Virginia Tech’s Global Forum for Urban and Regional Resilience will host Simin Davoudi as a visiting scholar.

Davoudi is professor of environmental policy and planning and associate director of the Institute for Sustainability at Newcastle University and will be in residence at Virginia Tech until Sept. 25. 

Simin’s research interest lies at the interface of society and ecology covering areas that include spatial planning, environmental governance, resilience, and climate change.

“I see my visit as a great opportunity for developing a productive and intellectually rewarding partnership, one that lasts beyond my stay and leads to further collaborations,” Davoudi said.  

Davoudi will offer a public seminar on her latest work, “Resilience and Governmentality of Unknown” on Friday, Sept. 18, at 3 p.m. in the Global Forum on Urban and Regional Resilience conference room, Suite 312, Kent Square, 250 South Main Street in Blacksburg The seminar will feature a question and answer session.

Simin is past president of the Association of the European Schools of Planning, Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, and the Royal Society of Arts, a member of the Social Science Expert Panel which advises two United Kingdom government departments for environment and climate change. She has been a member of the 2014 REF sub-panel (the UK higher education research assessment exercise) and the Grant Assessment Panel of the UK Economic and Social Research Council. Davoudi has held visiting professorships at Universities of Amsterdam, and Nijmegen (Netherlands) BTH (Sweden) and will be visiting at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology after her stay with the Global Forum for Urban and Regional Resilience at Virginia Tech.

During her time at Virginia Tech, Davoudi will work collaboratively with Global Forum for Urban and Regional Resilience faculty on research projects that highlight tensions between the benevolent representations of resilience and the sometimes-harmful social and environmental policies and practices that result from development projects done under the umbrella of resiliency.

“It is important to highlight the distinction between the promises that are bound up within narratives of resilience and the social and environmental vulnerabilities that are often aggravated as a result of policies that invoke resilience,” said Jim Bohland, co-director of the Global Forum for Urban and Regional Resilience. “Simin is renowned for her work in environmental policy and planning and will bring great energy to the Global Forum this fall.”

Additionally, Davoudi will meet with individual faculty members and offer several guest lectures in the Urban Affairs and Planning program in the School of Public and International Affairs.

The objective of the visiting scholar program is to advance research in the field of resilience by developing publications, establishing university partnerships, and offering public lectures. Inquiries about Professor Davoudi or the visiting scholar program can be emailed to the Global Forum on Urban and Regional Resilience.