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Global Urban History Project

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GUHP Emerging Scholars Program 2022-2023


Global Urban History Project

2022-23 Emerging Scholars



Deepasri Baul (Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Mohali): “The Sacredness of Urban Property: Entitlement and Ownership in the Rakabganj Gurdwara Protests in Delhi”

Sohini Chattopadhyay (Columbia University): “Manoobai in Life and Death: The Urban World of a Dead Body as an Anatomical Subject”

Milo Gough (University of Strathclyde): “Making Freetown: Infrastructures of an Emerging Colonial Urbanity”

Maarten Jonker (London School of Economics): “Petty Imperialism: Dutch expatriate communities and colonial ‘Dutchness’ in Asian port cities, 1919-1941”

Anwesha Ghosh (National Law School of India University, Bangalore): “Municipal Calcutta: Economic Life in a Colonial City”

Ankur Parashar (IISER Mohali): “Infrastructural Citizenship in colonial Shimla”

Ümit Acikgoz (American University of Beirut): “Global Locality, National Modernity: Negotiating Urban Transformation in Early Republican Istanbul (1923-1949)”

Yasmina El-Chami (University of Sheffield): “Collective Colonialism: Missionary Competition and the Project of the City in Ottoman Lebanon”

Mikkel Høghøj (The National Museum of Denmark): “Exporting Everyday Life: Danish construction companies as global urban actors after 1945”

Alfonso Fierro (Kenyon College): “Centralizing Plans, Regional Networks: Urban Periodicals and Networked Infrastructures in the Mexican 1920s”

Yuri Gama (University of Massachusetts Amherst): “Tropical Housing in a Cold War: Urban Planning, Politics, and Citizenship in Northeast Brazil”

Katie Carline (Michigan State University): “Unmaking and Remaking Spiritual Homes in an Apartheid City, 1963-1983”

Isaac Hand (NYU): “
The Virtuous City: Utopian Urbanism in the early Turkish Republic”

Andrew Klein (UCLA): “Seize the Port: The Black Panther Party and the Struggle over Globalization in 1970s Oakland”

Lisa Ng (UC Berkeley): “The Revolution Will (Not) Be Trash(ed): Social Movements, Waste, and Urban Modernity under Late Capitalism”

dream conversations

GUHP's Four Dream Conversations

The Emerging Scholars Workshops will be associated with one of the four "Dream Conversations", a series of events that began in 2021 will continue during the academic year 2022-23. Applicants should select a first and second choice of workshop from one of the four Conversation topics.


Conversation #1: Theory For, Of, and By Urban Historians

What would happen if urban historians took an inventory of our theoretical vocabulary, checked its archaeology, reassessed its usefulness, exposed its blind spots, rediscovered overlooked alternatives, especially from scholarship in the Global South, re-calibrated the proportion of concepts from different sources, searched elsewhere for useful theory, asked what we might do without theory, or even generated concepts of our own that feel better to us as primary researchers? Over the course of this Conversation, we hope to find answers to those questions. We also hope to begin suggesting theoretical approaches of our own that honor our complex archives and our professional commitment not only to spatial scales from the urban to the global but to change over time.

Conversation #2: Cities, Empire, and its (Dis)Contents

Cities, Empire, and its (Dis)Contents, c. 1500-2000 is particularly interested in, but not limited to inter-, trans-, post- and comparative imperial cases of the global urban. Examples include: anti-colonial, abolitionist, and decolonizing networks, methods and memories; inter-city competitions and hierarchies; inter-municipal relationships; compared urban "citizenship"; cities' di- or synchronically governed by multiple empires; internationally governed cities; compared ambivalences; e.g. cities as sites of resistance and oppression or of imperial confidence and doubt. We also have a particular interest in case studies and conceptual texts connecting imperial cases of the global urban to other burgeoning scholarly concerns, often comparatively. Examples are: cities as disconnectors; colonialism and vs. settler colonialism; urban-rural relations (where "is" the city?); environmental dimensions; and most broadly, how to (not) to square "the global" and "the imperial: through the lens of cities.

Conversation #3: Cities and Inequalities

This Conversation will foreground inequality in urban history, locating it within cities while remaining attentive to global patterns, connections, forces, and processes. Investigating inequality within such spaces and in the historical context of urbanization affords us the opportunity to contribute theories and models as historians of the global urban. In exploring the interplay between global connectivity, social differentiation and hierarchies within cities, our GUHP conversation seeks to speak to the field of global history, and through it, to the broader social-science debates about inequality, from which historians have too often been absent.

Conversation #4: Cities and the Anthropocene

Can global urban historians engage the concept of the Anthropocene? This conversation is devoted to the temporal, spatial, theoretical, disciplinary, and moral challenges of doing so. As we engage with geologists and climate scientists, we rethink our relationship to such concepts as “global city and “planetary urbanization.” We think on many time scales at once: how can our sources, overwhelmingly focused on choppier rhythms of political time, help us understand how urban life pulses in tune with geological time or with long cyclical patterns in the relationship between Earth and Sun? Spatially, we treat cities as one of many layers of geological stratigraphy, and trace their deep links to such Earthly spaces as fields, forests, grasslands, mountains, marshes, rivers, estuaries, oceans, and the atmosphere. Morally, we must keep our eye squarely focused on cities’ role in human and environmental justice. Can the lens of the Anthropocene help global urban historians usefully sharpen questions about inequality, rights to the city, and the right to water, food, land, labor, and wealth?