Various dates October 2018 - June 2019
City Maps is a series of workshops encouraging doctoral students to explore, discuss and experiment with different ways of conceptualising and studying cities in the arts and humanities. The main learning outcome is to equip participants with knowledge, tools and approaches for expanding their horizons and engaging the urban as an object of study in their own research.
In ordinary conversation, we often take cities for granted as distinct and identifiable places. But when the city becomes an object of study, it quickly becomes elusive, layered, interconnected and potentially boundless. A city can be a built environment of myriad structures and infrastructures, its people and their differences, a series of representations or aesthetic impressions, an object of politics or public address, a node for global flows, and many other things besides. Often going hand-in-hand with these disparate aspects of the city are specific disciplinary preferences and domains.
Doctoral students taking workshops within this series will be inspired to rise above narrowly disciplinary or highly attenuated orientations to the city. Each session will approach the urban as an inherently trans-, inter- and pluri-disciplinary object, bringing together CHASE expertise and an invited workshop leader, who will collaborate and develop a format appropriate to the workshop’s focus. This might include site-specific presentations, cases studies, reading discussions, screenings, and hands-on workshops.
The series will comprise five workshops moving from specific urban research cases to how students might situate themselves and seek publication in what has been termed urban cultural studies:
The transdisciplinarity of urban experience. Iain Borden from the UCL Bartlett School, whose work has explored a range of topics in architecture and urban culture, will lead a workshop in collaboration with Mari Paz Balibrea (Birkbeck). Participants will be invited to think about the urban via the fundamental transdisciplinary concept of experience, and how it has been deployed in Borden’s work on public interaction with urban built environments. 31 October 2018, Birkbeck, Bloomsbury campus.
Researching screen media and global cities. In this workshop, Johan Andersson from King’s College London will lead a workshop with Lawrence Webb (Sussex), building on themes introduced in their co-edited 2016 book Global Cinematic Cities: New Landscapes of Film and Media. This will likely comprise a programme of screenings and discussion at the Birkbeck Cinema, at which students will discuss the challenges of researching cinema and the city at a time when both have been destabilized as objects of study. 21 November 2018, Birkbeck, Bloomsbury campus.
Urban spaces and scalar traces. Clancy Wilmott, University of Manchester (with Scott Rodgers. Birkbeck). 28 March, University Square Stratford.
Mapping urban media infrastructures (provisional title). In this workshop, Shannon Mattern from The New School and Rebecca Ross from Central Saint Martins will examine methods for exploring, excavating, observing, testing, and notating urban media infrastructures, broadly conceived – from historical traces of urban epigraphy to contemporary sensing technology, from traditional neighbourhood patois to pervasive personalized screens. The aim is to encompass the breadth of topics you are exploring in your doctoral research. And in devising observation techniques, we will consider how infrastructures make themselves known to us, or sense-able to us – or to other non-human urban denizens. We will ask how infrastructures are epistemological and affective apparatae, as well as how experimental cartographic methods might allow us to examine and imagine them differently. 30 May 2019, Birkbeck, Bloomsbury campus.
Urban cultural studies: getting oriented, getting published. This workshop provides an overview of the emergent field of urban cultural studies. Participants will explore what types of work this field makes visible, and be given specific advice on making their work publishable in peer reviewed journals. Ben Fraser from University of Arizona, the Executive Editor of the Journal of Urban Cultural Studies, will lead the workshop in collaboration with Mari Paz Balibrea. Friday 28 June 2019, Birkbeck, Bloomsbury campus.
Fifteen places will be available for each workshop, with CHASE-funded students having first priority, followed by students researching any aspect of cities (with first places going to students at CHASE institutions). Provision will be made to document each session, via a combination of blogging, photos, and/or audio/video recording.
Participants are encouraged to attend all five workshops, although this is not essential.
Workshop 3 - Urban spaces and scalar traces - FULLY BOOKED
Thursday 28 March 2019 | 10.00-16.00
Birkbeck, University Square Stratford
In this workshop, Clancy Wilmott from the University of Manchester will lead a workshop with Scott Rodgers (Birkbeck) that asks participants to consider urban cultural studies through spatial theory - specifically concepts of scale, situatedness, and global-local encounters. Based at Birkbeck’s Stratford Campus, participants will conduct an in-situ geo-graphical exploration of traces across material and digital landscapes, evident and pertinent to their own research, in order to map how different scales – such as global, local, architectural and bodily - blend together, co-forming and conflicting in everyday urban spaces.
Workshop 4 - Mapping urban media infrastructures
Thursday 30 May 2019 | 9.30-16.00
Birkbeck, Bloomsbury Campus
In this workshop, Shannon Mattern from The New School and Rebecca Ross from Central Saint Martins will examine methods for exploring, excavating, observing, testing, and notating urban media infrastructures, broadly conceived – from historical traces of urban epigraphy to contemporary sensing technology, from traditional neighbourhood patois to pervasive personalized screens. The aim is to encompass the breadth of topics you are exploring in your doctoral research. And in devising observation techniques, we will consider how infrastructures make themselves known to us, or sense-able to us – or to other non-human urban denizens. We will ask how infrastructures are epistemological and affective apparatae, as well as how experimental cartographic methods might allow us to examine and imagine them differently.
Workshop 5- Urban Cultural Studies: Getting Oriented, Getting Published
Prof. Benjamin Fraser, U. of Arizona
Friday 28 June 2019
Birkbeck, Bloomsbury Campus
10.30-12.00 Urban Cultural Studies Method
A talk by Benjamin Fraser on the methodological questions involved in conducting urban cultural studies research. This includes a brief look back at the development of cultural studies, discussion of previous confrontations and intersections between the humanities and the social sciences, and exploration of the current (inter)disciplinary landscape of journal publishing. A range of cultural texts are mentioned including literature, poetry, theatre, film, comics, popular music, performance, painting, video games, and architecture. Emphasis is on the blending of textual analysis, cultural context, and theoretical ground. Examples given from the speaker’s own research and from the pages of the Journal of Urban Cultural Studies.
12.00-13.00 Lunch (provided)
13.00-14.45 Task 1 – The Interdisciplinary Publishing Landscape
This session will be led by both Benjamin Fraser and Mari Paz Balibrea and will help participants reflect on their own work on cities and how it fits in the landscape of urban studies scholarship. Fraser and Balibrea will provide opening remarks about the state of the interdisciplinary publishing landscape in order to capture the breadth of research venues interested in urban-related submissions. Participants will be divided into groups in order to discuss where their intervention best fits in the field, with the goal of identifying the most relevant journals and publishing houses. This session will involve both small-group and large-group Q&A, with the possibility of 1x1 conversations as time permits.
15.00-16.45 Task 2 – Transforming Your Thesis into a Book
This session will be led by both Benjamin Fraser and Mari Paz Balibrea. The 15 participants will divide into groups of 3, and each group will compile and discuss a list of questions they have about the process of turning your thesis into a book. All questions are welcome. Among other topics, participants might consider: publishing and the academic job market; dos and don’ts when turning a thesis into a book, how to identify a suitable publisher, organization of a proposal, submitting a proposal, suggesting possible readers of your proposal and manuscript to a press, communication with acquisitions editors, how many proposals to send out at one time, whether to publish articles/chapters separately that might be included in the book, the peer-review process, the revision process, proofing your book, indexing your book, identifying prospects for promotional blurbs and endorsements on the book cover, promoting your book pre- and post- publication.
Groups will have 15-30 minutes for internal discussion driving the creation of their list. Each group will then share their list with the larger workshop group, after which collective exploration of the themes raised will begin with the most common questions first.
Terms and conditions
By registering below you are requesting a place on this training programme or selected sessions that form part of the programme. A member of the CHASE team or the workshop leader will contact you in due course to confirm that a place has been allocated to you. If you no longer require a place, please email firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible so your name can be removed from the registration list.
If you are allocated a place but can no longer attend, please email email@example.com so that your place can be reallocated. CHASE training is free to attend and events are often oversubscribed with a waiting list. Failure to notify us of non-attendance in good time (ideally 5 days prior to the workshop/programme) means your place cannot be reallocated and may result in your access to future CHASE training being restricted.
The training is open to: