Discuss D.C. Neighborhood ‘Turf Wars’ Thursday

This event featuring a new book about the Mt. Pleasant neighborhood caught my eye. It’s the first I’ve heard of the book which sounds quite interesting. As a note, Mt. Pleasant was also the subject of Brett Williams’ 1988 work, Upscaling Downtown: Stalled Gentrification in Washington DC, meaning it has been “gentrifying” in somebody’s mind at least as long as I have been alive.

Discussion Forum with the Author of the Book:
Turf Wars: Discourse, Diversity, and the Politics of Place.

Thursday, February 22nd, 6:30 to 8:00 pm
(Busboys and Poets)

Gabriella Gahlia Modan discusses and signs her new book, Turf Wars: Discourse, Diversity, and the Politics of Place. Turf Wars is a fascinating and innovative ethnography of Mt. Pleasant, an urban neighborhood undergoing rapid gentrification. It is a story about how the members of a multi-ethnic, multi-class Washington, DC, community use language to project conflicting images of their neighborhood. By waging wars around such issues as public toilets and public urination, the “morality” of co-ops & condos, and characterizations of “good” girls and “bad” boys, community members create identities for themselves as legitimate community members (e.g., as tough urbanites or sophisticated historic preservationists) while creating identities to discredit others (e.g., “People who belong in the suburbs”). Turf Wars provides insight into the ways that local activity shapes larger urban social processes. Cultural anthropologist and linguist Gabriella Modan offers a detailed, rich, and highly engrossing ethnographic account of a neighborhood and the people who live and work there. She also provides readers with a little background in linguistic anthropology, cultural geography, and urban anthropology. This event is co-sponsored by Sol y Soul, Sol Y Soul promotes, nurtures, supports, and presents the work of socially-conscious established and emerging artists. This event is free and open to the public and will be held at Busboys and Poets which is located at 2021 14th St. NW. No pre-registration is necessary.

> See my Books about 20th Century Washington, D.C.

Author: Rob Goodspeed