2021 Conference

Urban History Group Conference 2021

Cities, Crisis and Change

University of Warwick, 8th & 9th April 2021

The past year has provided a number of reminders of the centrality of urban space to global societies, culture and, indeed, the future of the human species. The ongoing pandemic, city-wide quarantines and national ‘lockdowns’ remind us of the complex urban biopolitics of an interconnected world, the importance and fragility of cities as centres of retail and economic function, and bring to the fore questions of governmental prerogatives in controlling how we use and inhabit the built environment.  Indeed, anti-transmission measures have continually questioned the limits of domestic and private space within layers of urban governance. At the same time, increasingly visible signs of climate change have again exposed the challenges of maintaining cities against patterns of extreme and unfamiliar weather. The Black Lives Matter movement and its associated protests and occupations have, once again, powerfully demonstrated urban environments as spaces of political contestation. Across the world those who govern cities are asking and being asked questions over how the past and the values associated with its presentation are encoded in street names, statues and buildings. These moments of apparent crisis and change accentuate the endemic issues of urban societies and their historical antecedents. They highlight ever present realities and structures of urban life, and have produced high-profile discussion of urban environments, form and governance. The 2021 conference thus takes the opportunity to consider how patterns and moments of crisis and change have played out in, been brought to the fore by, or sprung from urban environments. We encourage historians, geographers, sociologists and other scholars of the urban to interpret this call for papers in a broad sense and welcome creative approaches that cover any aspect of the urban past that might be framed through the lens of crisis and associated patterns of change. Papers can deal with specific case studies and/or more general areas of the urban past, and we are pleased to accept those that examine the general scope and methods of urban history, as well as those exploring the benefits of and potential for comparative research.

The conference committee invites individual papers and panel proposals of up to three papers. Papers might be in the form of thematic or case studies, cutting across time and space to draw out the larger-scale historical process at work in urban history and urban studies. Contributions ranging from c.1600 to the present are welcome and can be drawn from any geographical area. Proposals from doctoral candidates are an important feature of the Urban History conference and we will once again host a two-stranded new researchers’ forum. The first strand is aimed at those who are midway through a PhD or undertaking early career research project (papers should be the same length as main sessions but need not be related to the main conference theme). The second strand provides an opportunity for first-year PhD students to present a 10 minute introduction to their topic, archival sources, and historiography. This is an opportunity to obtain feedback from active researchers in the field of Urban History, but also to introduce your work to colleagues in the field.

Abstracts of up to 300 words, including a paper or panel title, name, affiliation and contact details should be submitted to theurbanhistorygroup@gmail.com. Please mark your proposal ‘Main Theme’, ‘New Researchers’ or ‘First Year PhD’ in the subject field and abstract. Those wishing to propose sessions should also provide a brief statement that summarises the session’s content. The final deadline for proposals is 2nd November 2020.

Bursaries. Students registered for postgraduate study can obtain a modest bursary on a first come, first served basis to offset expenses associated with conference registration and attendance. Please send an e-mail application to Dr Nick Hayes at uhg.bursary@virginmedia.com and also ask your supervisor to confirm your status as a registered postgraduate student with an e-mail to the same address. The deadline for this is the 14th December 2020. The Urban History Group would like to acknowledge and thank the Economic History Society for its support for these bursaries.

For further details please contact

Conference Organisers

Dr James Greenhalgh - University of Lincoln

Tel: 01522 83 7729
Email: jgreenhalgh@lincoln.ac.uk

Dr Markian Prokopovych - University of Durham

Tel: 0191 33 44357
Email: markian.prokopovych@durham.ac.uk

For New Researchers

Dr Tom Hulme - Queen’s University

BelfastTel: 028 90973312
Email: t.hulme@qub.ac.uk

More details on urban history found here.