Transforming a Precarious Present

Graham Cairns's picture
Call for Publications
December 1, 2023
New York, United States
Subject Fields: 
Anthropology, Demographic History / Studies, Geography, Human Rights, Borderlands

Transforming a Precarious Present


Thematic Call for publications from a virtual confernece coordinated by RIT.


05-07 December, 2023

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


CALL: es – Global Spaces: Communities, People and Place

How do we imagine the people that we advocate for, write about, and plan for? How do social differences around race, gender, class, ethnicity, and disability impact how we envision future worlds for others? How is the making of inclusive communities a cultural or societal process? How can research methods in anthropology and sociology inform the decisions of designers, planners and policy makers in constructing a more inclusive world?

This call poses these questions in the belief that socially grounded research is critical for redesigning and modeling livable worlds. It can uncover commonsense knowledge, cultural mindsets and philosophies of life that can reveal prospects for human-centered design and governance. It can contribute to improvements in urban environments, inclusive communities and sustainable neighborhoods by taking into account people’s everyday (lived) experiences, by exploring power relations and, ultimately, by learning from the perspectives, values, memories, imagination, and dreams of those whom we design for.

We suggest that when thinking about transforming the present, we need to draw on multiple conceptual frameworks – ranging from feminist scholarship, critical race theory, indigenous studies, and cultural studies to science and technology studies, (dis)ability studies, and approaches to the social aspects of technical-rational thinking. We seek to investigate how race, gender, class, and other forms of difference impact transformational thinking in various domains: from everyday urban life experiences to social systems and governing regimes. Planning or designing for people requires consideration of the social and cultural worlds inhabited by those desiring to transform a precarious present.



We seek to develop a book with Cambridge Scholars Publishing and a special issue of the UCL Press published AMPS journal ISSN 2050-9006




Contact Info: 

Graham Cairns, Raj Kumar, Uli Linke, Joseph Reid

Contact Email: