CFP: Junior Researchers Workshop: Urban Street Vending: Economic
Resistance, Integration or Marginalization (TU Berlin)
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
* To what extent does street selling in American cities contribute to
building alternative public spheres (for instance a black public sphere
* 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)
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
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) [German Research Foundation,
TGK Berlin - New York
Center for Metropolitan Studies (CMS) - Technical University, Berlin
Graduate Research Program
More information about the URBANTH-L