New paper: Homeless People and City of Abstract Machines, in Area


Area has just published one of my paper on homelessness, which is an expanded version of the theoretical argument I was making in my PhD thesis. You can have a look at the paper here. Below you can find the abstract.

“Homeless people and the city of abstract machines. Assemblage thinking and the performative approach to homelessness”

The paper focuses on one central point of the ‘performative’ approach to homelessness that is still inadequately explored by the current literature: the conceptualisation of the relational entanglements between homeless people and the city. The argument is that only through a critical attention to these fluid and more-than-human details will we be able to re-imagine a different politics of homelessness. The paper, engaging with the work of Deleuze and Guattari as well as with critical assemblages thinking, proposes two concepts that are considered to be fundamental in this sense. First, assemblage, as a concept able to render the hybrid constituency of the individual within the city; and second, abstract machines, as a way to take into account the fluidity of power in affecting one’s own experience of homelessness. The approach proposed in the paper is illustrated through the presentations of original ethnographic material derived from ten months of ethnographic fieldwork in Turin, Italy. The paper concludes by suggesting that the abstract machine of homelessness can be tackled in at least two ways. First, re-working the institutional assemblages of care that produce stigmatising discourses and deep emotional effects. Second, liberating homeless people’s capacities and resources, which are currently poorly accounted by canonical literature and policies.

5th Nordic Geographers Meeting, in Reykjavík

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Tomorrow I am going to take part to the 5th Nordic Geographers Meeting, in Reykjavík. I am going to present a paper written with Stewart Clegg, on how Business Schools are responding to the Global Financial Crisis and on the new “creative” take on Business Education. Below the abstract – the paper is currently under review for Management and Learning.

“The Global Financial Crisis and the New Architecture of Business Education”

After the recent financial crisis many Business Schools around the world have felt the necessity to revise their teaching and learning programs, as well as their overall approach to business education and research. They – as “local” entities – are answering to a supposedly “global” threat. New organizational patterns have been created and change has become, in a way, the mantra to incant. The paper investigates what these Business Schools are doing, identifying three main areas of change that represent their “new” model of business education. First, change is reified in the construction of new facilities, manly designed by “star-architects”, whose material architecture makes claims to shaping practices differently from the conventional broadcast mode of large-scale lecture theatres. Second, change take place in the designing of new teaching curricula, characterized by “critical thinking”, “creativity and innovative thinking”, and “experiential learning”. Third, among the set of practices involved in this new ethos (which has already been adopted, to varying degrees, by Business Schools such as Chicago, Harvard, Stanford and Yale), the integration between creative/design approaches and management have had a particular specificity. The paper takes as main (ethnographic) case-study UTS Business School in Sydney, Australia, which is currently undergoing a profound revision that include both a new building designed by Frank Gehry and a new teaching curriculum. On the basis of this case study, the paper offers two contributions. First, it traces how the global changes in Business Education are increasingly becoming inscribed in urban landscapes and teaching activities. Second, it confronts Business Schools with their responsibilities in producing a “new” model of Business education, the consequences of which are still largely unknown and under-investigated.

New paper: The Chronotopes of Change


The Journal of Change Management has just published one of my paper, co-authored with Stewart Clegg. The paper is related to my research on UTS Business School and the Dr Chau Chak Wing Building.

Title: “The Chronotopes of Change: Actor- Networks in a Changing Business School”

Abstract: This article investigates how a leading business school is reshaping its identity through a process that includes, but is not limited to, the building of a new facility designed by the Canadian architect Frank Gehry, as well as a major revision of the teaching programmes, ethos and branding. By investigating this process in an actor-network theory fashion, and introducing the notion of chronotope, the article answers three central questions related to the notion of change: How does organizational change happen in the daily life of a project? What gives unity to a chain of small relational changes? How can processual change possibly be managed? Theoretically, the article argues that change emerges in the micro-dynamics of organizing, fragments that are stitched together by macro-dominant narratives, in a constant process of translations that occur between human and non-human actants. The management of change is pursued through a constant micro- politics of network maintenance and enactment.

Keywords: Processual change, actor-network, chronotope, translation, maintenance

To read it, click here.

To cite it: Lancione, M., Clegg, S.R., (2013), The chronotopes of change: Actor-networks in a changing Business School, The Journal of Change Management, DOI:10.1080/14697017.2012.753930

AAG Annual meeting 2013, in LA

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From tomorrow I will take part to the Association of American Geographers annual meeting in Los Angeles. I will present in a session called “Geophilosophy and planes of urban experience” and I will be act as discussant in another session, called “Between the Punitive and the Supportive I: Urban Social Policy’s ‘Messy Middle Ground‘.

In the first I’ll be presenting a paper called “Walking the creative and diverse city”. The paper reflects around some initial founding of the investigation that I am undertaking on the “Goods Line” project in Sydney. The aim of this work is to critically confront the topic of the “creative city”, and to highlight issues of diversity related to it. Moreover, the paper introduces a particular take on the Deleuzian-Guattarian notion of “abstract machine”, understood as analytical device able to grasp the subtle dynamics related to urban redevelopment projects such the one investigated.

In the second session I have been invited by Gordon MacLeod (University of Durham) and Geoff DeVerteuil (University of Southampton) to comment on the papers that will be presented. This intervention is related to my research on homelessness.


How is the city – A Lecture

I have been invited by Dr Jochen Schweitzer to deliver a lecture on urbanism within its course “The Global Context of Management“. Below you can find my presentation, which spans from NY seen through the eyes of the Wu Tang Clan, to urbanisation issues in China and the Global South. Feel free to quote and re-use. The public link is here.

(To start the presentation, click Start Prezi. It takes one minute to upload, and more to show the background. You can also watch it at the public link reported above. Thanks for your patience)

Homelessness postcards at the Institute of Culture and Society (UWS)

Tomorrow I’ll be presenting my research on homeless people at the Institute of Culture and Society, University of Western Sydney. I am very excited by this presentation – ICS is a great place for Cultural Studies, Geography, and similar matters! I will present after Bob Hodge (quite a challenge!). Here you can download the flyer of the event.

Below you can watch the presentation, which is an expanded and corrected version of the one I did at Macquarie University a few months ago.