Call for Papers - Cities against Nationalism? International Symposium

29th Mar 2019

Call for Papers - Cities against Nationalism? International Symposium

University of Kent (18th June 2019)


Throughout history, cities have been the theatre of social and spatial struggles, from national revolutions to local riots, leading to overwhelming global political transformations. The Cities against Nationalism one-day international symposium hosted by Kent Interdisciplinary Centre for Spatial Studies (KISS) in collaboration with the UCL Urban Lab, aims at investigating the relatively under-theorized research field of urban geopolitics and nationalism. Specifically, the focus will be on experiences where cities and regions oppose nationalism – with particular reference to the relations between local urban conditions of minorities and immigrants in times of increased political uncertainty. With the aim of exploring under what conditions urban or regional identity unifies citizens in opposition to a national identity. The symposium will engage with different geographical tiers of investigation, from the supranational, to national, regional and urban scales.


Papers that discuss and address (although not limited to) the following broad topics are invited:

  1. To determine to what extent the current political transformations in cities worldwide offer us a platform to re-think urban citizenship and toleration of difference.
  2. To explore how urban/regional identity could unify citizens in opposition to a national identity.
  3. To investigate the extent to which new transformations of urban citizenship vary between and within regional and local contexts.


250 word abstract proposals are welcomed. Please contact Dr. Jonathan Rokem Rock by 20th April 2019 to indicate your interest in participating in the symposium.* Please include your affiliation, a proposed title and a 250-word abstract.

For further details please visit the Symposium website.


*A few UK travel burseries for PhD students and early career academics are available. Please indicate your interest in receiving this in your application.


Applicants will be informed by 3rd May 2019. 


Confirmed keynote speakers:

Prof. Michael Gentile, University of Oslo. 

Prof. Oren Yiftachel, Ben Gurion University / University College London.


Symposium organising committee:

Dr. Jonathan Rock Rokem, School of Anthropology and Conservation, University of Kent. 

Dr. Sara Fregonese, School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham.
Prof. Camillo Boano, Bartlett Development Planning Unit, University College London.


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