Writingplace #7, Taking Place: Reflections on Fieldwork

Aleksandar Stanicic's picture
Call for Papers
May 29, 2022
Subject Fields: 
Architecture and Architectural History, Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Urban Design and Planning, Urban History / Studies, Literature

Writingplace Journal #07

Taking Place: Reflections on Fieldwork

Call for Papers


Faced with urban challenges caused by migration, gentrification and contemporary urban processes such as the digitalization of commerce and communication, and the tension between local features and global trends, it is crucial to understand the urban as a complex expression of social, historical, material, spatial and temporal relations between people and their built environment. But this comprehension of places demands and envisions action, by which active transformative processes take place in the real world. Fieldwork is in this sense both research and event, both investigative process and performative project.

The main objective of the COST Action Writing Urban Places, from which this issue emerges, is to investigate, develop and implement responsible approaches for human understanding of communities, and their situatedness in urban places. The network works towards the production and development of knowledge required for new and better forms of built environmental praxis: merging scientific research, education and practical, site-based actions that make use of expertise from different disciplines. This praxis not only values the knowledge that already exists in local urban cultures, but also uses new urban narratives as means to develop, foster and protect built environments.. Important to develop this praxis is the collection of site-specific studies, in which narrative approaches have been at stake to analyse and create meaning, appropriation and integration in urban projects.

Two preceding issues of the journal addressed a precisely these methodological and theoretical interrelations between stories and cities: Writingplace #5 collected examples of and reflections on Narrative Methods for Writing Urban Places, while Writingplace #6 “Becoming Part of…” touched upon the notions of meaningfulness, appropriation and integration in city narratives. Building further on these findings, in this issue of the Writingplace Journal we want to explore the moment reflection turns into action, and question how knowledge produced via research is appraised and applied on the field. In other words, we invite authors to reflect upon concrete experiences where insights regarding the city and its narratives have been made operational.

The aim is to understand fieldwork within the broad scope of interdisciplinary knowledge that goes from the human and social sciences to architecture and urbanism. These projects can be materialized in cultural events or applied research, such as festivals, exhibitions, cartographies, digital mappings, performative events, case study investigations, on-site analysis and other forms of representation. We are particularly interested in exploring how various practices of making (such as crafts, technical know-how), in all forms of creative expression named above, have scrutinized, appraised and tested relevant theories.

Nonetheless, beyond the descriptive presentation of relevant fieldwork projects, this call focuses on the critical analysis and theoretical reflection of their action and the impact they have for the particular place. We are genuinely interested in the project’s encounter, (and possibly confrontation) with the challenges of real conditions, communities and territories. What happens in the congregation of ideas with space? Who is involved as the action takes place? How can participants and communities share positions and concerns on site? What can we learn from the narratives intended to activate place?

The call is open to all researchers and academics interested and engaged in fieldwork through writing, narrating, thinking and making urban places. COST action members of the Writing Urban Places action are specifically invited to contribute, and to team up with one or more members of the action. Full research articles must range between 2500-3000 words including endnotes + abstract (200 words) + short bio (100 words). Proposals for visual or other exploratory essay forms must be submitted as abstracts (200 words) for evaluation by the editors.

Deadline: May 29th, 2022.

Please note that all full research articles are subject to a blind peer-review process. For authors guidelines and the submission procedure please check https://journals.open.tudelft.nl/writingplace/about/submissions 

Editors of this issue: Luis Santiago Baptista, Slobodan Velevski, Klaske Havik, Aleksandar Staničić

This issue will be published in collaboration with COST Action CA18126 Writing Urban Places. New Narratives of the European City.

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