Donnerstag, 26. Juni 2014

Workshop: Current Developments in Critical Urban Studies, 10 & 11 July, 2014


Contemporary urban studies are increasingly influenced by new ideas from disciplines such as ethnography, sociology or architectural studies; several current spinoff fields such as cultural studies, new cultural geography, and critical urban studies have made it their goal to address these developments synergistically.
The inclusion of new methodology as well as conceptual and theoretical background from other fields has widened the field of classic approaches to the city in a remarkable way. Newer methods such as discourse analysis, actor-network-theory, or milieu-studies have raised critical thoughts about current developments in cities, especially in the global North. This focus has also now begun to extend to areas and regions yet unparsed by the sometimes narrow lenses of western academia and its methods. Indeed, new theories of “the urban” are seen as critically necessary to overcome our reified and, in some cases, outdated paradigms about and approaches to the city (Brenner & Schmid, 2012, 2013; Parnell & Robinson, 2012; Robinson, 2002, 2005, 2013; Roy, 2009, 2011).
This two-day workshop seeks therefore to explore and showcase new ways of understanding and approaching the contemporary city by critically addressing a wider discussion of its methods and concepts. Our intention is to shed light on the research process and how methodology and theory shape the ‘look’ at the city, and additionally to explore suggestions to overcoming or developing existing and new paradigms. This workshop brings together theories, methods, and scholars of diverse fields to incite a fruitful debate about this often neglected aspect of urban studies, and promote the transdisciplinary development of new urban thought. In this light, we invite researchers of all disciplines dealing with ‘the urban’ to showcase current projects, but also to discuss speculative approaches, test cases, and new theories.

The main goals of this workshop are to promote:
  • Rigorous discussion about the methods and concepts surrounding current urban research, and the inclusion of interdisciplinary and not-yet-mainstream approaches,
  • The inclusion of doctoral and postdoctoral researchers in such discussions, and
  • Networking and collaboration among critical urban researchers across disciplinary and national borders.

Brenner, N., & Schmid, C. (2012). Planetary Urbanisation. In M. Gandy (Ed.), Urban Constellations (pp. 10–13). Berlin: Jovis.
Brenner, N., & Schmid, C. (2013). The “Urban Age”in Question. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. Retrieved from
Parnell, S., & Robinson, J. (2012). (Re)theorizing Cities from the Global South: Looking Beyond Neoliberalism. Urban Geography, 33(4), 593–617.
Robinson, J. (2002). Global and World Cities: A View from off the Map. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 26(3), 531–554.
Robinson, J. (2005). Urban geography: world cities, or a world of cities. Progress in Human Geography, 29(6), 757–765.
Robinson, J. (2013). The urban now: Theorizing cities beyond the new. European Journal of Cultural Studies, 16(6), 659–677.
Roy, A. (2009). The 21st-Century Metropolis: New Geographies of Theory. Regional Studies, 43(6), 819–830.
Roy, A. (2011). Urbanisms, worlding practices and the theory of planning. Planning Theory, 10(1), 6–15.


Georg-Simmel-Zentrum für Metropolenforschung, Mohrenstraße 41, 10117 Berlin


Dr. des. Mary Dellenbaugh 
Geography Department, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin,

Dr. Thomas Dörfler 
Center for Methods, University of Lüneburg/Leuphana,

Registration fee:

A nominal donation of 20€ (10€ for students) will be requested to cover refreshments and coffee breaks.The conference dinner will be held on the first evening at 7:30pm at Brauhaus Lemke in Hackscher Markt. The 3-course dinner costs an additional 27€.

A few spots are still available! Registration is possible until Friday July 4th under Please indicate if you would like to take part in the conference dinner, if you require a vegetarian meal, and if you will be paying the full fee or the student fee.

Program (as of 26.6.2014):