Theme & Calls

Urban Theory and Urban Praxis: Past, Present and Possible Futures

Exactly one hundred years ago, in the year 1920, the world was finally resurfacing from a devastating global health crisis. Misleadingly, albeit too commonly, known as the ‘1918 Spanish Flu’, this deadly influenza pandemic – arguably the most severe pandemic in modern history – lasted over two years, infected an estimated 500 million people, approximately one-third of the world’s population at the time, and caused an estimated death toll of over 50 million people. Roughly one century later, in 2020, we find ourselves amidst another pandemic threat, one whose social consequences we are still to fully comprehend, and whose obvious discrepancies and all too alarming similarities to the global virulent outbreak of one century ago invites sociological questions about modernity, globalization, urbanization, and social change and persistence. Has the course of social change in the last one hundred years been such that all and any similarities between the two pandemic outbreaks are little more than flukes? Or are these similarities a manifestation of Karl Marx’s contention in the Eighteenth Brumaire (1852) that history is set to repeat itself “first as tragedy, then as farce”?

The current year of 2020 also commemorates the 100th anniversary of the death of Max Weber. Unquestionably recognized as one of the forefathers of Western Sociology, Weber has inspired the imagination and scholarship of generations of sociologists and social scientists alike, regardless of epistemological traditions, methodological boundaries, regions of study, or fields of interest. Urban sociology and sociologists are not an exception. In fact, 2021 – the year in which this conference will be held – marks the centennial anniversary of yet another landmark: the posthumous publication of Max Weber’s edited volume on The City(1921), a pivotal work for the (at the time) expanding field of Urban Sociology, where Weber tries to outline the foundations of his systematic theory of urbanism and urban development.

We take the occasion of these centennial landmarks – the time elapsed between these two pandemics, Max Weber’s death, and the publication of Weber’s The City – to reflect about the past, present, and future of cities and urban societies, 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 the ecological theories of the Chicago School, through neo-Marxist and political economic approaches, to the more recent rise of post-structural, postmodern, and postcolonial urban studies. Cities have changed greatly in the past one hundred years, and so have our ways of conceptualizing theoretically, approaching methodologically, and pragmatically acting upon, cities. And, as the present pandemic situation shows all too well, cities keep changing every day, and will continue to do so in the future, creating a continuous demand for the reconsideration and redefinition of urban theories and urban practices.

We thus encourage contributions looking at past, present and prospective processes of urban transformation, at how those shifts have affected urban social structures and livelihoods, and at how urban theories (and theorists) and urban practices (and practitioners) have (or could have) addressed such changes and acted towards the promotion of more just cities and societies. Analyses of the characteristics and effects of the current global health crisis for urban areas worldwide are especially welcome. Please see information on how to submit your abstract and/or participate in the midterm conference below. We look forward to receiving your contributions!

Conference information and list of call for papers (pdf)

List of Sessions & Call for Papers

List of Sessions 

  1. ARTISTIC INTERVENTIONS IN URBAN SPACE
  2. WE, CO-WALKERS IN THE URBAN SPACE
  3. ALTERITY IN THE DEVELOPING URBAN SUBJECT
  4. FROM NEIGHBOURHOOD TO COMMUNITY, OR FROM COMMUNITY TO NEIGHBOURHOOD?
  5.  IN/EXCLUSION IN THE FESTIVAL CITY
  6. SQUATTING MOVEMENT IN EUROPE
  7. HOUSING IN A POST-COVID SOCIETY: TRENDS, POLICIES AND CHALLENGES
  8. NEW PATHWAYS OF ECOLOGICAL GENTRIFICATION IN EUROPE?
  9. THE TOURIST CITY: OPPORTUNITIES, CHALLENGES, AND CONFLICTS
  10. CARE THEORY MEETS THE CITY: EXPLORING IMPLICATIONS FOR THE STUDY OF URBAN INEQUALITY
  11. INNOVATIVE STREETS IN EUROPE. EXPLORING PRACTICES AND GOVERNANCE OF ALTERNATIVE URBANITIES
  12. URBAN REGENERATION: POLICIES AND EFFECTS
  13. HOUSING INFORMALITY IN THE GLOBAL NORTH: A SOCIO-HISTORICAL APPROACH
  14. URBAN IMAGINATION AND TECHNOLOGY OF DATA VISUALISATION IN URBAN STUDIES
  15. REWRITING BELONGING AND IDENTITY THROUGH URBAN SPACES: EVERYDAY CITY-MAKING IN TURBULENT TIMES
  16. CONFRONTING URBAN REGENERATION POLICIES IN EUROPE BETWEEN NEW FORMS OF TOURISM, CREATIVITY AND EXPULSIONS
  17. RESIDENTIAL SEGREGATION AND THE STUDY OF SOCIAL STRUCTURE OF TOWNS AND METROPOLISES. EMPIRICAL AND METHODOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENTS IN URBAN SOCIOLOGY
  18. WELCOMING SPACES? OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES FOR NEWCOMERS
  19. URBAN PRACTICES AND URBAN INSTITUTIONS: THOUGHTS ON SEGREGATION AND THE SPATIALITY OF EVERYDAY RESOURCE ORGANIZATION, SOCIAL NETWORKS AND SOCIAL CAPITAL
  20. UNLOCKING ACTION/RESEARCH ON URBAN TRANSFORMATIONS
  21. SOCIAL INNOVATION IN THE CITIES: POLITICS, POLICIES AND ACTORS
  22. RESPONSIBLE CITIES: IMAGINARIES, PRACTICES AND POLICIES IN A CHALLENGING ERA
  23. DEBATING URBAN ETHNOGRAPHY: LIMITS AND POTENTIALITIES
  24. MIGRATIONS, URBAN TRANSFORMATIONS AND ICT SOLUTIONS

We look forward to receiving your submission until September 6th, 2020.

Follow this link to submit your abstract: Abstract submission

Important note: Many authors already submitted an abstract a few months ago, but they are kindly requested to submit it again. The peculiar situation we are living has forced us to re-consider most of our choices, and we think that resubmission is the best solution for the management of the review process. We thank you and apologize for the inconveniences (as you have already seen, however, submission is simple and fast).



Cite this blog post
patriciapereira (2019, November 12). Theme & Calls. European Sociological Association Research Network 37: Urban Sociology. Retrieved June 25, 2024, from https://doi.org/10.58079/oi6m

This entry was posted in Theme & Calls on by .

About patriciapereira

I am an assistant research professor at Leiria Polytechnic University/ESECS integrated in CICS.NOVA/IPLeiria. I am a member of the board of the Interdisciplinary Center of Social Sciences (CICS.NOVA) and I coordinate its research group 3 "Cities, environment and regional development". I hold a Ph.D. in Sociology and my main field of research is Urban Sociology/Urban Studies. My current work is focused on subjective experiences of eviction and displacement, while also considering the neighborhood effects and structural dimensions of gentrification and, more broadly, of urban inequality. I specialize in qualitative methods, including ethnography and in-depth interviews, with a growing interest in creative methods.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.