Creative Placemaking,
Black Restorative Ecologies,
and Black Spatial Futures

The “Creative Placemaking, Black Restorative Ecologies, and Black Spatial Futures” Mellon Sawyer Seminar engages questions of Black futurity that are grounded in place and informed by historical inquiry. The seminar will consider comparative geographies and historical periods to engage questions such as: how have Black subjects made space for their futures in light of persistent assaults on their lives and livelihoods? What restorative ecological practices might we excavate from the past or elevate from the present that will better support Black life and living in times and places yet to come?

The Mellon Foundation’s Sawyer Seminars program was established in 1994 to provide support for collaborative research on historical and contemporary topics of major scholarly significance. The seminars bring together faculty, international visitors, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students from a variety of fields—mainly, but not exclusively, in the arts, humanities, and interpretive social sciences—for intensive study of subjects chosen by the participants. This program aims to engage productive scholars in multi-disciplinary and comparative inquiry that would in ordinary university circumstances be difficult to pursue, while at the same time avoiding the institutionalization of such work in new centers, departments, or programs.