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2014 Call for papers

*Stadtkolloquium* Interdisciplinary Urban PhD Research Seminar – 5th Annual Workshop.

 31st March and 01st April 2014. 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 four thematic tracks for the 2014 workshop are:

 1. Embodied Practices: beyond resistance in the city

 This session brings together interpretations of everyday embodied practices and forms of resistance in the city (de Certeau 1984), involving a direct engagement with arguments of the visualities and materialities of the public sphere. In different ways, the following authors have contested the traditional notion of resistance as an activity that opposes the dominant structure: performative systems of power (Rose 2002), politics and poetics of walking (Pinder 2011), BMX riders in London (Spinney 2010) and gardening (DeSilvey 2003). In relation, debates surrounding the emotional and affective capacities of bodies (Pile 2010) and the perception/experience of the (built) environment (Ingold 2000; Degen and Rose 2012) open up for discussions of the post-human and the human (Simonsen 2013). This call for papers aims at engaging in discussions about socio-material relations and methodological approaches towards the sensory, mobile, and non-representational.

    Key Words: embodied practices, the everyday, cities, beyond resistance, affect, sensory, mobility,        methods

 Chairs: Casper Laing Ebbensgaard and Jan van Duppen

 2. Whose Neighbourhood? Scale, Identity, Belonging

 Cities are made up of neighbourhoods, yet there is little critical attention paid to the production, encounter and experience of the neighbourhood. More than just a location, the neighbourhood is a spatial, cultural and social phenomenon. From experiences of change and conflict, to racial and cultural identities, and everyday practices of habitation, neighbourhoods are made and experienced in a variety of ways. We are interested in the way residents and researchers alike encounter and constitute the neighbourhood; drawing boundaries, representing it, advocating for it etc… We are also eager to consider issues of identity and belonging, and explore what it means to be from a neighbourhood and how this plays out in everyday life. We invite a broad range of papers that consider the city at the neighbourhood scale. Discussion may include, but not be limited to: the formation of neighbourhood identity, the lived reality of the neighbourhood, the role of neighbourhoods in the city, change and resistance at a neighbourhood scale, carrying out research in neighbourhoods.

Key Words: neighbourhood, authenticity, belonging, identity, appropriation of space, conflict, gentrification, policing & security, cultural representation, place-making.

 Chairs: Samuel Barton and Aidan Mosselson

 3. De-centering urbanism through comparisons

A wider range of urbanisation experiences from across the globe have been increasingly acknowledged in urban scholarship over the last decade. Cities from the global South increasingly feature in projects that seek a more inclusive urban studies. However, one challenge for urban researchers remains: how to engage with empirical multiplicity in a discipline dominated by theories and philosophies from North America and Europe, without being caught by the traps of incommensurability and particularism. Comparative urbanism seems to provide a basis for the construction of knowledge about cities while avoiding a priori theorisation (Robinson 2011). We welcome papers dealing with explicit comparisons across contexts from the North and South, as well as contributions from researchers dealing with single case studies from the South that engage with broader urban debates. Of particular interest are topics concerning urban governance, institutional networks, as well as political and socioeconomic processes shaping urban policymaking. The session aims to discuss the potential of comparative approaches to understand the purpose and function of local governments, and their place in twenty-first century cities more widely while touching upon the implications of comparisons for knowledge production in terms of theory and practice. 

Key Words: comparative urbanism, cities, global south, urban governance, institutions, politics, policymaking, knowledge production.

Chairs: Niranjana Ramesh and Alvaro Sanchez-Jimenez

 4. Urban Imaginations

Urban imaginations have become increasingly important to academic accounts of cities. Engaging with the different ways of seeing, writing and narrating urban life, this track seeks to engage with a broad range of academic disciplines in order to explore the rich intellectual and artistic energy of the urban imagination. We are keen to explore the ways that these different methods of imagining cities, and the mediums through which they operate, can assist researchers across various disciplines in re-imagining conventional narratives of the urban. We invite submissions for visual and paper presentations for Urban Imaginations. We are particularly interested in research from diverse theoretical and empirical backgrounds (literature studies, art and theatre studies, music, social anthropology, urban studies, geography, development studies, media studies, etc.). We invite proposals on themes and subjects including: ‘Fictional’ city imaginations, utopian and dystopian imaginations, visual, musical, and dramaturgical representations of cities, media accounts of cities, extracts from ethnographic urban fieldnotes, and contested city narratives.

Key Words: imaginations, city narratives, utopia, dystopia, artistic representations, cultural representations, ethnography.

Chairs: Hayley Peacock and Cecil Sagoe

The workshop will take place on 31st March and 01st April 2013 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 participantʼs suggestions.

If you are interested in presenting your work, please send us an 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 STADT2014 and TRACK NUMBER in the subject:

         Track 1:

         Track 2:

         Track 3:

         Track 4:

 For general enquiries please email

    Deadline for proposals: 15th January 2014.

     A small conference fee will apply (15 GBP)

For more information on *Stadtkolloquium* activities, previous workshops and feedback comments, please visit our website: and find us on Facebook.

 Contact -; UCL Urban Laboratory.