Category Archives: UHA Business

Announcing The Metropole + Urban History Association’s Third Annual Graduate Student Blogging Contest!

The Metropole/Urban History Association Graduate Student Blogging Contest exists to encourage and train graduate students to blog about history—as a way to teach beyond the classroom, market their scholarship, and promote the enduring value of the humanities.

This summer’s blogging contest theme is “Life Cycles.” We invite graduate students to submit essays about the birth, death, or aging of institutions, neighborhoods, cities, or suburbs. You may also contribute personal reflections about the life cycle of a particular research project.

All submissions that meet the guidelines outlined below will be accepted. The Metropole’s editors will work with contest contributors to refine their submissions and prepare them for publication.

In addition to getting great practice writing for the web and experience working with editors, the winner will receive a certificate and a $100 prize!

The contest will open on June 10 and will close on July 15. Entries must be submitted to uhacommunicationsteam@gmail.com. Posts will run on the blog in July and August, and we will announce the winners in September. Finalists will have their papers reviewed by three award-winning historians. The winning blog post will receive $100.

Contest Guidelines

  1. Contest entrants must be enrolled in a graduate program.
  2. Contest entrants must be members of the UHA. A one-year membership for graduate students costs only $25 and includes free online access to the Journal of Urban History.
  3. Contest submissions must be original posts not published elsewhere on the web.
  4. Contest submissions must be in the form of an essay related to the theme of “Life Cycles.” Essays can be about current research, historiography (but not book reviews), or methodology. Essays that stick to the following criteria will be most successful:
    1. Written for a non-academic audience and assume no prior knowledge.
    2. Focused on one argument, intervention, or event, and not trying to do too much.
    3. Spend more time showing than telling.
  5. Posts must be received by the editors (uhacommunicationsteam@gmail.com) by July 15, 2019 at 11:59 PM EST to be eligible for the contest.
  6. Posts should be at least 700 words, but not exceed 2000 words.
  7. Links or footnotes must be used to properly attribute others’ scholarship and reporting. The Metropole follows the Chicago Manual of Style for citation formatting.

CFP: 2020 Latrobe Chapter Symposium of the Society of Architectural Historians

Call for Papers: 2020 Latrobe Chapter Symposium

Race, Ethnicity, and Architecture in the Nation’s Capital

In 2019, the Washington Post reported that the nation’s capital had the highest intensity of gentrification of any American city, with more than 20,000 African Americans displaced from low-income neighborhoods from 2000 to 2013. For architectural and urban historians, the implications were clear — this demographic transformation would inevitably reconfigure the physical appearance, experience, and structure of the city.

Yet this mutual shaping of Washington’s social and architectural make-up was by no means new. Since the city’s establishment in the late eighteenth century, scores of enslaved people and voluntary migrants structured the social and material composition of the broader Washington, DC region. The 13th SAH Latrobe Chapter Biennial Symposium — Race, Ethnicity, and Architecture in the Nation’s Capital — therefore calls for scholars to think through this history. It challenges participants to not only uncover the material contributions of diverse racial and ethnic groups, but also expose government and private attempts to control, segregate, and appropriate design traditions. Interested scholars are encouraged to submit work that delves into topics like the importance of slavery to the construction of local buildings; the development of Chinatown, Eden Center, Langley Park, Little Ethiopia, and other regional hot spots; urban renewal and public housing; racially integrated mid-century suburbs; and the design of embassies, museums, and public spaces, among other topics. In addition to the panels, symposium attendees will have the opportunity to join walking tours of sites that expose the mutual construction of race, ethnicity, and architecture in the nation’s capital.

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Historic Victorian architecture at LeDroit Park, a neighborhood in NW, Washington, D.C., photograph by Carol M. Highsmith, 2010, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Formal CFP below (you can also access the CFP via this link): 

RACE, ETHNICITY, and ARCHITECTURE in the NATION’S CAPITAL

Governments and private developers have employed built environments to control and regulate racialized bodies. Through the systemic planning of residential and commercial districts, public spaces, and transit, they ensured the growth of isolated enclaves whose economic health varied based on inhabitants’ race. Historically-specific understandings of race have likewise shaped the design and construction of the capital’s architecture, for example influencing the development of various building typologies, ranging from embassies and museums to shopping centers. The 13th Latrobe Chapter Biennial Symposium therefore calls for a timely investigation of the symbiotic relationship between race, ethnicity, and architecture in the greater Washington, DC region. It conceptualizes race broadly, not as an issue of binaries, but rather of corporeal hierarchies that meaningfully structure the design and experience of architectural and urban spaces.

Presentations might explore:

  • Architectural education and practice;
  • The importance of slavery and its legacies to the construction of government and university buildings;
  • Development of Chinatown, the Eden Center, Langley Park, Little Ethiopia, and other ethnic regional hot spots;
  • Urban renewal and the construction of low- income public housing;

Growth of racially integrated middle-class suburbs and their modernist aesthetic aspirations;
Design of embassies, museums, and public spaces that appropriate different cultural design and construction practices; Architectural transformation of neighborhoods as a result of broader demographic changes.

The purpose of the symposium is to feature recent research
discussion. Presentations must be analytical rather than descriptive in nature and should place the subject in a comparative context that emphasizes the relationship between race and architecture.

All sessions will take place on Saturday, April 18, 2020, at The Catholic University of America School of Architecture and Planning. Tours will commence the following day on Sunday, April 19, 2020.

Please send a one-page, 350-word abstract of a 20-minute paper and 1-2 page curriculum vitae by August 1, 2019 to vyta.baselice@gmail.com. All applicants will be notified of the selection by August 23, 2019. April 1, 2020 is the deadline for final text to be sent to session moderators, who will work with presenters to develop themes for discussion. For further information, contact Vyta Baselice at vyta.baselice@gmail.com.

Join Our Team!

As The Metropole enters its third year of publishing, we are looking to grow! We want to bring readers more great content, and we want to include more devoted urbanists in the blog’s operations–on the editorial side and with marketing and publicity.

Why join in this work? Well, as UHA Member Walter Greason pointed out early this morning…

The position descriptions (and application instructions) for Assistant Editors and Blog Ambassadors can be found here. Please reach out to us if you have any questions!
 
Featured Image: Hartford, Conn. – Underwood Typewriter Plant – owned by Olivetti, Library of Congress, http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.39665

 

Last Chance to Enter the 2019 UHA Award Competition

If you are an urban scholar who put a book, article, or dissertation out into the world in 2018, we encourage you to check out the Jackson, Hirsch, Katz, and unnamed “best non-North American book” awards and consider applying.

The selection criteria for all awards is the samee: significance, originality, quality of research, sophistication of methodology, clarity of presentation, cogency of arguments, and contribution to the field of urban history. Membership in the UHA is not required, but all works must be in English or in English translation. And all the awards have the same deadline of May 1, 2019!

Best of luck in your pursuit of these major awards!

UHA Award Season Kickoff

If you are an urban scholar who put a book, article, or dissertation out into the world in 2018, we encourage you to check out the Jackson, Hirsch, Katz, and unnamed “best non-North American book” awards and consider applying.

The selection criteria for all awards is the samee: significance, originality, quality of research, sophistication of methodology, clarity of presentation, cogency of arguments, and contribution to the field of urban history. Membership in the UHA is not required, but all works must be in English or in English translation. And all the awards have the same deadline of May 1, 2019!

Best of luck in your pursuit of these major awards!

Write a Book Review for The Metropole!

Dear Metropolers,

What recent or forthcoming books would you be interested in reviewing for The Metropole? Reviews generally run 500 to 750 words, and they should be completed for posting during the spring or summer. Here are some examples of past reviews.

This spring we will be posting:

Llana Barber on City of Inmates: Conquest, Rebellion and the Rise of Human Caging in LA, 1771- 1965 by Kelly Lytle Hernandez

Alan Lesoff on Escaping The Dark, Gray City: Fear and Hope in Progressive Era Conservation by Benjamin Heber Johnson

Thai Jones on Greater Gotham: A History of NYC from 1898 to 1919 by Mike Wallace

John  W. Steinberg on The House of Government: A Saga of the Russian Revolution by Yuri Slezkine

Michael Glass on Fear City: New York’s Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of Austerity Politics by Kim Phillips-Fein

Sam Wetherwell on Practicing Utopia: An Intellectual History of the New Town Movement by Rosemary Wakeman

Walter Stern on Making The Unequal Metropolis: School Desegregation and Its Limits by Ansley T. Erickson

David Yee on A City on a Lake: Urban Political Ecology and the Growth of Mexico City by Matthew Vitz

Taoyu Yang on Shaping Modern Shanghai: Colonialism in China’s Global City by Isabella Jackson.

Sun-Young Park on Paris and The Cliche of History by Catherine Clark

E-mail the editors (by clicking on their names below) detailing your interest and when you would be able to complete the review.

Thanks for your time and consideration.

Jim Wunsch

Jacob Bruggeman

Book Review Editors

The briefest of guides to #AHA19

Growing up in and around Chicago in the 1980s and 1990s, one witnessed the city’s incomplete political transformation. Mayor Harold Washington’s 1983 victory propelled him to City Hall where during his brief but impactful tenure he began dismantling the Democratic machine built under Anton Cermak during the 1930s and consolidated by Richard J. Daley in the mid-1950s.

Observers like University of Illinois Chicago political scientist, former alderman, and Chicagoland sage Dick Simpson argue the machine bent but never broke. Rather, under Richard M. Daley–who succeeded Washington (via the hapless Eugene Sawyer)–the machine would be reconstituted; “Pinstripe Patronage,” according to Simpson, which represented a shift toward large banking and legal institutions and transnational manufacturers. “Businessmen who give contributions to the mayor expect to . . . deliver goods and services to City Hall at inflated prices,” Simpson told Chicago Magazine in 2008. Crain’s Chicago Business called the new machine, “legalized bribery.”

As for the current occupant, Rahm Emanuel? Well he certainly has not lived up to the lighthearted brilliant social media-inspired satire of Dan Sinker’s The F***ing Epic Twitter Quest of Rahm Emanuel. In Sinker’s completely fictional telling of the 2011 mayoral race, the author secretly created a majestically profane faux twitter feed (@MayorEmanuel) purporting to be the voice of future Mayor Emanuel campaigning for office in 2010/2011.

You get the idea. In the end, Emanuel closed a lot of schools, pushed for charters, enabled police brutality scandals to fester and pulsate, and economically cozied up to corporate interests. All that being said, the upcoming mayoral election, in which Emanuel is not running, features 50 candidates!

Ok perhaps not 50, but as of late November, which marked the deadline for submitting petitions, 18 individuals sidled up for a mayoral run. Though speculation ran rampant, Chance the Rapper demurred and instead endorsed Amara Enyia.

The larger point here is that just as the city is embracing a new political day, marked by a certain nervous uncertainty, so too with the crossover appeal of this year’s #MLA19 and #AHA19 synergy are historians and literary scholars embracing a more interdisciplinary future! With this in mind, The Metropole has some suggestions for those attendees casting about for ideas regarding what to do in the Windy City while conferencing.

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Chicago’s Fulton Market neighborhood, December 2018

First, we’d be remiss not to remind everyone about the Urban History Association Meet Up, co-hosted by Becky Nicolaides and Carol McKibben on Saturday morning January 5 (you can also see here for more details).

 

Second, while hardly comprehensive, we have a couple of slightly off the beaten path recommendations.

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One of the highlights of the Chicago Architecture Center, its giant model of Chicago. December 2018

Chicago Architecture Center

Granted it’s not a giant affair–really two floors and a gift shop. Nor does the Chicago Architecture Center offer a particularly critical examination of the city’s building history. While the exhibits do make mention of discriminatory housing policies and highway construction, regrettably, it does not spend a great deal of time on such matters. Still, for a thumbnail and visually attractive tour of Chicago’s architectural history it’s good for a 45-minute visit.

 

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From the CAC’s second floor exhibit exploring designs across global cities (including Chicago). December 2018

Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA)

Everyone knows the Art Institute and far be it from us to dissuade you from visiting the august cultural institution. The still newish modern wing is stunning and its collections remain some of the best in the world. However, its tragically ignored sibling the Museum of Contemporary Art offers a wealth of innovation and creativity, plus a truly great free sitting room known as the Commons (see featured image at top).IMG_8803.JPG

Notably for urbanists, the current exhibit West by Midwest explores the migration of artists, photographers, and other creative types to California, especially Los Angeles; think Ed Ruscha, Catherine Opie, Charles White, and Judithe Hernández, among many others. At several points West by Midwest functions like an advertisement for the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), due to the school’s overwhelming influence on many artists whose work appears in the exhibit. The exhibit traverses intersectional Chicano, Black Power, and Feminist threads that weave their way through the works on display. It alone is worth the price of admission, but check out other aspects of the MCA like Jessica Campbell’s oddly compelling yarn based artwork on display in the Chicago Works exhibit.

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If you have an evening open and are unsure where one might venture out to, let us offer this suggestion. Start off at Moneygun, a dimly lit bar in the Fulton Market/Near West Side/West Loop neighborhood, with sharp cocktails and draft beer set to soul tunes from the 1970s. Once you’ve imbibed a libation or two, walk a couple blocks over to Duck Duck Goat, an eminently solid Chinese restaurant with obvious hipster pretensions or perhaps the also nearby Publican, a popular spot that, although sometimes overrated by locals, provides a very good “American Creative” option. Of course it is Chicago and your restaurant/bar options are endless, so consider this a drop in the hat of your numerous choices.

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Moneygun at night. December 2018

Finally, we conclude with this helpful twitter thread from @tenuredradical (aka Professor Claire Potter of the New School) in which the historian offers some helpful advice for first-time AHA attendees and experienced conference-goers alike.

Also, for those caftan enthusiasts out there, don’t worry:

Good luck everyone!

 

Remember #AHA19 attendees, don’t miss the Urban History Meet Up this Saturday morning!

Let the editors at The Metropole wish you a Happy New Year! Only a few hours into 2019 and with #AHA19 on the very near horizon, we wanted to ring in the decade’s final year with a reminder that for those of you attending #AHA19 (and by extension #MLA19), don’t miss the Urban History Meet Up this Saturday morning, January 5th! If you don’t believe me, check out event co-host Becky Nicolaides on “the twitter”:

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Chicago Theater with Marina Towers behind to the left, Ryan Reft, Dec. 2018,

Clearly the rendezvous is set.  We hope to see you there this Saturday! See below for more details:

The annual American Historical Association (AHA) conference is a big, rich space for historians but can be a little overwhelming, especially for newcomers.  This year at the AHA, we are trying something new:  informal “meet ups” to help people with shared interests find each other at the conference.  I’m happy to be co-hosting a meet-up for urban historians at the upcoming AHA conference in Chicago, welcoming in folks working on all urban/suburban/metro geographies, time periods, themes, you name it. It will be informal, no agenda, just a chance to find old and new friends in the field and share what you’ve been up to, over coffee and croissants. I’ll be there along with Carol McKibben to welcome you. We are grateful to the UHA for generously underwriting the costs of refreshments.  Drop by if you can, bring your business cards, and hope to see you there!

When: Saturday January 5, 8:30 – 10am 

Where Salon 8, Palmer House, Chicago, IL

Co-hosts:

Becky Nicolaides, Councilor, Research Division, AHA Council, and Research Affiliate, USC and UCLA
Carol McKibben, Lecturer, Stanford University

Hosted jointly with the Urban History Association

A reminder about and update regarding the UHA meet up at the AHA in Chicago this January!

“The best laid plans …” as the saying goes.  As you hopefully remember, behind the leadership of Becky Nicolaides and Carol McKibben and in association with the UHA, this year’s AHA will feature an urban history “meet up” on Saturday, January 5, 2019.  However as it so happens the initial event time coincided with a retrospective panel on Arnold Hirsch. If the UHA conference in October was any indicator, the panel will enjoy a deservedly very large audience. Wanting neither low attendance at the meet up nor to draw attention away from the late, great Professor Hirsch the UHA event has been rescheduled for 8:30 am – 10 am on the same day, same location and so forth. Network with your fellow urbanists then make your way to what promises to be an eye opening discussion of Hirsch’s work.  We’ve included the original write up by the eminent  Nicolaides below with all the updated information regarding the event further down. Hope to see you there!

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Chicago Bulls basketball game at the United Center, Chicago, Illinois, Carol M. Highsmith, after 1994, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

The annual American Historical Association (AHA) conference is a big, rich space for historians but can be a little overwhelming, especially for newcomers.  This year at the AHA, we are trying something new:  informal “meet ups” to help people with shared interests find each other at the conference.  I’m happy to be co-hosting a meet-up for urban historians at the upcoming AHA conference in Chicago, welcoming in folks working on all urban/suburban/metro geographies, time periods, themes, you name it. It will be informal, no agenda, just a chance to find old and new friends in the field and share what you’ve been up to, over coffee and croissants. I’ll be there along with Carol McKibben to welcome you. We are grateful to the UHA for generously underwriting the costs of refreshments.  Drop by if you can, bring your business cards, and hope to see you there!

When: Saturday January 5, 8:30 – 10am 

Where Salon 8, Palmer House, Chicago, IL

Co-hosts:

Becky Nicolaides, Councilor, Research Division, AHA Council, and Research Affiliate, USC and UCLA
Carol McKibben, Lecturer, Stanford University

Hosted jointly with the Urban History Association

Featured image (at top): Night view of Chicago Federal Center, Chicago, Illinois, Carol M. Highsmith, July 27, 2017, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress 

“Urban History Meet Up” at the AHA

The annual American Historical Association (AHA) conference is a big, rich space for historians but can be a little overwhelming, especially for newcomers.  This year at the AHA, we are trying something new:  informal “meet ups” to help people with shared interests find each other at the conference.  I’m happy to be co-hosting a meet-up for urban historians at the upcoming AHA conference in Chicago, welcoming in folks working on all urban/suburban/metro geographies, time periods, themes, you name it. It will be informal, no agenda, just a chance to find old and new friends in the field and share what you’ve been up to, over coffee and croissants. I’ll be there along with Carol McKibben to welcome you. We are grateful to the UHA for generously underwriting the costs of refreshments.  Drop by if you can, bring your business cards, and hope to see you there!

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Aerial view of Chicago, Illinois. The black skyscraper is Willis Tower, previously known as Sears Tower, a Chicago landmark, Carol M. Highsmith, between 1980 and 2006, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

When: Saturday January 5, 8:30 – 10am 

Where Salon 8, Palmer House, Chicago, IL

Co-hosts:

Becky Nicolaides, Councilor, Research Division, AHA Council, and Research Affiliate, USC and UCLA
Carol McKibben, Lecturer, Stanford University

Hosted jointly with the Urban History Association

Featured image (at top): Marquee of the historic Chicago Theater, which opened in 1921, Chicago, Illinois, Carol M. Highsmith, between 1980 and 2006, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress