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Globalising Urban Histories: Interdisciplinary approaches to politics, material cultures and ideologies in world cities

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Organised by Emma Hunter, Leigh Denault, and Eleanor Newbigin.

This two-day conference will look at the city as a site through which to explore global networks of exchange and cultural transmission. Though the city has become a popular focus for research across academic disciplines and chronological periods, these studies often see urban space as an iteration of a larger system (be it nation, empire, or cosmopolitan network). Looking to develop new approaches and analytical tools for the study of world history, this conference seeks to situate the city within wider frameworks of material and cultural dissemination. In so doing we are interested in interrogating conventional views of ‘modern globalisation’ and in developing our understanding of longer-term processes of global transmission. The conference will explore the ways in which ideology and material culture intersect and interact to shape urban spaces and urban lives. We therefore welcome papers that cover a broad chronological and geographical spectrum, within the following broad themes:

• Problematizing Identity: notions of identity and community within the complex plurality of urban life, with particular attention to gender, race and class.

• Rights, Social Obligation and Citizenship: the construction and operation of ideas of selfhood, belonging and municipal citizenship.

• Interrogating the Discipline: new theoretical and analytical approaches to world history and urban studies.

We particularly welcome participation from graduate and early career academics. Applicants should submit a 500 word paper proposal and c.v. (in Word, RTF , or PDF format) to Eleanor Newbigin at ern20@cam.ac.uk by Saturday 30th June 2007. We will contact accepted participants by Monday 23rd July 2007. The conference will take be held on 4th and 5th December in the seminar rooms of the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), Cambridge.

For additional information about the conference, please contact the conference organizers or visit the conference website at http://www.crassh.cam.ac.uk/events/2006-7/urbanhistcfp.html

This talk is part of the World History Workshop series.

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