“Contested Cities” CFP for UHA 2020 Detroit!

[Editor’s note, with time running out, if you want to submit a paper and looking for panel mates check out the #UHA2020 spreadsheet, you can access it directly here or if you want more info about the spreadsheet along with the link, see here. Also grad students, if you are presenting the UHA has funding to help you defer travel costs, see here.]

The Urban History Association invites submissions for its 10th Biennial Conference in Detroit in October 8-11, 2020. The Program Committee is looking for panel sessions, workshops, and papers (including single papers) on all aspects of urban, suburban, and metropolitan histories from any corner of the world and any time period (past, present, and even future).

General Motors Building, Detroit, Michigan, Carol M. Highsmith, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

The conference theme, “Contested Cities,” reflects both the growing interdisciplinarity of urban studies, and at the same time, the clear sense that there isn’t one urban history or a single set of critical urban actors. Cities are places of constant struggle, persistent remaking, and endless public and private battles — in city council chambers and on street corners, on subways cars, in the columns of PTA newsletters and on-line chat rooms, at sporting events and neighborhood festivals, in the light of day and way past midnight. These contests over space, power, and legitimacy take place in mega-cities, edge communities, mid-sized downtowns, and along Main Streets from Disneyland to Springfield to Seoul. Residents fight over laws, taxes, regulations, licenses, transportation, prisons, police, housing, education, parks, water, and trash. These contests, sometimes quiet and other times pitched, are expressed in letters to the editor, Yelp reviews, protests, parades, celebrations, banners, songs, dance, murals, walking tours, museum exhibits, and monuments (both those still standing and those recently taken down).

We encourage submissions that explore the broadest range of contests over the city as a particular place and an idea from historians, sociologists, anthropologists, geographers, landscape architects, food studies scholars, filmmakers, youtubers, and journalists, from anyone thinking about the city, its inhabitants, and its cultural influences. We would especially welcome conversations that challenge our basic understandings of the city and theories of urbanity.

Former Packard Plant, E. Grand Blvd. at Concord, Detroit, 1998, Camilio J. Vergara, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

The program committee welcomes traditional panels with a number of tightly-focused papers, a chair, and a commentator as well as roundtables, lightning rounds, workshops, sessions on influential books and articles, documentary screenings, and digital engagement. We are looking for a number of state-of-the-field panels as well as teaching discussions (and syllabus exchanges) exploring best practices in undergraduate and graduate instruction. Successful panel and paper proposals need not adhere strictly to the conference theme. We are looking to create the most robust and interesting conversation about all things urban as possible.

To submit a multi-person proposal, please click on this link. For a single paper submission, please use this link.

Please submit your proposals by February 1, 2020.

If you have any questions, please contact the Program Committee co-chairs, Elizabeth Hinton and Bryant Simon at uhadetroit2020@gmail.com

 UHA 2020 Program Committee

William Deverell (University of Southern California)

Joanna Dyl (Independent Scholar)

Lila Fernandez, (Rutgers University)

Doug Flowe (Washington University)

Paige Glotzer (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

David Goldberg (Wayne State University)

Andrew Highsmith (University of California-Irvine)

Elizabeth Hinton – co-chair (Harvard University)

Matthew Lassiter (University of Michigan)

Max Mishler (University of Toronto)

Anke Ortlepp (University of Cologne)

Mary Ryan (Johns Hopkins University)

Bryant Simon – co-chair (Temple University)

Timothy Stewart-Winter (Rutgers University-Newark)

William Sturkey (UNC Chapel Hill)

Keeanga Yamahtta Taylor (Princeton University)

Coll Thrush (University of British Columbia)

Sharon Zukin (CUNY)

4 thoughts on ““Contested Cities” CFP for UHA 2020 Detroit!

  1. October 22, 2019
    The Detroit Branch of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) would like to assist as volunteers during the Conference. Please contact me at: Kathie Eiyah House, Vice President ASALH Detroit:C-313 549-0335 email: k_house@outlook.com.


    1. Good afternoon, thanks for your message, I’ve passed it on to the Local Arrangements Committee for the conference. I’m sure they will reach out to you in few days. If not, please follow up with myself, or my fellow co-editor Avigail Oren at uhacommunicationsteam@gmail.com and we’ll be sure to get the message to the planning committee. Thanks again!

      Metropole co-editor Ryan Reft


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