The Global Cities AHRC International Research Network has two goals. Firstly, it seeks to promote interdisciplinary dialogue between scholars working on the history of those cities that anchored Europe’s early modern empires. The network will bring together scholars investigating the city in an imperial setting between 1500 and 1850 to discuss urban life in a comparative framework. Central to discussion will be the network’s second goal, which is to better understand the relationship of these cities to the modern “global city” and the associated process of globalization. While the idea of the “global” or “world” city is well-established among social scientists, urban historians have not customarily considered such labels to describe their subject. At the same time, the long history of such cities is not often acknowledged by scholars and policy-makers at work in a contemporary urban context. This network will seek to improve our understanding of the global city by promoting discussion of the phenomenon across both time and space.
This first Call for Papers invites submissions from scholars of all humanities and social science disciplines working on the issue of “Space” in the early modern colonial city and its modern descendants. At the intersection of empires, cultures, and economies, urban spaces and structures were, and continue to be, shaped by the cities’ global connections. Through an exploration of all aspects of the urban built environment, the workshop will start a conversation between scholars working on the spatial characteristics of those cities that first rose to prominence in the early modern imperial world.
Selected participants will be asked to submit a paper of up to 8,000 words by the end of March 2015. Discussion at the workshop will be organized around these pre-circulated papers. Confirmed participants include Louis Nelson (Architectural History, University of Virginia), Robert Parthesius (Historical Archaeology, University of Leiden), and Carl Nightingale (Transnational Studies, SUNY Buffalo). Applicants should email a one page proposal and brief CV to Emma Hart at firstname.lastname@example.org by September 30th, 2014. Submissions must reflect unpublished work that has potential for inclusion in the volume of essays that will be edited by the project’s organizers.
The international workshop “The Global City Past and Present: Space” is one of four workshops being organized by this International Research Network. Future workshops will focus on Political Economy (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, fall 2015) and Peoples (Institute of Historical Research, London, spring 2016). A concluding discussion in preparation for the publication of an edited volume will take place in St Andrews in the fall of 2016. Should you wish to know more about these future themes please feel free to contact the organizers for further details.
Network Steering Group: Mariana Dantas (History, Ohio University), John Darwin (History, Nuffield College, Oxford), Matthew Davies (Director, Centre for Metropolitan History, Institute of Historical Research), Emma Hart (History, University of St Andrews), Jaap Jacobs (History, University St Andrews), and Dennis Rodgers (Urban Studies, University of Glasgow).
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