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Global Urban History Project

Date: 8/22/2021
Subject: Call for Appllications: GUHP Mentorships 2021-22
From: Carl Nightingale

Special Announcement
GUHP Mentorship Program 2021-22
for Emerging Scholars
This year, accepted Emerging Scholars will help innaugurate GUHP's
"Four Dream Conversations in Urban History"
(please circulate this notice to your networks)

The Global Urban History Project (GUHP) invites applications from graduate students and early careers scholars in urban history to join one of four workshops it will run during the 2020-21 academic year as part of GUHP's new Four Dream Conversations in Urban History.

Selected applicants will be paired with a senior scholar and GUHP member in their field and will participate in a series of events designed to facilitate intellectual engagement, offer feedback on research and writing, and promote peer and professional support. Workshop participants will be of course invited to all other public events in the four Dream Conversations series. The workshop will culminate in a spring symposium (date TBA). Exceptional papers may be recommended for publication in the Global Urban History Blog, journal special issues, or other venues.

Participants will be expected to present the results of their project during the spring symposium. The symposium will be open to the wider GUHP community via video conference. 

Workshop themes, structure, moderators, and timeline are detailed below. All activities will be held online, through video conferences, though some hybrid events may be scheduled as part of the critical Conversations series. Mentors, who may be moderators or other senior GUHP members, will be assigned once applications are accepted.
Applicants must be advanced graduate students or have completed their graduate degree in the past five years and must register as members of GUHP to qualify for the mentorship workshop.
Applicants must be GUHP members. If you are not a GUHP member, please sign up prior to applying. No-cost options are available. 

Successful applicants will receive an honorarium of $500. 

GUHP's Four Dream Conversations
Each of the Emerging Scholars Workshops will be associated with one of the Four Dream Conversations in Urban History, a series of events that will begin during the academic year 2021-22. More information on the Conversations is forthcoming. In the meantime, 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 alternatives we overlooked, 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
Our Conversation on "Cities, Empire, and its Discontents, 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 peak resistance and oppression or of great 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, and 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
How can global urban historians engage the concept of the Anthropocene? Spatially, thinking about cities as creations and creators of the Anthropocene allows us to think of the built environment and its socio-cultural histories through rivers, marshes, oceans, hydrocarbons, and materials like dust, sand, and cement. Urbanization has played a central role in terraforming our planet, just as the planet is a foundational participant in acts of urbanization.Temporally, we need to operate at once on  the geological deep time of anthropogenic transformation and the limited time of politics. Thus, we need to re-investigate questions of inequality, rights to the city, and the right to water, food, land, labor, and wealth through the glaring challenges of climate change and its attendant issues of resource scarcity, displacement, land submergence, migration and the transnational movement of minerals, materials, goods, ideas, people, and capital as well as extension of imperial state power.


Tentative Schedule
  • October Open House for all workshop participants (applicants, mentors, and moderators)
  • October through April Individual Mentorship Sessions

  •  November-January Workshop Reading Discussions
  • February or March Draft Panel Discussion Each workshop will hold a separate mock symposium where applicants will present a first draft of their work to mentors and peers for feedback and discussion. It will be expected that drafts be shared with other workshop participants by Monday, December 1.
  • April - May Workshop Symposium
  • Throughout the year: Participants and mentors will attend events in the Four Dream Conversations series

To Apply
Please submit the following information in a single PDF file as an attachment to by Friday, September 23, 2021:

Name, affiliation, email, main area of research interest, whether applying as a graduate student or early career scholar, first and second choice of Dream Conversation you would like to join as your primary focus of this work, title of proposed symposium paper, a 500-800 word abstract, and an updated Curriculum Vitae.

Also: please arrange with an academic advisor to send one letter of recommendation under separate cover to the same email address,

Please circulate this notice to your networks