Faculty & Staff
Marina Peterson’s work focuses on the contemporary city, spatial processes, and emergent social formations in the context of late liberalism. Much of her work has considered these issues in relation to music and performance, urban public space, and processes of globalization. Her book, Sound, Space, and the City: Civic Performance in Downtown Los Angeles, is an ethnography of free public concerts in downtown Los Angeles. It examines the nature of contemporary urban public life through consideration of the arts as public goods, civic membership, and the formation of affective, multicultural, and urban publics. Other projects have examined privatized public space use regulations, post-9/11 cultural diplomacy, and negotiations between state, market, and labor during 1940s recording bans. She is the co-editor of a volume titled Global Downtowns. Drawing on ethnographic research, the discussions of downtowns around the world – from Beijing to Los Angeles, Havana to Zanzibar – address features of downtowns that are shared internationally and consider how downtowns look to each other as
models for making themselves global. Her current research is on shipping containers and their temporalities of movement, with an emphasis on sovereignty and jurisdiction of ports as located between urban/national and oceanic territories; international legal frameworks structuring shipping and logistics; and inter-state dynamics supporting global mobilities. Her work has appeared in Space and Culture, Journal of Popular Music Studies, and Urban Anthropology. Her courses include Arts in Contexts, The Body, Critical Theory, Ethnography of Performance, Performance and the City, Publics, Sound, and Space/Time/Performance. Dr. Peterson received her BA and PhD in Anthropology from the University of Chicago.
- Ph.D. at University of Chicago (2005)
- Cities & Citizenship
- Music & Performance
- Globalization & Transnationalism
- Production of Space
- Social Theory
GEOGRAPHICAL AREAS OF SPECIALIZATION
- United States (Chicago, Los Angeles)
- Southeast Asia (Singapore)
COURSES RECENTLY TAUGHT
IART 117: Introduction to the Arts: Arts in Contexts
IART 751: Ethnography of Performance
IART 744: Critical Theory
IART 754: The Body
IART 778: Performance Studies (Arts and Citizenship, Performance and the City, Publics, Sound, Space/Time/Performance)
Peterson, Marina, and Gary McDonogh, eds. Forthcoming. Global Downtowns. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Peterson, Marina. 2010. Sound, Space, and the City: Civic Performance in Downtown Los Angeles. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Articles & Chapters
Peterson, Marina. Forthcoming. Sonic Cosmopolitanisms: Experimental Improvised Music and Cultural Exchange. In The Arab Avant-Garde: Musical Innovation in the Middle East. Thomas Burkhalter, Kay Dickinson, and Benjamin J. Harbert, eds. Middletown, Connecticut: Wesleyan University Press.
Peterson, Marina. 2010. Garden, City, World: Los Angeles’ Late Twentieth Century Multicultural Arts Festivals. In The Politics of Cultural Programming in Public Spaces. Robert Gehl and Victoria Watts, eds. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
Peterson, Marina. 2007. Translocal Civilities: Chinese Modern Dance at Downtown Los Angeles Public Concerts. In Deciphering the Global: Its Scales, Spaces and Subjects. Saskia Sassen, ed. Pp. 41-58. New York: Routledge.
Peterson, Marina. 2006. Patrolling the Plaza: Privatized Public Space and the Neoliberal State In Downtown Los Angeles. Urban Anthropology and Studies of Cultural Systems and World Economic Development 35(4):355-386.