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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  People  /  Research Students  /  Murray Mckenzie

Murray Mckenzie 小莫

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Murray Mckenzie

Funding: UCL Overseas Research Scholarship; Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Doctoral Fellowship; Chinese Government Scholarship.

Languages: English (native); Mandarin Chinese (advanced intermediate).

murray.mckenzie.14@ucl.ac.uk

 

Research

My work focuses on the roles of creativity, culture, and their contestation in processes of urban growth and change; contemporary debates in urbanization and planning in East Asia (China); and the capacity of aesthetic and artistic practices to transform urban spaces and imagine cities yet to come.

In my doctoral research, I examine the relationship between urban life in contemporary Beijing and practices of social and relational art. I explore how artists have adapted outlying urban villages, come together in search of stability and the benefits of social intersection, and used artistic practices incorporating collaboration and social relationality among the various operations by which they have configured social spaces. Using interview-based, visual, and ethnographic methods, I document the rise and fall of an artist settlement in Beijing’s Heiqiao Village (黑桥村) between 2006 and 2017. This is the first in-depth historical account of this group of artists, who worked at the leading edge of contemporary Chinese art during this period.

Education

2020    Ph.D., Department of Geography, University College London, London, UK. Thesis title: Coming Together and Apart in Heiqiao Village, Beijing: Urban Life, Artistic Practices, and the Making of Social Worlds. Advisors: Andrew Harris (primary); Caroline Bressey (secondary).

2013    M.A. (Planning), School of Community and Regional Planning, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. Thesis title: (Re)Remembering the Inner City: Cultural Production, Reflexivity, and Vancouver’s Heritage Areas. Advisors: Thomas Hutton (primary); David Ley (secondary).

2009    B.A., Departments of Geography and History in Art, University of Victoria, Victoria, Canada.

Visiting positions

2015 – 2016    Visiting senior scholar, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, China. Advisor: Tong Xin (童昕).

 

Publications

Refereed journal articles

Mckenzie, Murray and Thomas Hutton. (2015). Culture-led regeneration in the post-industrial built environment: complements and contradictions in Victory Square, Vancouver. Journal of Urban Design, 20(1), 8-27.

Republished in Quentin Stevens (Ed.). (2016). Creative Milieux: How Urban Design Nurtures Creative Clusters (pp. 8-27). London: Routledge.

Other publications

Mckenzie, Murray. (2017). ‘Huanchong’ de kongjian shixue [On the spatial poetics of ‘buffering’] (Yin Y., trans.). Li Binyuan: Huanchong. Beijing and Malmö: IFP. Invited exhibition catalogue essay.

Conference participation

Conferences/symposia organized

2015    Workshop co-convenor [with Yixiang Sun], ‘Placing’ Culture in Urban China: Towards a Transdisciplinary Dialogue, University College London, London, UK, 2 July. Funded by the Joint Faculty Institute of Graduate Studies.

2015    Conference co-organizer, Stadtkolloquium 6th Annual Workshop, University College London, London, UK, 30-31 March. Funded by the UCL Urban Lab.

Sessions organized

2018    Session co-convenor [with Shaun Teo], Peripherality in Asian Cities, Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, New Orleans, USA, 11 April.

2016    Sessions co-convenor [with Yueming Zhang], Global Art Worlds and a World of Cities, Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, San Francisco, USA, 1 April.

2015    Sessions co-convenor [with Sam Barton], Presenting the Past in the Contemporary City, Stadtkolloquium 6th Annual Workshop, University College London, London, UK, 30 March.

Papers presented

2019    In the tracks of comparative urbanism: constellations of urban modernity from theory to practice. Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, Washington, DC, USA, 3-7 April.

2018    Producing comparability in the urban now: from Walter Benjamin to the research field. Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, New Orleans, USA, 10-14 April.

2017    Coming together and apart in the urban periphery: the art village as place of intersection in Beijing, China. Remapping the Arts, Heritage, and Cultural Production: Between Policies and Practices in East and Southeast Asian Cities. National University Singapore, Singapore, 16-17 August.

2017    Assembling the sites of art: from the art village to the artistic imagination in Beijing. International Conference on China Urban Development, University College London, London, UK, 5-6 May.

2017    (Extra)ordinary Beijing: on urban ontologies and artistic practice [co-authored with Julie Ren]. Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, Boston, USA, 5-9 April.

2016    On the urban locations of art: observations from the fringe of Beijing. Space in Mind: Asylum Topographies, Bethlem Gallery, London, UK, 22 September.

2016    Art labour at large [co-authored with Shuang Li]. Overwhelming Imagination: Achieving and Undermining Contradictions, Sishang Art Museum, Beijing, China, 4-5 July.

2016    Contemporaneity, comparative urban geographies, and the spatial imaginaries of contemporary art. Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, San Francisco, USA, 29 March – 2 April.

2015    Contesting the politics of representation and remembrance: can art save Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. London Conference of Critical Thought, University College London, London, UK, 26-27 June.

2015    Urban memory and the contested cultural quarter: art as counter-memory in Vancouver, Canada. Cultures in Disarray: Deconstruction/Reconstruction, King’s College London, London, UK, 11-12 June.

2015    Arts of memory, landscapes of memory: remembrance and ruination in experimental art on Beijing’s urban fringe. Stadtkolloquium Annual Workshop, University College London, London, UK, 30-31 March.

2014    Urban memory and the contested cultural quarter: exploring the ‘Downtown Eastside’ in Vancouver, Canada. Controversies Around Creativity in Cities Workshop, Berlin Social Science Center, Berlin, Germany, 23-24 October.

2013    Cultural production, reflexivity, and the re-remembrance of the inner city. Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, Los Angeles, USA, 9-13 April.

2012    (Re)remembering the inner city: appropriations of history and myth in Vancouver’s creative industries. Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, New York, USA, 24-28 February.

Professional activities

Teaching experience

2020    Postgraduate teaching assistant, University College London, London, UK. ‘URBNG006: Urban Practices’. Course convenors: Pushpa Arabindoo and Andrew Harris.

2020    Postgraduate teaching assistant, University College London, London, UK. ‘GEOG0014: Geographies in the Field II’. Course convenors: Andrew Harris and Jonathan Holmes.

2019    Postgraduate teaching assistant, University College London, London, UK. ‘URBNG002: Urban Imaginations’. Course convenor: Andrew Harris.

2019    Postgraduate teaching assistant, University College London, London, UK. ‘URBNG006: Urban Practices’. Course convenors: Pushpa Arabindoo and Andrew Harris.

2018    Postgraduate teaching assistant, University College London, London, UK. ‘URBNG002: Urban Imaginations’. Course convenor: Andrew Harris.

2018    Course lecture, University College London, London, UK. ‘GEOG3078: Global Urbanisms’. Course convenors: Jennifer Robinson and Jonathan Rock.

2018    Postgraduate teaching assistant, University College London, London, UK. ‘GEOG3078: Global Urbanisms’. Course convenors: Jennifer Robinson and Jonathan Rock.

2017    Postgraduate teaching assistant, University College London, London, UK. ‘URBNG002: Urban Imaginations’. Course convenor: Andrew Harris.

2016    Course lecture, University College London, London, UK. ‘URBNG002: Urban Imaginations’. Course convenor: Andrew Harris.

2016    Course lecture, Peking University, Beijing, China. ‘Chanye Dili [Industrial Geography]’. Course instructor: Tong Xin.

2016    Course designer and instructor, Liuyin Academy, Beijing, China. ‘Fundamentals of Human Geography’, ‘Issues in Human Geography’, ‘Fundamentals of Art History’, ‘Art History: The Western Perspective’.

2015    Course lecture, University College London, London, UK. ‘URBNG003: Creative Cities’. Course convenor: Andrew Harris.

2010    Seminar leader, Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Vancouver, Canada. ‘Design History and Culture’. Course instructor: Patrick Chan.

Research experience

2011 – 2013    Research assistant, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. ‘A tale of two cities: the new economies of Vancouver and Seattle’. Principal investigators: Trevor Barnes and Thomas Hutton.

Professional service

2014 – 2015    Steering committee member, Stadtkolloquium, University College London, London, UK.

2010 – 2011    Assistant director, Planning Students’ Association, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

I am an associate fellow of the United Kingdom Higher Education Academy, a member of the Association of American Geographers, and an associate member of the Royal Geographical Society.

I have served as a peer reviewer for cultural geographies, Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, and the Journal of Urban Design.