Summer Institute in Urban Studies @ Manchester

Path to the Possible

Summer 2014 marks the first Summer Institute in Urban Studies. It will take place at the University of Manchester over the week 29 June to 4 July.

Open to just 25 doctoral students (usually post-fieldwork), postdoctoral researchers, and recently appointed faculty/lecturers (normally within three years of first continuous appointment), the Institute comprises an intensive, week-long program of activities. It is designed to provide participants with an in-depth understanding of the innovatory developments and enduring controversies in urban studies, as well as mentoring and support in the different aspects of the academic labour process, from applying for grants to designing courses, from editing books and special issues of journals to writing book proposals, and from publishing in journals to working at the academic/non-academic interface. It consists of panels, lectures, reading groups, with participants involved in shaping the final programme.

Featured speakers are:

David Imbroscio, Professor, Department of Political Science & Public…

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Visionary Architecture


big_345299_1461_DO110518012_UPD1Louis Khan, City Tower, 1958

“When the imagination surpasses the limits permitted by the institution of culture, one speaks of poesie, utopia. When critical thought attains and surpasses its limit (which are much more severe than those of those of the imagination), one speaks of deviance, folly, a critical error, an overly theoretical system, a free-floating vision, etc.  When the event attains and surpasses the  limits permitted by the law, one speaks of revolution. Or of histories for daydreaming.”
– Rene Lourau

If you have read posts from this blog you will know that I love visionary architecture, not for the utopic qualities or the futuristic aesthetic but I am drawn to the thought of making the impossible possible. Visionary architecture, for the most part  has only existed on paper and more recently in CAD, the proposals were either too large in scale (megastructure), or deemed impractical (either technologically or…

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BBC radio Thinking Aloud programme on Stuart Hall

Progressive Geographies

In memory of Stuart Hall: a special programme paying tribute to the leading cultural theorist and former director of the Birmingham Centre for Cultural Studies. A pioneer of ‘multiculturalism’, he documented the changing character of ‘post Imperial’ British society. Laurie Taylor is joined by Caspar Melville, Lecturer in Global Creative and Cultural Industries at SOAS, Baroness Lola Young and Jeremy Gilbert, editor of the journal, New Formations. They explore Stuart Hall’s life, influence and legacy.

Listen to it here (thanks to beechnick for the link). I’ve updated the list of tributes and obituaries here.

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Stuart Hall dies at age 82

Here’s part of the full article by David Morley and Bill Schwartz [link to original follows]:

“When the writer and academic Richard Hoggart founded the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies at Birmingham University, in England’s West Midlands, in 1964, he invited Stuart Hall, who has died aged 82, to join him as its first research fellow. Four years later Hall became acting director and, in 1972, director. Cultural studies was then a minority pursuit: half a century on, it is everywhere, generating a wealth of significant work even if, in its institutionalised form, it can include intellectual positions that Hall could never endorse.

“The foundations of cultural studies lay in an insistence on taking popular, low-status cultural forms seriously and tracing the threads of culture, power and politics. Its interdisciplinary perspectives drew on literary theory, linguistics and cultural anthropology in order to analyse subjects as diverse as youth sub-cultures, popular media and gendered and ethnic identities.

“Hall was always among the first to identify key questions of the age, and routinely sceptical about easy answers…

Access the entire article here:

Cultural Studies Occasional #2: Steve Hanson

Nyx, a noctournal


In the second of our Cultural Studies Occasional series, Nyx catches up with Steve Hanson. Steve is an Associate Lecturer at Goldsmiths and the University of Salford. We forego the usual interview format with Steve providing a sort of monologue about what he terms an ‘idiosyncratic geography of cultural studies’. It weaves together place and personal biography with the figures and texts of cultural studies: Hoggart, Hall, Williams and Said via Halifax, Hereford and New Cross.

My journey through British Cultural Studies is also a real set of journeys in Britain. The subject is meshed with some of the places I have inhabited – there’s a geography of British Cultural Studies which is crucial to how I think through the subject. But also, I can’t think of British Cultural Studies as an isolated island either. It is wrapped up with the history of British art schools, for instance, and this…

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[Podcast] Vancouver: Consumption City

the city

Economic geographer Elliot Siemiatycki discusses Vancouver’s transformation from a productive city into a city of consumption

Never miss an episode! Subscribe to the podcast here to receive a weekly automatic download.

Above all, the many paradoxes of Vancouver’s contemporary economic development trajectory are exposed in the words of local workers, firms, commentators and industry experts: Vancouver is simultaneously the most livable and unaffordable city in the world; Vancouver is a leading creative city in which creative firms and workers alike struggle under conditions of precariousness; Vancouver is mythologized as a healthy, sustainable, lifestyle city while these very qualities often must be sacrificed by working Vancouver residents. Tracing the underlying story and challenges of Vancouver’s emergence as a global consumption city provides important insights into 21st century urban development.                           –Elliot Siemiatycki, PhD

On the podcast, urban economic geographer

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Revolution & Evolution: A Postgraduate Conference, 10th-11th July 2014, University of Essex, UK


Revolution & Evolution
A Postgraduate Conference, 10th-11th July 2014, University of Essex, UK
The University of Essex and the British Comparative Literature Association invite postgraduates to submit abstracts for an interdisciplinary conference.  We welcome proposals from students in the Humanities, including Literature, Film, Theatre Studies and Creative Writing. We seek papers exploring revolution and evolution in disciplines ranging from gender studies and cultural geography to myth, folklore studies and nature writing.
Possible topics may include:
§  Development, progression, transformation and expansion of cultural tropes and motifs
§  Evolution of theory and critical thinking
§  Revolutions and challenges of theory
§  Transfiguration of anarchy, rebellion and insurgency
§  Metamorphosis of place, space, and time
§  Transgression and vice
§  Psychogeography

Special Strand: The Student Movement: 1968
This conference includes a special strand celebrating the 50th anniversary of the university. We will be screening Jean-Luc Godard’s British Sounds (1969), which was filmed at The University of Essex in 1968. In addition we will offer a poetry reading inspired by the theme.

Keynote Speakers: Peter Hulme (University of Essex, UK)
John Haynes (University of Essex, UK)
We welcome proposals on all aspects of revolution and evolution, understood as the evolution of texts, genres, theories, languages and beings across space and time, preceded or followed by revolutionary or reactionary agents and actions.
Deadline for submission of proposals for individual / collaborative papers or panels: 1 March 2014
Please send proposals, no longer than 250 words, and a brief biographical statement (50 words)<>
Find us on Facebook ( and Twitter (@Rev_and_Ev2014) as well!

Thank you in advance.

Kind regards

Darren Hawes

Organising Committee
Revolution and Evolution 2014 BCLA Graduate Conference
Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies
University of Essex
Wivenhoe Park
Colchester CO4 3SQ
United Kingdom