Urban Theory and Urban Praxis: Past, Present and Possible Futures
The year 2020 commemorates the 100th anniversary of the death of Max Weber. Unquestionably recognized as one of the forefathers of Western Sociology, Weber’s scholarship is notable for its breadth and its ability to connect the spheres of economics, politics, and culture in the study of Western and non-Western societies. Alongside his many indirect contributions to the field of Urban Sociology, Weber also focused directly on urban spaces, particularly in his The City, a posthumously edited volume (1921) later incorporated in his Economy and Society, where he tried to lay the foundations for a systematic theory of urbanism and urban development.
For this conference, we take the centennial anniversary of Weber’s death, and the 99 years since the publication of The City, as an opportunity to reflect about the past, present, and future of cities, urban theories and urban practices, through and beyond the works of Weber.
The last century has provided us with a wealth of theoretical perspectives on the city and its development, from ecological theory à la Chicago School to neo-Marxist and political-economic approaches, to the more recent advent of poststructural, postmodern, and postcolonial urban studies. Different methods of analysis have accompanied these changes, from urban (ecological) modelling, to the use of quantitative, qualitative (especially ethnographic), and case-based (oftentimes comparative) approaches. And cities and urban livelihoods have themselves changed considerably in recent decades, in inter-action with macro-level processes such as international migration and the commodification and globalization of cultural artifacts and economic activities.
We encourage contributions looking at urban changes, as well as focusing on recent and contemporary processes of urban development broadly conceived, in all cases with a vision towards social action and the creation of better cities and urban experiences for the future. In other words, in this conference, we are interested in uncovering: 1. What are the past, present and future developments of urban research (urban theory)? And, 2. How have cities, both in and through the multiple actors living and working in/on them, themselves develop(ed) in the past, present and future (urban praxis)?
Conference themes: For this midterm conference we are opening a call for session proposals. After the list of sessions has been finalized, a second call for individual abstracts to be integrated into the accepted sessions will be opened. For the sessions, while all submissions bearing on a topic related to the sociological study of past, contemporary, and future cities from a theoretical and/or applied perspective are welcome, contributions on the following topics/themes are especially encouraged: (1). Classical and contemporary urban theories and theorists, (2). Interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary methods of urban research, (3). Urban politics and urban actors, (4) Processes of urban growth and urban restructuring, (5) Urban stratification and urban inequality, (6) Identities and subjectivities in the contemporary city, (7) Urbanization in a global context. If the session you intend to propose does not directly fit with any of the topics outlined, please submit your proposal as an open submission in the submission form (8).
Call for Session Proposals
We are delighted to announce that our IV midterm conference entitled “Urban Theory and Urban Praxis: Past, Present and Possible Futures” will take place at the University of Bologna. The conference will be held on September 2nd to 4th, 2020.
Our partner, the local organizer, is the Department of Sociology and Business Law of the University of Bologna. The leader of the local organizing group is our colleague from the board: Gabriele Manella.
For this midterm conference, we will first open a call for session proposals. After the list of sessions has been finalized, a second call for individual abstracts to be integrated into the accepted sessions will be opened.
We look forward to your session proposals until January 10th, 2020. Please send them to: email@example.com.
On February 20th, 2020 we will open a call for individual abstracts.
Call for session proposals (pdf)