Recalibrating Queens is a digital history and activist scholarship project focused on publicly excavating and exploring the past century of development and change in western Queens. This project is a direct response to recent and rapid changes, intensifying development pressures, and swelling community organizing. It aims to provide another counterpoint for understanding contestations around development and change in the region, one that centers residents’ experiences and perspectives and alternative visions for future development in their neighborhoods. Changes will be statistically and spatially represented. Additional archival and ethnographic research will extend the timeline back and add context.
This digital history project was conceived alongside my resident-based organizing efforts with the Justice For All Coalition over the last 2+ years, and the development of my dissertation proposal as a student in the environmental psychology program at The Graduate Center, CUNY. It is part of the feminist activist ethnography titled “Re(sident)-Centering the Housing Debate in Western Queens”, that is my dissertation work. This larger research project is rooted in the question, why, how and to what ends are residents in NYC organizing. My inquiry centers the members of one particular resident group, the Justice For All Coalition (JFAC), a diverse group of resident-volunteers fighting for just development in Western Queens, and of which I am a steering and executive committee member.