Urban History News : September 2011
Welcome to Urban History News - a monthly digest of news and information for the urban history community.
Urban History Group Annual Conference
29–30 March 2012 • St Catherine’s College Oxford
The city has long stood as a model for the organisation and reform of human life. People have historically been attracted (and, for large periods, repulsed) by the opportunities offered by urban living because cities act as the conduits through which money, ideas, goods and technologies are created, circulated and incorporated into everyday life. In order to be an attractive and liveable place, the city requires a healthy metabolism through which society can be organised and regulated effectively. As cities develop they require improvements to public health, environmental justice and access to housing, recreation, culture and employment. These opportunities need to be freely circulated in order to satisfy the insatiable appetite of both the living city and its citizens. However, it is important to keep in mind that such circulation has often not been the case in the past, and even the most well-intended planning reforms sometimes favoured the privileged districts and layers of urban society.
The conference committee invites proposals for individual papers as well as for individual sessions of up to three papers. Sessions that seek to draw comparisons across one or more countries, or open up new vistas for original research, are particularly encouraged. Abstracts of up to 500 words, including a title, name, affiliation and contact details should be submitted to the conference organisers and should indicate clearly how the content of the paper addresses the conference theme outlined above. Those wishing to propose sessions should provide a brief statement that identifies the ways in which the session will address the conference theme, a list of speakers and paper abstracts. The final deadline for proposals for sessions and papers is 30 September 2011.
In addition, the conference will again host its new researchers’ forum. This is aimed primarily at those who are at an early stage in a research project and who wish primarily to discuss ideas rather than present findings. New and current postgraduates working on topics unrelated to the main theme, as well as those just embarking on new research, are particularly encouraged to submit short papers for this forum.
Home and Social Identity in Twentieth-Century European Cities
European Association for Urban History Conference (Session M45)
29 August-01 September 2012 • Prague, Czech Republic
In much recent writing on the city – and not just that by historians – social identities are assumed to have been formed in the public spaces of the city, such as the workplace, street, club, debating chamber or dance hall. Despite the acknowledged centrality of the family to social formation, little attention has been paid to the home as a site of social identification and cultural self-expression, especially in the modern city of the twentieth century. Yet popular social identities themselves frequently referenced the home and/or residential location (slum-dwellers, suburbanites, banlieusards, borgatari, pariolini).
The purpose of the session is to facilitate a comparative analysis of the relationships between home, urban space and social identity in European countries during the twentieth century. In so doing we hope to foster an interdisciplinary approach to urban history: contributions are welcome from researchers in social history, architectural history, design history, consumption studies, material culture, cultural geography, etc.
The Centre for Urban History 2011-12 Seminar Programme is now available, as are the programmes for Chicago Urban History Series and Los Angeles History & Metro Studies Group