Neil Smith, 1954 – 2012

Dear Friends,

It is with great sadness that we write to share the news that Neil Smith passed away earlier today. To say that Neil was an incredible source of intellectual energy and inspiration for the entire CUNY community would be a profound understatement; to say that his work, especially his mesmerizing American Empire: Roosevelt’s Geographer and the Prelude to Globalization, profoundly shaped the state of American Studies would also hardly do his generative brilliance justice. Neil’s passion for intellectual inquiry, his commitments to social justice, and his unwavering support for students and colleagues alike are irreplaceable losses. His encouraging presence touched more people than it is possible to recount, and he was taken from us far too soon. He will always be missed.

Please visit the Center for Place, Culture, and Power website for more information and to share your thoughts at

With deep regret and continued love,

Duncan & Kandice

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One Response to Neil Smith, 1954 – 2012

  1. Kandice Chuh says:

    Very Informal Memorial for Neil Smith: Monday, October 1st at 16 Beaver Street
    Tomorrow evening there will be an informal, open gathering at 16 Beaver Street in honor of Neil. There will be some food and wine provided, and you are invited to bring more since the crowd might actually be sort of crazy huge, in a manner of speaking.

    There will not be official speeches. Instead, there will be an open mic set up so that those who wish to share their thoughts, read a poem, sing a song, tap dance, chant tribalistic anti-capitalist monosyllables, etc. will have an opportunity to do so. You can also just come and chat and spend a while in a space filled with others struck by this untimely loss.

    We hope that as many faculty, students, activists, and everyone else who cared about Neil will be able to stop by tomorrow. Please forward this message appropriately.

    Date: October 1, 2012
    Time: Doors open at 5 pm. Stay for at least two tap dances, until 10-ish, or maybe longer if people feel like it.
    Location: 16 Beaver Street, 4th Floor, New York NY 10004

    Sincere thanks to 16 Beaver Group for helping this evening happen.

    *** Please note, the CUNY Graduate Center is organizing and planning a formal public memorial service for Neil Smith, tentatively scheduled for early December 2012. Further details will be posted as they are confirmed. In addition, the AAG conference in Los Angeles in April 2013 will likely include something memorial-ish, and there will be a remembrance event at AAA in November 2012 in San Francisco. So if you cannot be at 16 Beaver on October 1st, there’s no reason to feel disgruntled. But, we’d be very, very happy to see you there.***

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