Revisiting Place – Current Global Conditions and Human-Spatial Relations

Alan Morton's picture
Call for Papers
December 5, 2023
Subject Fields: 
Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Ethnic History / Studies, Immigration & Migration History / Studies, Indigenous Studies

Revisiting Place – Current Global Conditions and Human-Spatial Relations


Dates: 5-7 Dec, 2023

Place: Virtual

Abstracts: 15 July, 2023 (Round 1) | 20 October, 2023 (Round 2)



In recent years, a range of approaches concerning the study of human relationships embedded in built places and environments have been developed. They emerged at the points of intersection between disciplines such as cultural studies, sociology, anthropology and urban studies. By studying human-spatial relations, and how their various constituent parts are interrelated or arranged, these approaches offer new insights and tools for researchers. They enable us to narrate stories of places, map people’s experiences, analyse social patterns and examine power relations in ever more varied and detailed ways.

In our current world, the concept of place is local, yet globalized. It is constructed by external connections among players and institutions. It spans multiple spatial scales and involves global processes that are grounded in the local. On the one hand, the recent history of globalisation has created unprecedented global connections: higher connectivity has brought about more opportunities for individuals to network, and the ever-expanding global ecosystem has brought about faster and more intense connections of places and people. On the other hand, the world is witnessing a process of diminishing interdependence. Globalisation is facing its biggest test under the current global dynamics, including heightened geopolitical tensions, the urgency of environmental problems and, most recently, the supply chain crisis.

Today, we find ourselves at a crossroads. We face the need to break out of existing paradigms in search of new avenues and alternative solutions to questions of human-spatial relationships. Among the questions we need to ask are: How does the current global state of affairs reconfigure our notion of place? How does it give rise to modifications in flows and circulations of people, information and discourses? How does place play a role in challenging, shaping and mediating the patterns of experience? What, in our current times, do space and place mean for the livelihoods of individuals and communities?

In dealing with some of the most important spatio-human challenges of our times, this conference strand centres on how, in periods of uncertainty, places highlight the philosophical significance of spatial realism. It explores social lives, trans-local imaginaries, built spaces, and ways of knowing. In doing so, it aims to offer insights into the critical possibility of re-reading history, subjectivity, culture, political institutions and place.



UCL Press and Cambridge Scholars Publishing



Contact Info: 

Alan Morton, Raj Kumar, Isaac Leung, Uli Linke, Janet McGaw

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