A New Destination

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The High Bridge, Manhattan/Bronx, New York City. 2015.

Welcome to The Metropole, the new blog of the Urban History Association. We envision this digital space as the hub of the Association’s scholarly network, bringing together UHA members who live scattered throughout the United States and across the globe. Furthermore, our aim is for The Metropole to serve as a central public square where anyone interested in urban history can find and share new scholarship, engage in debate, and learn more about cities around the globe.

In the interest of drawing together such a large association, we are launching a Member of the Week series. Each Tuesday on The Metropole, a different member will get the opportunity to answer a few questions about their scholarship, teaching, and interests in urban history—including a lightning round question that will change from week to week! Our goal with this series is to highlight scholars at different stages of their careers, from graduate students to professors emerita or emeritus, and especially urban historians working in non-traditional, alt-ac, or non-academic jobs. Furthermore, we aim for geographic diversity. Member of the Week posts will feature scholars living and working throughout and beyond the United States, as well as those that study a wide variety of global cities. Finally, we aspire to highlight UHA members of a wide range of intersecting identities, including (but not limited to) race, ethnicity, religion, gender, and sexuality. Check back tomorrow for our first Member of the Week post, and we invite you to email uhacommunicationsteam@gmail.com if you are interested in being featured.

This week, The Metropole will also inaugurate the “Metropolis of the Month”. In April our attention will turn towards New Orleans—to coincide with the conference of the Organization of American Historians taking place there this upcoming weekend—and in May we will head southwest to Mexico City,  in June north to Seattle, and in July west (or east depending on where one begins) to Honolulu. We also welcome reader suggestions for future metropolises. Blog posts will include a mix of recurring features and unique content, including interviews, book reviews, bibliographies, article roundups, and highlights from archival collections. We hope that scholars will enjoy having an opportunity to showcase their research, make connections between different urban environments, and get inspired to plan their next vacation.

Finally, we also hope to shine a spotlight on the inspiring activism, public scholarship, and digital projects in which our members are involved. In late April, we will begin a monthly series highlighting scholar-activists. In the coming weeks, we will also publish posts that introduce new or enduring work in the digital humanities that is related to urban topics.

We hope that members will actively participate in this new forum—either by commenting on posts or by sharing them on social media. The Metropole is only as strong as its army of scholars. We are also open to pitches or new ideas for series. We are especially interested in posts/series written by or for: graduate students and early career scholars, urban scholars working outside academia, and those with underrepresented perspectives. You can reach us at uhacommunicationsteam@gmail.com.

Avigail Oren, Ryan Reft, and Hope Shannon

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