A Conversation with Stefano Bloch

The whole of a conversation — its nuances, inflections, and depth — simply cannot fit into a single article. So we at BlogDailyHerald designed BDH Outtakes to feature the voices of the people interviewed by The Brown Daily Herald for its daily print coverage. We think our sources have great stories — and so we want you to hear them!

BDH Outtakes interviews were conducted by current and former Herald reporters with the permission and understanding of the source. They have been edited for length, clarity, and the BlogDailyHerald audience.

In September of 2016, I sat down in a café with then-professor of urban studies (and campus superstar) Stefano Bloch. At the time, nearly 400 students were enrolled in his course URBN 12:30: “Crime in the City,” and word had escaped that Bloch had a story The Herald couldn’t ignore.

What I thought would be a brief interview became nearly an hour and half of conversation, stories, laughter, and near tears. I published the story Bloch’s graffiti research inspired by childhood” in the Brown Daily Herald over two years ago, but I still haven’t gotten this conversation out of my head. If I were to share the entirety of the interview’s transcription, you would be reading over twenty pages. So here is just an essence of the research and character of Stefano Bloch in his own words.

Herald: Tell me a little bit about your research.

Bloch: So it really falls into the category of the production and creation of identity and particularly subcultural identity — how members of subcultures who identify as members of subcultures navigate the city. And by subculture, that could be affirmative subcultures and that could be a subculture that was thrust upon a marginalized group. So either way, a group with a particular non-normative or transgressive identity and the way that they navigate the city, contribute to urbanism, are policed or excluded from the city, their relationship with the city given their identity and status.

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