Practices of Gentrification

Huib Ernste's picture
Call for Papers
March 29, 2016 to April 2, 2016
California, United States
Subject Fields: 
Geography, Social Sciences, Sociology, Urban Design and Planning, Urban History / Studies

Call for Papers, AAG, Mar, 29- Apr. 2, 2016, San Francisco, sessions on


Practices of Gentrification


The scientific debate about gentrification has traditionally revolved around two themes: first, a political-economic understanding of gentrification, and second, a more culture and agency centred account of its driving forces. Having matured as a ‘geography of gentrification(s)’ (Lees, 2000, Lees et al., 2015), it has settled on a kind of global compromise on these causal forces, focusing more on the local consequences and contingencies of the now ‘globalized neoliberal strategy’ (Lees et al., 2008). However, from a  relational and ‘non-representational’ perspective (eg Anderson and Harrison, 2010), this scheme of explanation can look like an overly ‘structuralist’ mode of inquiry. It thus appears that the local-particular, in both the Global North and the Global South, is rather over-determined by the global-general (both economically and culturally). Although the interest in the variegated ‘geographies of gentrification’ has certainly softened this determination to some extent, it has not undercut the fundamental emphasis on global-local imperatives.


It is therefore, in response to this somewhat unimaginative ‘stalemate’ prevailing in the gentrification discourse, that the relational approaches of practice, actor-network, affect and assemblage theory could make us see the phenomenon in a new light. To explore this new outlook on gentrification we ask what relational and non-representational theories can contribute to gentrification research. Are they only a methodological supplement to illuminate local contingencies (cf Brenner at al., 2011)? Or are there more profound epistemological and ontological implications of such an approach to gentrification (cf McFarlane, 2011, Farias, 2011)? Does it change and maybe revitalize forgotten questions of causality?


We invite papers on the following topics:

  • Affective practices of living through gentrification;
  • Social mixing strategies and the neighborhood as assemblage;
  • Political assemblages of resistance and capacitation responding to gentrification;
  • The role of (collective) practices of commercial development in gentrification processes;
  • Alternative practices of property trade, investment and (social) housing development.
  • The role of the state in processes of gentrification
  • Practices of gentrification in both the Global North and the Global South
  • Regeneration policies that are more responsive to practices of various stakeholders in the neighbourhood;


Please send title and long abstract (400 words), affiliation and eMail-address before 15-10-2015 to:  Huub Ploegmakers:  


Organisers :

Prof. Huib Ernste, Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands

Prof. Arnoud Lagendijk, Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands

Prof. Loretta Lees, University of Leicester, UK

Huub Ploegmakers, Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands


This call finds inspiration in an European research project on gentrification carried out under the label of Gentrification 2.0:



Anderson B. and P. Harrison (eds.) (2010) Taking-Place: Non-representational  theories and geography. London: Ashgate

Brenner, N., D.J., Madden and D. Wachsmuth (2011) Assemblage urbanism and the challenges of critical urban theory. City 15 (2): 225-240.

Farias, I. (2011) The politics of assemblages. City, 15 (3-4): 365-374.

Lees, L. (2000) A reappraisal of gentrification: Towards a 'geography of gentrification'. Progress in Human Geography, 24(3): 389-403.

Lees, L., T. Slater and E. Wyly (2008) Gentrification. New York, N.Y.: Routledge

Lees, L., H.B. Shin, E. López-Morales (eds.) (2015) Global gentrifications: Uneven development and displacement. Bristol: Policy Press

McFarlane, C. (2011): Assemblage and Critical Urbanism. City, 15(2), 204-224

Contact Info: 

Prof. Huib Ernste


Human Geography

Radboud University Nijmegen

Thomas van Aquinostraat 3 (Room 3.1.46)

P.O.Box 9108

NL-6500 HK Nijmegen

Tel: +31-(0)24-361 19 25

Fax: +31-(0)24-361 18 41

Home: Tel: +31-(0)24-360 92 31 (Dutch) (English)

Contact Email: