UCL Urban Laboratory


Call for Papers and Participants: Global Urbanisms, Regional Specificities

21 March 2016

Mumbai flyover

There is a very active debate in urban studies at the moment, exploring the limits of universalist theorisations of the urban while at the same time seeking to engage with the globalisation of urban processes. Drawing on many different strands of theoretical inspiration, urban scholars are concerned to build wider knowledges about the urban across the very great diversity of urban outcomes around the world. It is a time of some theoretical ferment in the field, and UCL Urban Laboratory has hosted a series of events to address these themes; it is evident that there are many UCL urban scholars contributing to these debates.

There is a close synergy between these concerns and those raised by the UCL Institute of Advanced Studies, which provides a home to the collective 'area studies' research groupings at UCL but seeks to open the historical configurations of region and place to question under the rubric Area Studies Re-Mapped or 'Area Studies without Borders'. We felt that there was a strong shared interest in building theoretical insights from the rich experiences of specific regions and distinctive cities, while being alert to how these experiences are shaped by wider processes of globalisation. Conceptualisation, then, need to navigate these trajectories of connection and differentiation.

This symposium, "Global Urbanisms, Regional Specificities", invites UCL scholars to examine these themes across different disciplinary traditions in relation to urbanisation. UCL PhD students and UCL staff are invited to participate in the symposium. Places will be limited but as we would like to keep the event as open as possible, we are inviting proposals (a) to participate in the symposium and (b) to present papers on specific themes.

In order to reserve a place in the symposium, please submit a statement of 100-250 words outlining how your current research interests relate to the symposium theme. If the Symposium is oversubscribed we will select participants on the basis of the best fit with the topics.

If you would like to apply to present a paper, please submit an abstract of 250-500 words outlining your proposed contribution, speaking to one of the themes below. If you would like to join together with 3 or 4 colleagues to propose an additional related theme or topic which is not currently included below, please do so, and submit the papers as a group. We hope that the Symposium will provide the basis for a distinctive UCL publication on Global Urbanism.

All proposals to participate and/or to present papers should be submitted to jordan.rowe@ucl.ac.uk, with the subject head: 'IAS-Urban Lab Symposium' by Thursday 14 April 2016. Please state your UCL affiliation on your application. The symposium takes place on 16-17 May 2016.

Confirmed speakers include: AbdouMaliq Simone, Christian Schmid, Debby Potts, Colin McFarlane, Tariq Jazeel, Pushpa Arabindoo, Lukasz Stanek, Edward Denison, Michael Gentile, Juan Miguel Kanai, Fulong Wu, Jenny Robinson.

Contributions are invited on global circulations and distinctive theorisations from regional contexts. Proposed panels will include:

  • Globalisation and urbanisation in Ex-Soviet, Central and Eastern European countries
  • Global urban design and African modernities
  • Peripheral urbanisation in South America

Contributions are invited on theorising Global Urbanisms. Proposed panels will include:

  • Thinking with the global South
  • Planetary urbanisation and regional specificity Comparison and urban complexity
  • Theorising the urban from Asia

Further links:

Image: Flyovers in Mumbai; Credit: Andrew Harris