Maeve Dwyer

Date of Award


First Advisor

Chris Coggins

Second Advisor

Paul Naamon

Third Advisor

Jennifer Browdy


This thesis is a geographical analysis of Occupy Wall Street, providing an overview of the movement, its structure, and its basic philosophies. It dissects the way in which Occupy spread across the country and world, creating an elaborate, rhizomatic network of decentralized, locally oriented occupations and action campaigns. Occupy mirrors the open source nature of the internet, with the internet and social media playing a crucial role in both the spread and function of the movement. Reflecting on the production of the city and the development of the urban parks system, the thesis includes a history of the actualization of public open space in the United States with an emphasis on New York City. Specific focus is paid to the zoning of Zuccotti Park and the rise of privately-owned- public spaces in the city, extending this to Zuccotti Park and the logic of pedestrianism. In conclusion, I examine the question of what it means to ‘occupy’ space and the significance of such in the subversion of the abstract space produced by capitalist modernity.

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