[URBANTH-L] CFP: Junior Researchers Workshop: Urban Street Vending: Economic Resistance, Integration or Marginalization (TU Berlin)

Angela Jancius jancius3022 at comcast.net
Mon Jan 26 13:24:07 EST 2009

From: Kristina Graaff <Kristina.Graaff at Metropolitanstudies.de>

Call for Papers

Workshop for Junior Researchers and Ph.D. Candidates

"Urban Street Vending: Economic Resistance, Integration or 
May 15 -16 , 2009, Technical University Berlin, Germany

Urban street vending exists in various distributive forms and includes 
numerous products: from the mobile selling of food from bikes or trays; 
more stable vending practices from carts; to street table vending, for 
instance, of books, CDs and apparel. The selling practices in public 
space vary tremendously depending on the particular country, city and 
neighborhood, affecting the sellers' networks, labor conditions and 
daily routines. The vendors' backgrounds are generally equally diverse. 
In Germany and the United States, the two focus countries of our 
workshop, the majority either have a migrant background and/or are 
people of color.

In a public space that is, on the one hand, designed to promote 
effective traffic, and, on the other hand, aimed at regulated 
consumption and leisure, street vendors are frequently faced with 
harassment and restrictions. In contrast, there are also policies that 
facilitate access to street entrepreneurialism for certain groups (such 
as war veterans) ­- whereby street vending can also be understood as a 
depository for those marginalized from the formal labor market. As an 
alternative source for neighborhood-specific goods, or an economic 
entry that does not require extensive capital, urban street selling can 
also foster social mobility and local economies.

In response to the so-far scarce research on street vending, this 
workshop ­- considering the underlying dimensions of race, class and 
gender ­- will focus on its economic conceptualizations, urban visions, 
cultural potentials and political challenges.

In a comparative approach, focusing on the German and American 
metropolis ­ but also considering selling modes in other cities 
worldwide ­- we seek to problematize street vending as a practice that 
is, at the same time. tolerated, restricted and promoted by public 

In particular, we would like to examine:

* The economic framing of street vending: Can we talk about an informal 
or illicit economy? Moreover, do notions like ethnic and niche economy 
apply to the urban selling practices?

* Contemporary and past vending practices: What are the daily routines 
of economic survival, labor and entrepreneurship of different vendors 
in different cities? How have products, vendors and clients changed in 
certain vending locations over the past decades?

* The conflict between street vending as a practice of resistance, 
integration or marginalization: Does street vending furthers the 
democratization of public space as well as alternative economies, or 
does it lead to an exclusion and stigmatization of particular groups?

* The use of public space: What can be considered an appropriate use of 
public space for vending purposes, both from the entrepreneur's and 
authorities' perceptive?

* To what extent does street selling in American cities contribute to 
building alternative public spheres (for instance a black public sphere 
in Harlem)?

* The relations between vending locations, types of products, clients 
and vendors: To what extent can vending spaces and economies be 
considered as racialized?

* Representations of street economics: How do different kinds of media 
deal with the topic? What kind of images of the profession and its 
people are mediated?


The workshop offers internationally perspectives on street economics 
research, featuring keynote presentations by

Mark Naison, Professor of History and African-American Studies at 
Fordham University, New York, USA
Alfonso Morales, Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the 
University of Wisconsin at Madison, USA
Kathrin Wildner, Professor of Economic Geography at Viadrina 
University, Frankfurt/Oder, Germany
Peter Herrle, Professor of Architecture and Urban Development at the 
Technical University of Berlin, Germany (to be confirmed)

Workshop format

The workshop aims at facilitating intense dialogue and exchange among 
doctoral students and junior scholars interested in the research on 
street economics. This will be reflected in the amount of time in the 
program allocated to discussion in a constructive, supportive setting. 
Participants have the opportunity to give 15-minute presentations 
introducing their research with subsequent discussion or to participate 
as a discussant without giving a presentation. There will be a maximum 
of 20 participants. Workshop language is English.


We invite papers presenting theoretical and/or empirical contributions 
from a variety of methodological and disciplinary perspectives on 
street economics, regarding one of the questions above.

Submitted papers should
* be directly related to one of the major topics of the workshop
* present current research

Papers should not exceed 2,500 words and include an abstract of no more 
than 300 words.

It is expected that selected papers will be published in some form 
after the workshop.

Application for presenters / discussants

Presenters: Please submit a short CV and a less than 300 word proposal 
in English for your presentation.
Discussants: Please submit a short description of your background and 
motivation to participate in the workshop.

Please send in applications no later than 22nd February 2009 to the 
following address: streetvending at metropolitanstudies.de. Applicants 
will be notified via e-mail by mid-March 2009.

The conference will take place at the Center for Metropolitan Studies, 
Technical University Berlin, Ernst-Reuter-Platz 7, 10587 Berlin, 
Germany. The conference language is English. The participation fee will 
be 15 ?.

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.

Noa Ha (Noa.Ha at Metropolitanstudies.de) and
Kristina Graaff (Kristina.Graaff at Metropolitanstudies.de),
Center for Metropolitan Studies, Berlin, Germany

Kristina Graaff
Doctoral Fellow/
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) [German Research Foundation, 
TGK Berlin - New York
Center for Metropolitan Studies (CMS) - Technical University, Berlin 
Graduate Research Program

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