Urban History Group Conference 2017
Royal Holloway, University of London, 30- 31 March
Boundaries define towns and cities; jurisdictions legitimate those authorised to manage areas within them. While cities frequently annexed adjacent areas as a means of extending their authority,peripheral townships, regional jurisdictions and individual landowners have often resisted that process of absorption and the consequential loss of identity and autonomy. Do cities transmit ideas and ideologies to areas beyond their boundaries, urging compliance with administrative procedures and participating in infrastructural projects governing health, education, and transport? Were economies of scale in service provision a force for urban amalgamation? How have inhabitants navigated and perceived these boundaries, and what effects have they had on movement or identities? The conference will explore this theme of the urban ‘edge.’
Understanding where and what the edge is, though, is complex. Municipal authority is, of course, not bounded just by the city limits, but also by innumerable internal boundaries; boundaries that are not neutral in their management or their construction. We all live in multiple authorities – parishes, districts (school, medical, electoral), neighbourhoods, conservation areas, economic and regeneration zones. Myriad internal boundaries exist whose spatial extents rarely overlap and authority over them is vested in a mixture of legal bodies and informal authority. Informal authority reigns where the boundaries of mental maps are shaped by custom and practice – ‘safe’ areas, ‘red light’ districts, pedestrian precincts, ethnic and religious concentrations. The mosaic of overlapping boundaries and jurisdictions questions the use of the term city, since urban environments constitute so many different cities.
The conference committee invites individual papers and panel proposals of up to three papers. Papers might be in the form of thematic or case studies, cutting across time and space to draw out the larger-scale historical process at work in relation to boundaries and jurisdictions. Some of the themes, identified by bullet points below, are timeless so contributions ranging from c.1600 to the present are welcome and can be drawn from any geographical area. Contributions from doctoral candidates (see below) are an important feature of the Urban History Group and so these, too, are encouraged and financially supported with modest bursaries.
In framing your paper or making a proposal for a panel you may wish to consider some of the following:
· What is the difference between authority, regulation and jurisdiction, and does it matter?
· How have boundaries and jurisdictions shaped urban behaviour and vice versa?
· How durable are bounded limits like town charters, walls, and trading monopolies?
· How have rules and regulations involuntarily contributed to the creation of boundaries
· What informal mechanisms shape perceptions of boundaries, and how are these ‘edges’ enforced, transgressed or subverted?
· Is ‘Edge City’, rather than a recent phenomenon, a longstanding feature of urban development?
· How durable are mental maps and what are the consequences where they overlap?
· Can we write and talk about ‘the city’ if it is as fragmented as it may seem?
Abstracts of up to 300 words, including a paper or panel title, name, affiliation and contact details should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org and should indicate clearly how the content of the paper addresses the conference themes outlined above. Those wishing to propose sessions should provide a brief statement that identifies the ways in which the session will address the conference theme, a list of speakers, and abstracts. The final deadline for proposals for sessions and papers is 21st October 2016.
The conference will again host its new researchers’ forum, which is composed of two elements. The first section is aimed primarily at those who are at an early stage of a PhD or early career research project. New researchers’ papers should be the same length and follow the same submission rules as the main sessions, but need not be related to the main conference theme. Additionally, there will be opportunities for first-year PhD students to present a 10 minute introduction to their topic, archival materials, and the specific urban historiography. This is an opportunity to obtain feedback from active researchers in the field of Urban History, but also to introduce your work to colleagues in the field.
Please submit all proposals to email@example.com marking them clearly ‘New Researchers’ or ‘First Year PhD’ in the subject field and on the abstract.
Bursaries. Students registered for a PhD can obtain a modest bursary on a first come, first served basis to offset expenses associated with conference registration and attendance. Please send an e-mail application to Professor Richard Rodger at firstname.lastname@example.org and also ask your supervisor to confirm your status as a registered PhD student with an e-mail to the same address. Deadline 16th December 2016. The Urban History Group would like to acknowledge the Economic History Society for its support for these bursaries.
For Further Details Contact:
Dr James Greenhalgh
University of Lincoln
Tel: 01522 83 7729
Dr Markian Prokopovych
University of Birmingham
Tel: 0121 414 3259
For New Researchers
Dr Tom Hulme,
IHR, University of London
Tel: 020 7862 8816