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 Given our visual focus, we are interested in original, unpublished artwork on the topic of cities and in publishing articles accompanied by images where appropriate.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…

Richard Sennett GSD Lecture 2012 – The Architecture of Cooperation

Here, Richard Sennett talks at the Harvard Graduate School of Design on “The Architecture of Cooperation.” Watch all of it, but I found very interesting the point (at around minute 44) where he discusses the city as a body, springing from the introduction in New York City so many years ago of the “Spanish Marqueta”/Spanish Market which was going to be placed either at the edge of Spanish Harlem bordering the rich neighborhood at 96th street or in the middle of Spanish Harlem… You can learn more about the market here, but apparently as Sennett mentions the market was bought up recently by a ‘Cuban multinational’… A complementary passage from his 2011 book–well represented in that lecture–reads “Edges come in two sorts: boundaries and borders. A boundary is a relatively inert edge; population thins out at this sort of edge and there’s little exchange among creatures. A border is more of an active edge, as at the shoreline dividing ocean and land; this is a zone of intense biological activity, a feeding ground for animals, a nutrient zone for plants. In human ecology, the eight-lane highway isolating part of the city from each other is a boundary, whereas a mixed-use street at the edge between two communities can be more of a border” (p. 79).

Also, Sennett’s second book in the ‘homo faber’ series (after The Craftsman from 2008; listen to Sennett discussing that book on NPR with Diane Rehm here) is in print (Together: The Rituals, Pleasures and Politics of Cooperation 2011) and his plan is for the last volume (in progress) to be on urban design “a book on making cities” that will follow logically from the first two (the city as a craft and a cooperative activity).

The Contemporary City and Occupied Real Estate

This post is copied from Not An Alternative’s page
Not An Alternative is pleased to participate in Collective/Performative, the final exhibition of Exit Art’s influential 30 years as a non-profit gallery and cultural center. Please join us May 8th -12th for Occupied Real Estate, an installation and series of workshops.
Occupied Real Estate
Tuesday May 8 – Saturday May 12
@ Exit Art
475 10th Avenue
New York, New York
* Installation: 10am – 6pm daily
* Workshops: 2pm – 6pm daily
Production hours with Occupied Real Estate agents
* Presentations: 12pm – 2pm Saturday
With artist John Hawke and Occupy Town Square organizer Daniel Latorre

Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space in New York City

A new, exciting museum is being planned to keep alive the rich history of reclaimed urban space in New York City. The Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space, MoRUS, will be located in the storefront of the historic East Village building C-Squat and will house artifacts like videos, photographs, fliers, posters and communiqués by grassroots community members who have squatted abandoned buildings, championed community gardens, and protested the restrictions placed on public space. MoRUS has the potential to strengthen transversal relays between activists and academics, and establish the environment and setting for new social creativity. However, it is not yet open to the public because it still needs additional funding. If you are interested, you can donate here:

Upcoming conferences related to Urban Cultural Studies

The Society for Cinema and Media Studies has a conference in 2013 in Chicago March 6-10 and in 2014 in Seattle and an Urban Studies Scholarly Interest Group [sign up here].

The Association for American Geographers has the next conference April 9 to 13 2013 in Los Angeles (and of course features numerous sessions on cities], and is actively promoting connections with the humanities–see this book and also this one.

There’s the Modern Language Association, which features a growing number of scholars interested in cities and spatial theory (even if still largely devoted to more traditional approaches), with the next conference in Boston, Jan 3-6, 2013.

Also the Cultural Studies Association, which has a new journal launched in 2012 named Lateral (2012 conference starts tomorrow March 28, no dates posted for 2013).

Finally the Urban History Association, currently featuring a call for conference papers on THE COSMOPOLITAN METROPOLIS (Columbia University; New York City October 26-28, 2012).

Urban Voices: Jane Jacobs

Interest in Jane Jacobs (1916-2006) is hardly on the wane… a new scholarly edited volume on her legacy is due out this year (2012) titled The Urban Wisdom of Jane Jacobs edited by Diane Zahm and Sonia Hirt and featuring an essay by Saskia Sassen. There’s also an instructive/educational video with a similar title Jane Jacobs’ Urban Wisdom (It is fairly basic, but includes interviews with Jacobs).

Although the notion of the city as an organism had been used by 19th-century planners (Haussmann, Cerdà), Jacobs recuperated it while arguing that the city was too complex of an organism to be reduced to a static plan. See her classic work The Death and Life of Great American Cities.