Rivke Jaffe is Professor of Urban Geography at the Department of Human Geography, Planning and International Development Studies and the Centre for Urban Studies within the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research. Prior to joining the UvA, she held teaching and research positions at Leiden University, the University of the West Indies, and the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV).
Connecting geography, anthropology and cultural studies, her research focuses primarily on intersections of the urban and the political, and specifically on the spatialization and materialization of power, difference and inequality within cities. She is interested in how urban problems such as poverty, crime and environmental degradation are linked to social differentiation along lines of ethnicity, class and gender. How are these inequalities constructed, reproduced and transformed through urban policy, market forces and social movements? How does the (colonial) past shape the cities of today? What is the role of popular culture – music, video clips, murals, graffiti – in the ways we experience and communicate urban exclusion and solidarity? Rivke’s engagement with these concerns is motivated by the conviction that researching everyday life in cities can provide important insights into what divides and what unites us, into the social problems we face and the solutions that are possible.