CfP: Virtual Workshop – Urban Geographies in the Global South

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Working Group „Urban Geographies in the Global South“
(Arbeitskreis „Geographische Stadtforschung im Entwicklungskontext“)

Virtual Workshop
Urban Geographies in the Global South

Focus Theme
Digital Transitions and Sustainability in Cities of the Global South
24 – 25 March 2022
organised at the Department of Geography, University of Innsbruck


Call for Papers


The 7th workshop of the Working Group “Urban Geographies in the Global South” takes place online, hosted at the Department of Geography at the University of Innsbruck from 24 – 25 March 2022.

Theme A) Digital Transitions and Sustainability in Cities of the Global South
Urban development and processes are increasingly shaped by human/society-technology-environment relations. The debate on global change, the great acceleration, increasing global connectedness and human dominance in the so-called Anthropocene – or Urbanocene (Chwałczyk 2020; Mendieta 2019); Capitaloscene (Moore 2017); Chthulucene (Haraway 2016) as others have argued – is in full swing. In turn, some voices heralded a Post-Anthropocene or Technocene (Hensel 2017) in which technology and digitisation have replaced humans as the dominant factor. However, as has been pointed out by respective expert panels, the relationship of digitisation, social and ecological changes is highly complex with potentially diverse outcomes (WBGU, 2019). Particularly digital geographers have argued that, rather than as one major shift, we must understand digital change as diverse, smaller waves of digital innovations, that are accessible and appropriated very differently locally (Bork-Hüffer, Füller, and Straube 2021), and embedded in complex (techno-)politics of space. Rather than falling back in simplistic cyber-optimistic or cyber-pessimistic debates, we thus argue that we need to better understand the subtle, dynamic and non-linear ways in which technologies are entangled with urban spaces and societies, and the effects this has on sustainable (urban) development. We think, there is further need to explore the links of digital transitions and sustainable urban development from a geographical perspective. Hence, this year’s call for paper of the working group promotes exchange of colleagues, who work on the subtle and diverse digital transitions, and their entanglements with social and ecological changes in urban contexts of the Global South. For example, we welcome empirical and/or conceptual contributions and other creative formats dealing with, but not limited to the following topics:

▪ Digital transitions, the politics of space, uneven power geometries and social, ecological and economic sustainability in cities of the Global South.
▪ Digital transitions, social change, social cohesion and conflicts as well as social, ecological and economic sustainability in cities of the Global South,
▪ Digital transitions, urban planning, smart city approaches as well as social, ecological and economic sustainability in cities of the Global South,
▪ Digital transitions, urban (platform) economies and social, ecological and economic sustainability in cities of the Global South.

However, we also see this conference as an open platform for other themes and issues related to urban geographies in the Global South, which can be submitted for theme B:

Theme B) Open Call for other Themes of “Urban Geographies in the Global South”
As for all the past conferences and workshops of the Working Group, we also invite contributions on other themes related to geographical and other studies of cities and urban spaces in the Global South to keep the Working Group’s exchange active.

We welcome proposals for three types of formats:
(1) individual full papers (15-20min),
(2) speed talks (4 min) and
(3) creative ideas/formats (e.g., digital shorts, visualisation, art, any format that bring inspiring impulses into the workshop that are related to themes A or B and which can be implemented in the frame of a virtual workshop).

Please submit an abstract of 100-250 words for any of the three formats. We welcome contributions on (almost) finalised research projects and of ongoing or finalised student theses and dissertations; please do not submit papers on projects that are only in the planning phase.

Please submit your abstracts until 31. January 2022 to the following link:
https://umfrage.uibk.ac.at/limesurvey/allgemein/index.php/547311?lang=en
Conference fee:
There is no conference fee as the workshop is held online.

In the light of recent developments of the Covid-19 pandemic, we plan this workshop to take place online only, to give us all planning security. Further details on the programme will be circulated in late February. If you wish to attend as audience member only please register already now under the link provided above, so that you receive the final program and access link to the online system. We kindly ask you to circulate this call among your research groups, institutions, and all interested colleagues.

Language:
Beyond the working group members, we invite colleagues from all over the world and particularly the Global South to join us for the workshop! As this call addresses participants from the Working Group, many of whom are from the German-speaking DACH-region, as well as international participants, we kindly ask you to prepare your contributions in English. However, should you feel more comfortable in presenting in German, you may surely do so (please let us know).

Coordinators:
Local Coordinators:
Simon A. Bunchuay-Peth, Tabea Bork-Hüffer, and Christian Obermayr
Department of Geography, University of Innsbruck
Speakers of the Working Group:
Tabea Bork-Hüffer (Innsbruck), Beate Lohnert (Bayreuth), Rainer Wehrhahn (Kiel)