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URB-GEOG-FORUM  April 2017

URB-GEOG-FORUM April 2017

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Subject:

CFP Everyday Politics of Public Space

From:

Mattias De Backer <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Urban Geography Discussion and Announcement Forum <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 13 Apr 2017 09:58:49 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (38 lines)

Dear list-members, 

Apologies for cross-posting.
Please find the below call for papers. 

Greetings,
Mattias, Claske and Kathrin.

--- Call for Papers ---
Special Issue for Space and Culture on:
Everyday politics of public space – Prefigurative, affective and performative perspectives on privacy, publicness and belonging

Guest Editors:
Mattias de Backer (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)
Claske Dijkema (Université de Grenoble)
Kathrin Hörschelmann (Leibniz-Institut für Länderkunde Leipzig, IfL)

Over the last two decades or so, a rich literature has emerged about the appropriation of public spaces by active/activist citizens involved in ‘DIY urbanism (Iveson, 2013), guerrilla urbanism (Hou, 2010), practicing everyday resistance and insurgent citizenship (Holston, 2008) and claiming rights to the city (Isin 2008, Massey et al., 2000). At the same time, numerous critics have warned about the consequences of increasing surveillance, commercialisation, privatisation, militarisation and the sanitisation of public space (Atkinson, 2003; Davis, 1998; Lofland, 1998; Low 2001; Sorkin, 1992; Zukin, 2000), which limit possibilities for political expression in public space (publicity in space) and citizenship. These different forms of control over public space stand in tense relationship with the democratic ideal of a space that is open to all, acknowledged by all and in the interests of all (Carr et al., 1994; Henaff and Strong, 2001: 35, Sennett 1998; 2006; 2010). While Hou (2010: 3) is still optimistic that through opportunities of assembly and public discourses, i.e. political expressions in public space, citizens can hold the state accountable (see also Mitchell, 2003), Holston finds that erosions of citizenship are evident in the city's distintegrating public spaces and abandoned public spheres (Holston, 1999; 2009).  
In this special issue, we discuss this democratic, political ideal of an open and shared public space through the lens of performative, prefigurative and affective politics of the everyday. We ask how these politics unfold along contested lines of publicness and privacy and whether conceptions of shared space need to be rethought when they are compared and contrasted with different articulations in diverse socio-cultural contexts and from intersectional perspectives. We are calling for papers that analyse how publicness and privacy are negotiated through embodied spatial practices, discursive constructions and the negotiation of access to public space. We particularly welcome contributions that consider these issues in relation to questions of visibility/invisibility, intimacy, fear, freedom, belonging, exposure, and recognition. It is our aim to bring together authors who problematise assumptions about private/public space and its generational, gendered, classed and ‘culturalised’ construction.
Beyond the revolutionary images of people claiming their rights during mass demonstrations at Tahrir Square, Maidan, Gezi Park, and an occupied Wall Street, we are interested in everyday appropriations of public space by marginalized groups (sex, class, gender, ethnicity, etc.) to claim a space of intimacy, privacy, freedom, in which they seek to shape the city to their needs. The spatiality of intimacy versus exposure, of visibility/invisibility, and of recognition/misrecognition puts an emphasis on the different ways spaces are invested by individuals and groups. Thus, research in Palestine has demonstrated that the much cherished ideal in Europe of open and shared public spaces contrasts with the practices of Arab women who want to traverse public space in a more concealed fashion (Abbas & van Heur, 2013). Such preferences and practices do have an impact on a space’s ‘publicness’. 

To address these and related issues, contributors to the special issue may wish to focus, for example, on the following questions:
•	How are publicness and privateness produced performatively? 
•	How can embodied and affective interaction between people and place also be political? 
•	How does this construct as well as problematize public/private space and the divides between them? And what role does (in)visibility play here? 
•	How should we reformulate insights about the political function of public space gained by authors such as Mitchell (2003) or Low and Smith (2006), when we include the ‘politicalness’ of everyday interaction, especially taking into account the gendered, generational, culturalised and classed nature of public space? 
•	In which cases can claims to space be interpreted as a form of prefigurative politics? Can Schatzki's idea of prefigurative politics helps us to further extend our understanding of public space beyond Enlightenment ideals of the public sphere as a space for deliberation and active citizenship?
•	How do radical approaches to public space respond to diverse articulations and performances of publicness and privacy?


If you are interested in contributing to this special issue, then please send an abstract of ca. 250 words to Mattias De Backer ([log in to unmask]), Claske Dijkema ([log in to unmask]) and Kathrin Hörschelmann ([log in to unmask]) by 1 June 2017.

_______________________________________________________
[log in to unmask]
An urban geography discussion and announcement forum
List Archives: http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/URB-GEOG-FORUM
Maintained by: RGS-IBG Urban Geography Research Group
UGRG Home Page: http://www.urban-geography.org.uk

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