[URBANTH-L] CFP: Social Justice, Neoliberalism, Cities: Methodologies and Open Questions

Angela Jancius jancius at ohio.edu
Tue Mar 13 01:42:18 EDT 2007

------Call for papers & Call for participation------

Social Justice, Neoliberalism, Cities: Methodologies and Open Questions

A one-day symposium organized by the Urban Studies Program
University of British Columbia 
Saturday, May 5, 2007

Keynote Speaker: Jamie Peck

There remains much debate about what neoliberalism is - i.e., where and how it is "actually existing", and much of the current scholarship has explored neoliberalism schematically. This has led Jamie Peck to suggest that as a "perplexingly amorphous political-economic phenomenon" (2004, 394), the term "neoliberalism" is analytically and politically elastic (393). While some geographers have concentrated on its political-economic dimensions, authors in other disciplines have examined neoliberalism as a political rationality (see, for example, Brown 2005). This symposium invites papers that take neoliberalism if not for granted, then at least as a key term or, perhaps, as a "catalytic concept" (Gibson-Graham 2006[1996], 148) which describes contemporary socio-political and economic dynamics that contemporary activist projects and scholarship for social justice must contend. 

Welcoming graduate students and faculty from various disciplines, the symposium invites papers, reflections or field notes that attend to local and/or intimate spaces of neoliberalism in urban settings. How do the processes and "dictates" of neoliberalism affect social justice organizing?  How, for example, do neoliberalized rationalities affect negotiations between city governments, developers, and community groups? What cherished urban studies approaches and/or political strategies work or don't work in these contexts? The symposium is aimed at exploring and extending these issues in urban studies. 

An interdisciplinary symposium, papers are welcomed from a variety of perspectives, and papers advancing research in the areas of feminist, anti-racist, and anti-imperialist urban geography are encouraged to participate. The broad task of this one-day meeting is to encourage dialogue on the various "loose ends" of neoliberalism, from how "neoliberalism" informs or impacts our research projects and our political commitments, to critical reflection on confronting neoliberal rationalities, whether on paper or on the streets. We invite papers that might begin with broad theoretical terms or perspectives but focus on specific and perhaps marginal sites of organizing (broadly defined). Papers need not employ "neoliberalism" as an overarching framework, and it is a goal of the symposium to incite much needed conversation between the "grand question"/ "grand framework" of neoliberalism and studies that engage with more specialized areas of urban studies, such as homelessness, public space, migrations, gentrification and urban housing markets. 

We encourage participants to report on their research findings as well as reflect on their research practice, theoretical affections, and/or their institutional and/or organizational ties. We welcome papers that attend to methodologies, particularly as they intersect with ethical negotiations, obligations, shortcomings and openings of research practice and reporting. 

Individual paper abstracts (250 words max.) or proposed panel sessions can be submitted to Liz Lee and Tyler Pearce, symposium organizers, at urbanstudiesprogram at gmail.com. Deadline for proposals: March 30.  

Roundtable session: Collective Lit Review.  We are looking for proposals to offer a short (2 to 8 minute) review of recently published books and/or set of articles. Presenters for this session should aim to provide a brief review and evaluation that reflect on the current state of urban studies scholarship. Interested presenters should email the organizers with the title of the book(s) and/or articles that they wish to review. 

Call for Participation

If you plan on attending the symposium, please send an email to urbanstudiesprogram @ gmail.com. Include your name and affiliation. 
Graduate students: Please indicate if you require billeting. 

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