UCL Urban Laboratory


Stadtkolloquium 2013 Call for Papers

10 October 2012

4th Annual Workshop for PhD students in urban-related disciplines


Stadtkolloquium, in conjunction with UCL's Urban Laboratory, is pleased to announce its annual 2-day work shop 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.

Stadtkolloquium aims to create a supportive environment for urban researchers who to develop their work and meet PhD students from other departments and universities. 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, Fine Arts, Environmental Studies, Gender Studies, Health Sciences, Planning, Engineering and beyond.

The four thematic tracks for the 2013 workshop are:

A. Re-thinking urban economies

Explaining the growth and development of cities has been called 'one of the great challenges for social science' (Storper, 2011, p.33). But what is specifically 'urban' about the range of problems facing economies today? The increasing recognition of the partiality of urban development and growth policies (e.g. global cities; creative cities), the decoupling of economic growth from social and environmental development, the ongoing financial crisis and the emergence of austerity urbanism, as well as decreasing confidence in mainstream economics more generally, suggests that the scope for new ways of theorising, measuring and intervening in urban economies is significant. Contributions are welcomed from PhD students who are exploring some of the diverse ways in which we might re-think urban economies.

Key Words: urban economies; re-thinking economy; global cities; creative cities; ordinary cities; development; well-being; financial crisis; austerity urbanism

Chairs: Alvaro Sanchez Jimenez, Louis Moreno, Myfanwy Taylor

B. Post-colonial approaches to the city

An increasing amount of scholarship (Robinson 2006, Roy 2011) has emerged as a critique of the ways in which cities in the global South have been studied. This session aims to discuss cities in ways that respond to this post-colonial questioning of urban theory. How can concepts that emerged in the South, such as informality, be used in cities of the global North? How can empirical studies of cities beyond the West inform urban theory in general? How do concepts such as neo-liberalism or gentrification, change when examined in a non-Western context? The session is interested in theoretical approaches as well as methods of thinking 'comparatively' through both multi- and single case studies.

Key Words: Post-colonial theory, comparative urbanism, sub-altern theory

Chairs: Hanna Hilbrandt, Susana Neves Alves, Tauri Tuvikene

C. Managing the complex city

This session will explore pragmatic responses to the problem of managing cities and urban spaces understood to be complex. Such matters arise in the fields of urban design and planning, infrastructure, municipal governance and policy making where the unexpected, contingent, emergent and the nonquantifiable variously problematise efforts to control, order or regulate urban space and process. The session seeks to facilitate discussion of both empirical case studies and theoretical resources for dealing with such issues in urban scholarship.

Key words: complexity theory, contingency, emergence, urban governance, co-ordination

Chairs: Ine Steenmans, Regan Koch

D. Urban Assemblages

A dynamic worldview of flux and flow, uncertainty and complexity is being recognised more and more across all disciplines (Whatmore, 2006; De Landa 2006; Lash 2006; Deleuze and Guattari, 1987). But can these post-human, relational and flat ontologies cast a doubt at the appropriateness of the city as the unit of analysis for urban research? This track looks at the application of these approaches to specific cases of empirical urban research through attending to the rich array of human-nonhuman, material-immaterial, and mobile-immobile entanglements. It is specifically concerned with the empirical application of theoretical approaches like assemblages, networks, meshworks and constellations to urban research and the methodological and empirical challenges they bring about.

Keywords: Complexity, post-human, relational, materiality, assemblages, networks.

Chairs: Hayley Peacock, Pooya Ghoddousi

The workshop will take place on 25 & 26 March 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, two keynote lectures and small group workshops based on accepted participant's suggestions.

Call for papers - If you are interested in discussing your work, please send us an abstract (no more than 250 words) of the project 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.

In submitting an abstract, please include the following:

- A title and 250 word abstract

- Your name, university, department, and year of study.

- Abstracts should be emailed to the respective track email:

Track A: myfanwy.taylor.09@ucl.ac.uk

Track B: tauri.tuvikene.10@ucl.ac.uk

Track C: ine.steenmans.09@ucl.ac.uk

Track D: pooya.ghoddousi.10@ucl.ac.uk

Deadline for proposals: 15th of January 2013

A small conference fee will apply (15 GBP).

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