CFP–new Journal of Urban Cultural Studies launched

Visit the new Journal of Urban Cultural Studies site here.

Call for Papers

The Journal of Urban Cultural Studies is a new peer-reviewed publication cutting across both the humanities and the social sciences in order to better understand the culture(s) of cities. The journal is open to studies that deal with culture, urban spaces and forms of urbanized consciousness the world over.

Although we embrace a broad definition of urban cultural studies, we are particularly interested in submissions that give equal weight to: a) one or more aspects of urban studies (everyday life, built environment, architecture, city planning, identity formation, transportation…) and b) analysis of one or more specific forms of cultural/textual production (literature, film, graphic novels, music, art, graffiti, videogames, online or virtual space…) in relation to a given urban space or spaces.

Essays of 7,000-10,000 words (including works cited and notes) should be sent by attachment to the Editor at JUCS is also open to proposals of special issues by guest editors working individually or in teams of two. All citations in other languages should be translated into English for the journal’s international reading public, in addition to including the original text.

While the journal does not publish book reviews, we do publish review essays—which should discuss 3-5 recent books on a shared topic or theme (or place) and run from 2,500 to 4,000 words. Review essays of urban-themed installations or other works of art are also welcome. These essays will be reviewed in house. Given our visual focus, we are interested in original, unpublished artwork on the topic of cities and in publishing articles accompanied by images where appropriate.

We encourage a variety of approaches to the urban phenomenon—the strengths of the editorial board run from urban geography to literature and film, photography and videogames, gender and sexuality, creative economy, popular music, Marxist approaches, fashion, urban planning, anthropology, sociology, Deaf culture, built environment, philosophy, architecture, detective fiction and noir, and more…


Worth a Read: Cafés in the City

If you’re unacquainted with the work of geographer Eric Laurier–who has authored publications with Chris Philo (whose book Selling Places edited with Gerry Kearns is a must-read)–you’re in for a treat.

What brought me into his work years ago were the catchy titles of his articles–I remember reading “How Breakfast Happens in the Café” and “Why People Say Where They Are During Mobile Conversations.” [I just saw his “Searching for a Parking Space” which sounds great also–but I haven’t had the time yet…]

Great research complemented by great writing–which isn’t always the case, of course.

For example, here’s the first paragraph from “Cold Shoulders and Napkins Folded: Gestures of Responsibility” (Laurier and Philo 2006):

“We find ourselves amongst others in the city. We are walking as pedestrians, pushing our way past others, making our excuses: ‘I’m running for a train’ (Lee and Watson 1993, 184). We are queuing at bus stops, letting others ahead. We are sitting on benches in the park feeding pigeons. We are holding open the doors of shops for others to pass through. We are hailing taxis. We are playing cards. We are eating in restaurants. We are drinking in bars. We are buying newspapers. We are hearing snatches of mobile phone conversations. We are catching one another’s eyes. We are waving at friends. We are shrugging our shoulders at this and laughing at that. / The city remains the place, above all, of living with others.” (Laurier and Philo 2006: 193)

The authors go on to discuss issues of public space, ethnomethodology and the city and refer to the work of Erving Goffman and Non-Representational Theorists…

Worth a Read.