AAG 2015: CFP Urban Cultural Studies

Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, Chicago, 21–25 April 2015

Urban Cultural Studies: Call for Papers


Stephen Vilaseca (Northern Illinois University)

The Urban Cultural Studies interactive session features innovative research that connects urban geography and cultural studies in order to better understand the culture(s) of cities.

The interactive short papers will explore aspects of urban studies, possibly in connection to humanities texts such as literature, film, graphic novels, music, art, graffiti, videogames and other textual forms of culture or otherwise through social science perspectives on spatial practices, broadly considered.

Each of the 10-14 panelists in the Urban Cultural Studies session will present a 5-minute summary of research or studies in process.

A 30- to 45-minute interactive roundtable discussion will follow the presentations. This session is linked to the Journal of Urban Cultural Studies with Intellect publishers http://www.intellectbooks.co.uk/journals/view-Journal,id=225/ and its accompanying blog and podcast series at urbanculturalstudies.wordpress.com.

Please contact Stephen Vilaseca with questions.

More Megacity More Slum



More Megacity, More Slum is an adaptation of Vyjayanthi Rao’s Slum as Theory. It argues that Lagos has become vulnerable to a hawk-eyed predatory Second Colonial Force. In warning the city’s administrators of the impending dangers of romanticising with this Force, they are urged to broadly embrace the theoretical and empirical questions that slums pose in order to discover the Spirit of Lagos.

A4 Highlight 2 Article 1

Rem Koolhaas may have been too hopeful for Lagos when he referred to the city as ‘a developed, extreme paradigmatic case-study …at the forefront of globalizing modernity’. His further suggestion of dysfunctionality as an incubator for the future of the city should not be taken as a substitute for the legitimate yearnings of Lagosians for basic, functional infrastructure. However, because it is different from traditional theorisations on urbanism; his academic rather than pathological treatment of the dysfunction in Lagos is discourse-worthy. On the other end, George…

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Media practices and urban politics

Pop Theory

IMG_2858If you’re interested, here is a link to a paper called Media practices and urban politics: conceptualizing the powers of the urban-media nexus, by Scott Rodgers, Allan Cochrane and myself, which is forthcoming soonish in Society and Space. This is the last of a series of things we have written and convened together since 2007, emerging from Scott’s time at the OU on an ESRC Postdoc fellowship and stretching beyond that (remember those?). This includes a symposium on the theme of ‘Where is urban politics?’ and an earlier Debate section of the same journal, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, on ‘Media, Politics and Cities‘.

Here is the abstract for the latest piece:

“The spatial imaginations of media studies and urban studies are increasingly aligned, illustrated by a growing literature on what can be identified as the media-urban nexus. This nexus has attracted scholarly interest not…

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CFP: Critical Geographies of Urban Infrastructure

The Rolling Blackout


A two-day conference and open discussion organised by the Urban Geography Research Group (UGRG) of the RGS-IBG.

6-7 November 2014

The Bartlett School of Planning, University College London

Call for Contributions

This year’s UGRG Conference will explore the relationship between critical urban theory and infrastructure. Critical urbanism may be defined by Brenner et al (2009: 179) as concerned:

(a) to analyze the systemic, yet historically specific, intersections between capitalism and urbanization processes;

(b) to examine the changing balance of social forces, power relations, sociospatial inequalities and political-institutional arrangements;

(c) to expose marginalizations and injustices that are inscribed and naturalized within existing urban configurations;

(d) to decipher the contradictions, crisis tendencies and lines of potential or actual conflict within contemporary cities, and on this basis;

(e) to demarcate and to politicize possibilities for more progressive, socially just, emancipatory and sustainable formations of urban life.

Since the…

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LSE Urban Age Governing Urban Futures conference


The future is predicted to be increasingly urban. The United Nations estimates that globally, by 2050, up to 70 percent of the world’s population is expected to live in urban areas. Critical to the shape and nature of any urban future will be the role of urban governance. The Urban Age Delhi conference will explore the link between urban governance and the future development of cities. By comparing the experiences of different cities, it will analyse the conditions and processes that allow for participatory, effective, accountable and future-oriented decision making.

Conference dates: 14-15 November 2014
Location: Delhi, India

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The Future of Urban Social Life is Cohabitation!

"I am linked therefore I am"

Today I attended a seminar in the series  The Future of Urban Social Life at Institute for Futures Studies in Stockholm.

The title of the seminar was “Going Solo and Connecting” and main speaker was sociologist Eric Klinenberg. He has done research in and written a book about the growing global trend to live alone. In the Nordic courtiers around 45% of the population live in single households.

His book is called “Going solo. The extraordinary rise and surprising appeal of living alone”.  I sat and thought a lot about a maybe more surprising opposite trend (in our individualistic culture) among 20 – 40 year olds in Copenhagen. They move into collectives! I have no demographic data showing this trend but there are many 100s of newly formed collectives and there are new once popping up all the time. They consist of young adults. There are families, couples and single…

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Broken Home


Installations of broken miniature paper houses by Daniele Del Nero (2)Installations of broken miniature paper houses by Daniele Del Nero (3)Installations of broken miniature paper houses by Daniele Del Nero (4)Installations of broken miniature paper houses by Daniele Del Nero (1)Installations of broken miniature paper houses by Daniele Del Nero (5)

Installation of miniature houses by Savona and Milan based artist Daniele Del Nero from the “Brockenhaus” series. Using black paper, Del Nero constructs architectural scale models of deserted towns. To create the effect of neglect and abandonment, the artist covers the black paper with construction paste and flour.

In his artist statement, Del Nero writes, “My purpose is to talk about the sense of time and destiny of the planet after the human species, through the sense of restlessness which abandoned buildings are able to communicate.”

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Biblio (96) The Aspern Airfield



In 1912 the Vienna Airport opens at Aspern; in 1975 car races start, and in 1982 a General Motors Factory opens. As of the end of the 1980s, there are already talks to take the airplanes out, and in 2008 an architectural competition is launched, and won by Tovatt and Associates.

The project is interesting in several senses: it seems quite good in technical terms, but it is, even in a caricature sense, a material translation of the analysis made by David Mangin in “La Ville Franchisée”: a project of a certain density, with limited connections to its surrounding, creating its own ringstrase… A somehow closed world, linked to the motorway and the subway.

A good website with abundant English documents.


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