[URBANTH-L]CFP: The Small City in Global Context

Angela Jancius acjancius at ysu.edu
Sat Jul 29 04:07:57 EDT 2006

The Small City in Global Context

Ball State University, Indiana, United States
April 5-7, 2007

This conference will explore the history of non-metropolitan urban 
settings during the early-modern and modern eras (1500-present). Its 
purpose is to define the history of small cities as a distinctive 
subject of inquiry within the larger field of urban studies.

The conference organizers expect a common set of questions to unite the 
diverse scholarship presented at the conference. Most  
fundamentally, the papers should in some fashion explain how and why 
the distinctive spatial, social, cultural, political and/or economic 
characteristics of small cities mattered. How have these different 
arrangements contoured the way small-city residents have experienced 
major social, economic, and cultural changes, including the rise of a 
European-driven exploration and trade after 1500, imperialism, 
industrialization, and the increasingly rapid flow of people, goods, 
and information during the past two centuries? What did the presence of 
these cities on the edges rather than the center of economic, cultural, 
migratory, and political networks mean for the people who lived in them 
and moved to them? How did residents of these cities define their 
communities in relation to the metropolis? Does the prevailing 
assumption that smaller communities have been more  
communally-oriented, closed, and conservative in comparison to large 
cities hold up under close scrutiny?

Rather than simply impose an arbitrary population range, the  
organizers of the conference will leave the precise definition of a  
small city open. We seek papers that examine a city or cities  
occupying secondary and tertiary roles in urban systems, communities 
that in economic and cultural terms have been forced to respond to 
developments emanating from major urban centers. In some cases these 
communities may be relatively large--over 100,000--and in others 
considerably smaller.

Proposals for individual papers as well as full panels (preferably  
two papers) are welcome.

Papers will be precirculated and must be submitted by February 16, 2007.

The conference will be April 5-7, 2007.

James Connolly
Director, Center for Middletown Studies
Ball State University
Muncie, IN 47306
Email: jconnoll at bsu.edu

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