Studying urban life in Berlin was one of the formative experiences of my graduate career, and working with Hartmut Häussermann deeply influenced by research, both for my dissertation and my current project on festivals. (It was, in fact his term ‘festivalization’ that got me thinking about the ways in which festivals work as de facto urban cultural policy.)
This is, of course, minor in relation to what got me thinking about him recently: one of his students has been arrested and placed into solitary confinement for supposed membership in a terrorist group. The crux of the argument against him appears to be (or so we were briefed at the ASA by Neil Brenner) that his research on gentrification mimics the writings of the terrorist group. He uses “key words and phrases” of the group and has “access” to university libraries is a part of it as well. Thankfully, a group of fellow urbanists have made the press aware of it. Sign a petition here.