2015 Call for papers

*Stadtkolloquium* Interdisciplinary Urban PhD Research Seminar – 6th Annual Workshop.
30th – 31st March 2015. University College London, London.
Call for papers
*Stadtkolloquium* is organizing its annual 2-day workshop for PhD research students in urban-related disciplines. The workshop will provide an open, informal and intimate space to collaborate and discuss progress amongst peers with regard to topical, theoretical, practical or methodological concerns. We therefore welcome contributions from students at all stages of the dissertation process. The workshop is unique in that all participants agree to both present their work and support others in doing so in small group sessions. Organizers hope to generate lively round-table discussions on diverse urban questions across various academic disciplines including Geography, Architecture, History, Anthropology, Literature, Cultural Studies, Development Studies, Arts, Environmental Studies, Gender Studies, Planning, Engineering and beyond. The five thematic tracks for the 2015 workshop are:

1.    Urban transitions towards sustainability: Visions and realities

Sustainability has fast become a key concern of urban policymakers and citizens in acknowledgement of cities’ role in processes of climate change, particularly in connection with global trends of population growth and urbanisation. Many cities are putting forward ambitious visions in pursuit of more sustainable urban infrastructure systems and associated processes of production and consumption, including in the realms of mobility, energy, water and waste. More often than not, such ambitious visions of sustainability do not necessarily translate into measures that promote radical change in material infrastructures or social practices. This call for papers is interested in submissions that investigate this gap (or the potential absence of it) in the context of urban policymaking and practice for sustainability.

We invite a broad range of submissions that consider potentials, challenges and barriers in the successful governance of urban transitions towards sustainability. Of particular interest are papers dealing with transitions of both urban infrastructure systems and their associated practices, i.e. their material as well as social elements. The session broadly aims to discuss the overlap (or lack thereof) between urban policymaking and policy implementation for sustainability with the goal of generating insights on the differential capability of urban governance actors and networks to contribute to sustainable development across local, regional and global scales. 

Keywords: sustainability, transitions, urban governance, policymaking, infrastructure, mobility, energy, waste, water. 

Chairs: Paul Fenton and Fanny Paschek

2.    Presenting the past in the contemporary city

This session seeks to engage in a dialogue about ways of understanding the ‘presence of the past’ in the city, particularly in contested experiences of urban change: succession and dislocation, regeneration and displacement. Scholarship on urban collective memory has been recently reinvigorated by interest in practice, embodiment, and mobilities as complements to metaphorical representations of the city as archive or palimpsestic text. But further opportunities for transdisciplinary exchange exist with research investigating, for example, material culture and the consumption of heritage landscapes, uses of the past in the construction of authentic places, public history and the pursuit of social justice, and expressions of restorative and reflective nostalgia. We invite paper proposals investigating these and other themes from a broad range of disciplinary and theoretical backgrounds.
Keywords: urban imaginations, history, memory, heritage, authenticity, nostalgia

Chairs: Sam Barton and Murray Mckenzie

3.    Conceptualizing the urban through difference in comparative studies

We live in a world of interconnected cities. Across disciplines there is a call to challenge how urban concepts have developed through a western-centric lens. This challenge is based on the growing presence of cities in Asia, Africa and South America. There is a need for concepts to explore cosmopolitan urban imaginaries and to build open theoretical assumptions. McFarlane and Robinson (2012) claim "new methods and approaches to comparison" are fundamental to work "across diverse urban experiences". In the last century cities’ social and political systems have been compared and subsequently categorised. Examples include developed and underdeveloped, mega and world-class. By analysing specific urban processes (speculation, segregation, renovation) different cities have been cross-compared. In this manner cities are described as converging, diverging or as exceptions to particular patterns. How can we conceptualize the urban through difference?

This track invites reflections and proposals that deal with the challenges of conceptualizing the urban through difference, based on comparative studies from different disciplines, methods and approaches. We are particular interested in contributions challenging the place of singularities, regularities, repetitions, generalizations or patterns in comparative studies.

Keywords: cities, urban processes, comparative studies, methodologies, difference

Chairs: Frances Brill and Camila Saraiva

4.    Cosmopolitanism's manifestations of referential dissonance

Most cities aren’t built on nothing, but rather are built into and onto pre-existing socialites, geographies and ideologies. This panel is concerned with the “shards of genealogies through which present forms [of urbanism] have emerged” (Tsing 2004: 127). It calls for a discussion on the accumulation, appropriation and mediation of distant and recent pasts into the present, and what new forms of sociality, subjectivity and intersubjectivity emerge out of this.

If the city is a reference point (temporally, ideologically, spatially) for citizens, what kinds of “referential dissonances” (Han 2004: 183) and/or harmonies do citizens experience between the various social contexts they have experienced as a consequence of geopolitical transformations in their cities in recent history? And how do they “weave themselves into the new fabric of signifiers” (Han 2004: 173) that their cities take on today? This panel encourages submissions from a wide range of city experiences. We hope ultimately to consider “subjects whose institutions of meaning have been radically altered [as their]...historical signifiers have lost their signifiers” (Han 2004:183), and to discuss what ‘hybrid’ signifiers and socialities may have emerged out of this “cosmopolitanism” (Humphrey et al. 2009).

Keywords: temporality, cosmopolitanism, dissonance, subjectivity, transformations

Chair: Aeron O’Connor

5.    Class and urbanisation

Many studies have investigated various topics related to the association between class and urbanisation. Urban space and its usage is not only determined by economic activities, local culture or politics, but is also determined by social classes (Baner and Korff 1995). Nowadays, cities and their spaces seem to serve particular classes in society. Since globalisation has enriched the opportunity for prosperity, and has enlarged the area of economic activity for the elite (Baner and Korff 1995), the upper and middle class have become those who dominate urban space development, and who benefit most from urban development. In fact, globalisation could be considered to be harmful for the poor, because it forces them away from the areas with the highest concentration of jobs and urban facilities.

This session wishes to explore the different methods and the different perspectives on the relationship between class and urbanisation. We are particularly interested in and invite paper proposals from studies that examine how class influences urban space development, how particular classes benefit from those urban spaces, the inequality behind space development serving only one particular class in a city, how urban development policies relate to class and urban segregation, and how political and economic circumstances affect urban spaces and different classes. However, other related studies on class and urbanisation are also welcome.

Keywords: class, urbanisation, urban space, gentrification, urban development, globalising city, globalisation, policymaking, urban governance, urban space segregation

Chair: Petch Lattanan

Workshop details:

The workshop will take place on 30th – 31st March 2015 at University College London. On the first day, each participant will be given 20 minutes to present their work in small groups of 8 people, followed by 25 minutes of feedback and discussion. The second day will be dedicated to a plenary discussion, a keynote lecture and small group workshops based on accepted participants’ suggestions.
If you are interested in presenting your work, please send us a short abstract (no more than 250 words) of the material you would like to present. Past participants have presented work ranging from upgrade documents, PhD outlines, sample dissertations chapters and journal papers in progress. Please note that while the intimate nature of the workshop provides a uniquely engaging experience, it also significantly limits the number of proposals we are able to accept. Competition for spaces in years past has been very tight.
When submitting your abstract, please include the following:
A title and 250 word abstract – including your name, university, department, and year of study.
Abstracts should be emailed to the respective track email: including STADT2015 and TRACK NUMBER in the subject:
Track 1:    F.Paschek@greenwich.ac.uk
Track 2:    murray.mckenzie.14@ucl.ac.uk           
Track 3:    frances.brill.14@ucl.ac.uk
Track 4:    aeron.o’connor.09@ucl.ac.uk
Track 5:    petchpilai.lattanan.09@ucl.ac.uk

For general enquiries please email stadtkolloquium@gmail.com
Deadline for proposals: 16th January 2015.
For more information on *Stadtkolloquium* activities, previous workshops and feedback comments, please visit our website: www.stadtkolloquium.co.uk and find us on Facebook.
Contact - stadtkolloquium@gmail.com; UCL Urban Laboratory.