our contemporary crisis. Their insight and advice illuminate how early career urban historians can advance research of value.