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Global Urban History Project

HomeSchedule of Conversations

"Dream Conversations" in Urban History

Schedule of Events

Urban Theory For, Of, and By Urban Historians

Cities, Empires, and (Dis)Contents

Cities and Inequalities

Cities and the Anthropocene

Upcoming Events

Thursday, December 16, 2 PM UCT

"Mutualism and Parasitism:
Cities and Environments in the Anthropocene"
A Conversation between Historians, Geologists,
and Climate Scientists

INAUGURAL EVENT in GUHP's "Dream Conversation" on Cities and the Anthropocene

Minal Pathak, Senior Scientist at the Global Centre for Environment and Energy, Ahmedabad University, and member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Mark Williams and Jan Zalasiewicz, Professors, Department of Geology, Leicester University and
Members of the Anthropocene Working Group of the International Union of Geological Sciences
Julia Adeney Thomas, Associate Professor of History, Notre Dame University
Co-Chairs: Carl Nightingale, Coordinator, the Global Urban History Project; Toby Lincoln, Centre for Urban History, Leicester University

NOTE: This is a Readers meet Authors event. Registrants will receive two items to read in advance:
"Strengthening and Implementing the Global Response," Chapter 4 of the IPCC Special Report: Global Warming of 1.5º C
"Mutualistic Cities of the Near Future," by Mark Williams, Gavin Brown, Minal Pathak, Moya Burns, Will Steffen, John Clarkson, Jan Zalasiewicz, Julia Adeney Thomas, Chapter 12 of Julia Adenay Thomas, ed., Altered Earth: Getting the Anthropocene Right (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming, 2022)

In addition, especially for those interested in continuing the Dream Conversation we strongly recommend purchasing:
Julia Adenay Thomas, Mark Williams, Jan Zalasiewicz, The Anthropocene: A Multidisciplinary Approach (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2020) (Available in e-book form).

We decided to begin our conversation with two forward-looking texts by scientists working on cities in the Anthropocene. Naturally the future is a tricky subject for specialists of the urban past. Our goal is to explore how global urban historians and environmental urban historians can deepen or contextualize themes in these texts and how our research might take further inspiration from efforts to confront the many perils we face as residents of a heavily urbanized planet as it enters/entered the Anthropocene Epoch.   

To participate: sign up here.
Registrants will receive readings and a zoom link for the event from GUHP.

Past Events in the Dream Conversations

(In reverse chronological order)

Plus ... links to video recordings of events

Thursday October 28, 2021 3-4:30 PM EDT (7-8:30 UCT)

Roundtable on Cities and Inequalities

INAUGURAL EVENT in Dream Conversation #3 Cities and Inequalities

Event Co-Sponsored by the Urban History Association as part of Urban History Month

Watch this event on GUHPVIDS, the YouTube Channel of the Global Urban History Project

Description and Participants:
The "Cities and Inequalities" roundtable is the inaugural event of the Global Urban History Project Dream Conversations initiative on the topic of inequalities. Roundtable participants Constanza Castro (Universidad de los Andes), David Huyssen (University of York), Hilary Jones (University of Kentucky), and Michael Vann (Sacramento State University) will kick off our year-long conversation by discussing the role inequality, examined through a global urban history perspective, has played in their research and writing. The discussion will be moderated by Zephyr Frank (Stanford University).

Wednesday, October 27, 10 AM-12:30 PM EST (2 PM-4:30 PM UCT): 

Readers Meet Author: Richard Harris's How Cities Matter"

INAUGURAL EVENT in Dream Conversation #1 Urban Theory Of, For, and By Urban Historians

WATCH THIS EVENT ON GUHPVIDS, the You-Tube Channel of the Global Urban History Project

Description and Participants:

In How Cities Matter, the first "Element" in the new series of Cambridge Elements in Global Urban History, Harris elegantly inventories and comments on so many of the theoretical concepts that urban historians have used over the past half-century or more. At the heart of the matter - and Harris element-  of course, is "the City," as vexed a concept as it is universally familiar.

Participants are invited to purchase and read How Cities Matter in advance of the discussion.

Then: join us on October 27 as we plumb his text  and begin a multi-year effort to dig deeper into the question of "Theory Of, By, and For Urban Historians."

Discussants: Rosemary Wakeman, chair, Alexia Yates, Carl Nightingale

Response: Richard Harris,

Further Discussion: The Audience

Friday, 15 October, 2021, 7-9 PM EST (11PM-1AM UCT):

UHA Plenary: “The State of the Global City: Problems and Possibilities”



The Urban History Association President and Program Committee Co-Chairs are pleased to announce the second plenary of Urban History Month, 2021: “The State of the Global City: Problems and Possibilities.” This plenary brings together some of the leading voices writing on cities around the world, those who have been pushing at the boundaries of global history (from a variety of methodological, historiographical, and subject interests as well as traditions) by researching and writing about modern 20th and 21st century global cities as both historians and public intellectuals. These panelists have each been asked to offer their thoughts on the state of global cities, both in terms of the state of the literal cities in which countless people in the world reside today (so that we might hear their perspectives on where we are, and where might be headed), and also in terms of the state of the field of global urban history (so that we might hear their equally important perspectives on where it could, should, or might, head as it continues to evolve and grow).


Bryant Simon, Professor of History, Temple University, and UHA Program Committee co-chair

Cyrus Schayegh, Professor of International History and Politics, Graduate Institute Geneva
Ademide Adelusi-Adeluyi, Assistant Professor of History, University of California Riverside
Michael Goebel, Associate Professor of International History, The Graduate Institute Geneva
Nancy Kwak, Associate Professor of History, University of California San Diego
Debjani Bhattacharyya, Associate Professor of History, Drexel University
Sheetal Chhabria, Associate Professor of History,Connecticut College

Please direct any questions about this event to Hope Shannon, UHA Executive Director, at