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Call For Papers - Transcultural Cities // Symposium


University of Washington, Seattle
Feb 11-13, 2011

In cities around the world, immigration and movement of people and ideas have continued to shape the local demographics, cultural milieu, identities, and urban form. Along with increasing diversity in the urban communities and populations, multiculturalism has been argued as an important agenda for contemporary urban planning and design. Increasingly, discussions concerning public process and citizen involvement in design and planning have also acknowledged the need for cultural inclusivity and engagement of diverse populations. With these phenomena and agendas in mind, how can cities and urban places facilitate cross-cultural understanding? Or, more precisely, how can cross-cultural understanding be constructed, “staged,” or enabled through social and spatial practices in the contemporary urban environment? How can a better understanding of the transcultural processes inform the transformation of contemporary cities?

As part of a research project, titled "Immigrants, Place and Cross-Cultural Understanding" and funded by the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN), this symposium will investigate the ongoing processes and future possibilities of “transcultural cities.” Specifically, we hope to inform the discussion by examining a variety of contemporary cultural and spatial practices and their collective outcomes and potential. We will look at how cross-cultural understanding is engendered through events, everyday activities, formal and informal public processes in design and planning, and a variety of urban communication. As today’s urban spaces have transcended traditional categories, the investigation will also examine a variety of contexts in which these practices take place.

We invite scholars, practitioners, and interested individuals to submit case-study papers that address (but not limited to) the following categories, as related to the broad theme of transcultural cities: (Deadline -- July 31, 2010)

Construction and expression of identities in urban places
Intercultural communication in the urban environment
Methods for engaging diverse communities
Making of hybrid urban places
For details and to submit an abstract, please visit: http://faculty.washington.edu/jhou/transcultural/.

With support from Worldwide Universities Network (WUN), University of Washington Office of Global Affairs, Pennsylvania State University, University of Sheffield, University of Sydney, University of Wisconsin, Madison.