[URBANTH-L] CFP: All quiet on the wrong side of the tracks?Inquiries into the Interrelation of the Other and the City today

viola.donata rauch viola.rauch at metropolitanstudies.de
Wed Apr 1 23:10:32 EDT 2009

dear list members,
please find this CFP for a workshop in Berlin on 2-3 June 2009, inviting
especially young scholars to critically discuss a highly relevant set of

All quiet on the wrong side of the tracks?
Inquiries into the Interrelation of the Other and the City today
 Workshop in Berlin 2-3 June 2009

Cities are considered key sites for the investigation of processes of
inclusion and exclusion of the respective society and their social, spatial,
symbolic, economic or political manifestations. Today’s debates around
globalization, transnationalism and increasing diversity of Western cities
suggest changed conditions for the construction of those boundaries within
society and in urban space.

Yet when examining processes of negotiation of belonging, othering, and the
construction of a culturally and ethnically ‘Other’, the city is oftentimes
reduced to a mere backdrop for this inquiry. It serves as popular research
site and provides descriptive ornament, but its impact on the processes in
question often remains unclear.

This workshop aims at exploring the interrelation between representations of
the city and of those labeled as culturally and ethnically different today
by discussing previous and contemporary concepts from various fields of
social research dealing with this very interrelation. The wide spectrum of
urban thought and theory includes classical conceptualizations of the city
as organism as developed by the early Chicago School and more recent ones
such as the Integration Machine (Häußermann).

Inextricably linked to the examination of the city and a so-called ‘Other’
is the relation between representations and urban experiences. Hence,
following de Certeau’s conceptualization of the city as both discursively
mapped and corporally practiced, a particular focus will be placed on how
the various concepts incorporate the relation between discursive and
imagined Otherness and its material expression.

Considering conceptualizations of the mutual impact between ‘the Other’ and
the city of the 20th century until present time, the workshop aims at
tracing transformations over time, critically assessing the new quality of
today’s situation  and to inform current research projects of the workshop
The interdisciplinary comparison will be a central element, with special
focus on concepts from sociology, urban anthropology, urban studies,
literary and cultural studies.

Questions to be raised in the workshop include:

How do images of the urban - such as the ghetto,  ethnic enclave or parallel
society but also, in a  metaphorical sense, as a stage - relate to
discourses of ‘the Other’?

What kind of urban self-representations are expressed by those marginalized
within the city, e.g. in media and literary products?

How does the city, on various levels, impact negotiations of belonging,
resistance or  membership of those construed to be different?

Does the contemporary city have an “integrative potential” and how could
this be conceptualized?

Workshop format:

The workshop aims at facilitating intense dialogue and exchange among
doctoral students and junior researchers dealing with the interrelation of
constructions of the Other and the City in their work. This will be
reflected in the amount of time in the program allocated for discussion in a
constructive, supportive setting.
We expect from the invited participants to prepare a discussion/working
paper outlining their current research. This working paper can contain work
in progress but should be related to the central themes of the workshop.

The working paper will be circulated to all participants well in advance.
Participants are expected to read the working papers in order to participate
in the discussion.  Additionally, each participant will have the opportunity
to introduce central questions in five-minute inputs at the day of the
seminar. The workshop will be based on discussion following participant
presentations and on the basis of the submitted working papers. Main
objective of the workshop is to provide a constructive setting for intense
discussion on central issues in this field of research and to provide
helpful comments for further development of the current projects / working
papers of participants.

There will be a maximum of 20 participants. Workshop language is English.

Working Papers

We invite working papers presenting theoretical and/or empirical
contributions from a variety of
methodological perspectives, with special focus on urban studies, popular
culture, literature, sociology and urban ethnography addressing the role of
the city in their research.

Submitted working papers should:

- be directly related to one of the main questions of the workshop
- present current research
-identify relevant dimensions of the city for the research project

Papers should not exceed length of 5,000 words and include an abstract (no
more than 500 words).

Please submit your abstract and short CV with contact details to the
following address:

othercity at metropolitanstudies.de

no later than 1st of May 2009.

Applicants will be notified before 6 May 2009.
(deadline for handing in of complete working paper by participants: 25 May

All sessions will be held at the Center for Metropolitan Studies, Technical
University Berlin,
Ernst-Reuter-Platz 7, 3rd floor, 10587 Berlin, Germany.

Participation in the workshop is free of charge for all selected
participants. Unfortunately, the Center for Metropolitan Studies cannot
offer travel grants. Travel and accommodation expenses are responsibility of
individual participants. However, we can support you with recommendations
and information regarding your stay in Berlin.

For further questions, please contact us at:

 othercity at metropolitanstudies.de

Viola-Donata Rauch
Kristina Graaff
Riza Baris Ülker
Maria Stehle

Viola-Donata Rauch
DFG Doctoral Fellow
Center for Metropolitan Studies
TU Berlin
Ernst-Reuter-Platz 7 TEL 3-0
10587 Berlin
phone: +49 30 314 284 00

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