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The culture prize of the Münchener Universitätsgesellschaft awarded to urban theorist Mike Davis

Munich, 12/08/2008

Professor Mike Davis from the University of California, Irvine, has been awarded the culture prize, which was offered this year for the first time, by the Münchener Universitätsgesellschaft [Association of the Friends of LMU Munich]. This year, the award, worth 25,000 euros, has been dedicated to the theme of “City of the future – the future of the city”. It celebrates outstanding individuals in the fields of literature, art or the humanities whose works have brought them popular recognition as artists or academics.

With this  award, the highly distinguished jury has shown Mike Davis to be one of the most interesting and wide-ranging urban theorists, who is setting new parameters and pushing the boundaries of multidisciplinary research. Davis, who was teaching at the University of California’s Department of History until the summer of 2008, has found creative ways to remain a non-academic author. In his homeland of southern California he has become well-known for his analyses of social structures and urban development. His latest publications are concerned, among other things, with neglected “third world” famine and the spread of slums.

Professor Mike Davis is also due to give a seminar entitled “Who Will Build the Ark? The Urban Imagination in an Age of Catastrophic Convergence” to selected new generation academics at LMU. In the first half of the seminar Davis will speak about the inevitability, as he sees it, of runaway climate change, and resulting global changes. The second half will focus on the role of cities as (contributory) causes of climate change on the one hand, and, on the other, as the sole form of human life and organisation which can show us a way out of global crisis.

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