• 26 Jun 2020 8:10 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Although the police murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Tony McDade triggered a recent wave of Black-led urban uprisings against racist police brutality, these uprisings, and the police repression that has been unleashed in response, are not unique to this moment. Drawing on a long legacy of abolitionist thought, the uprisings have also helped to amplify a robust conversation about defunding and abolishing police. This has led many scholars and activists working in policing to articulate the historic futility of reform and find inspiration from the past on non-punitive ways of organizing society.

    The series is free and open to all. Each roundtable will be virtual and live-streamed on YouTube, and the link to each will be shared in advance.  You can watch the first panel featuring historians Ashley Howard, Toussaint Losier, Simon Balto, and Anne Gray Fischer live, July 1 at 8:00 pm EST:

    The Metropole (2)

  • 12 Jun 2020 11:46 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As conferences have been cancelled this year, the editorial team at the journal Urban History (Cambridge UP) has organized a series of seminars (online lectures and discussions), to help keep us in touch with one another and our research, and to give mainly younger scholars feedback on their work. 

    Please see below for the schedule and the abstract and Eventbrite invitation for the first talk.   

    26th June 2020, 3pm GMT

    Anneleen Arnout (Radboud University) – ‘Who owns the square? Emotional interaction on Amsterdam’s Dam square (1850-1930)’

    Scholars have long been convinced that the nineteenth century was a turning point in the history of public space, its primary function supposedly shifting towards circulatory purposes rather than social gathering. This shift expressed itself in intense regulation reducing the number of activities allowed on streets and squares and thereby limiting certain people’s right to that space. The main problem with this scholarship is that it is mostly based on governmental sources. In this paper, the focus will shift to non-governmental sources to uncover the different conflicting and complementary social and emotional practices performed by different groups of people on Amsterdam’s squares in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century and the ways in which they regulated a sense of ownership.


    Urban History summer seminar series - Schedule

    26th June 2020, 3pm GMT

    Anneleen Arnout (Radboud University) – ‘Who owns the square? Emotional interaction on Amsterdam’s Dam square (1850-1930)’

    17th July 2020, 11am GMT

    James Lesh (University of Melbourne) – ‘Questioning the consensus? Heritage conservation in 1990s Sydney and Melbourne’

    31st July 2020, 3pm GMT

    Taylor Zaneri (University of Amsterdam) – Title TBC

    28th August 2020, 3pm GMT

    Laura Vaughan and Sam Griffiths (University College London) – Title TBC

  • 05 Jun 2020 7:32 PM | Hope Shannon


    George Floyd's murder by a Minneapolis police officer was a horrifying illustration of the pattern of deadly police violence against Black people. In a widely circulated video, the world watched him plead for air, and witnessed the brutal indifference of the officer kneeling on his neck. Like the killing of Eric Garner, Breonna Taylor, and Tamir Rice, to "say their names" for just a few, the death of George Floyd touched countless people who never knew him in life.

    In recent years, technology and social media have circulated evidence of police brutality and other acts of anti-Black violence, such as the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, at an unprecedented pace. This barrage of documentation serves as a call to action, but – like the postcards and souvenirs of lynchings that circulated during the Jim Crow era – it also serves to terrorize. Many Black people watching these videos are compelled to reckon repeatedly with the racist contempt that still pervades this country, and the reality that Black lives are subject to the conduct of arbitrary and capricious agents of state violence. Even when officers behave professionally, they act in service to an unjust legal system that disproportionately criminalizes and cages Black people. The videos have resonated fearfully with immigrant and Latinx communities as well, who must reckon with the power of the police and ICE to tear apart families and end life as they know it in this country. For many people of color, these have been days of sickening heartache.

    In response to George Floyd's murder, hundreds of thousands of people have poured into the streets to demonstrate in over 140 locations across the country and abroad. The sheer scale of these protests is shocking, paralyzing cities through massive rallies, civil disobedience, and rage-filled confrontations with the police. The civil unrest reflects anger that has been building for a long time, as well as an economic desperation that has only been exacerbated by the crisis of COVID-19. The study of urban history reminds us that these types of uprisings occur when grievous wrongs have already been endured for too long. They reflect a deep disillusion with systems of governance, a sense among the oppressed that there are no meaningful allies among those in power. As Martin Luther King, Jr. cautioned in 1967:

    A riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it that America has failed to hear? … It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. …  And as long as America postpones justice, we stand in the position of having these recurrences of violence and riots over and over again. Social justice and progress are the absolute guarantors of riot prevention.

    The protests – peaceful and otherwise – that have rocked our nation for the past week are an indictment of the racism that remains endemic to our society in spite of centuries of activism by African Americans and allies. They are an indictment of police abuse, mass incarceration, and the persistent failure of our legal system to discipline officers for misconduct. They are a vehement assertion that Black lives matter, a refusal to be intimidated by racist violence, and a vibrant, ringing reminder of our collective strength. 

    The UHA Board of Directors stands in solidarity with protesters demanding police accountability and denouncing racism. We support all those who envision and work towards a more just future. We encourage anyone searching for historical context for these protests to read Elizabeth Hinton and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor's excellent analysis, to visit the UHA's blog The Metropole, and to follow the UHA Twitter account as they post and retweet relevant material. 

    May all of our loved ones come home safely. In solidarity,

    Board of Directors 
    Urban History Association

    A full list of UHA officers and directors can be found here.  

  • 05 Dec 2019 9:56 PM | Arijit Sen

    The Center for 21st Century Studies, UW-Milwaukee

    The Center for 21st Century Studies and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee will host this year’s annual conference, "#ALT-MKE" on April 30-May 2, 2020Confirmed plenary speakers for the conference are: Dasha Kelly Hamilton (Wisconsin’s Poet Laureate), Brian Larkin (Barnard College/Columbia University), Monique Liston (Ubuntu Research), Rick Lowe(University of Houston), AbdouMaliq Simone (University of Sheffield) and Fatima El-Tayeb (University of California, San Diego).

    Please refer to a description of the conference theme and the call for proposals below.

    Conference Description

    In July 2020, the City of Milwaukee will host the Democratic National Convention where leaders will gather to nominate a presidential candidate and to ratify a platform with national and global agendas. The DNC chose Milwaukee because it sees Wisconsin as emblematic of the key Midwestern and post-industrial states that the Democrats must win to retake the presidency. In turn, Milwaukee sought to host the Democratic Convention as an opportunity to remake its image as a thriving, multicultural city.

    During the DNC, predictable narratives will be trotted out about Milwaukee: of segregation, crime, poverty, and blight, alongside those championing a resurgent economy and new forms of capitalist urban development. The DNC marks a supposedly transformational moment from which new solutions will emerge. But the narratives of blight and rebirth–articulated not only by political leaders but often by academics as well–often reify what they are intended to counteract. The spectacle of the DNC and of its capitalist solutions mask a panoply of more ordinary efforts underway all around us, as movements, activists, and everyday people demand new ways of seeing, organizing, and acting in the world to address the overwhelming crises of the day. Indeed, Milwaukee is like many cities in the US: a babel of ecological, social, and political perspectives, a metropolis at a crossroads of critical thinking, and a place of promise and failure.

    UWM’s Center for 21st Century Studies explores these multiple perspectives in its spring 2020 conference, “#ALT-MKE: Finding New Answers in the 21st Century City.”  At this critical juncture, we must rethink our political imaginations and critical engagements. Can Milwaukee, and other urban areas like it, offer novel answers to the intractable problems that confront us?  If the city is an answer, what questions must we ask?

    #ALT-MKE will highlight how the temporality and space of the ordinary city offers new epistemologies and practices that are engaged in the global struggle to combat racialized disinvestment, a fractured body politic, ecological crisis, and urban abandonment. The spectacles offered by the DNC–whether political, mediated, or financial in nature–lead only to institutional inaction and failure, wherein lie opportunities for ongoing forms of resistance to find new and stronger footings.

    From the Situationists and Russian Constructivists, to suffragists, tactical urbanists, the Movement for Black Lives, and the Occupy movement, people have always imagined and sought new ways of life to challenge oppressive structures and violent erasure. Under the increasingly dire pressures of climate crisis, racial capitalism, ongoing settler displacement, destructive national politics, and crushing inequality, the time has come to reclaim our future by reframing these issues through the refocused lens of the 21st century city.

    At the core of this investigation is our focus on reframing cities as political and ideological acts that hold within them normative values of aesthetics, power/resistance, public life, and citizenship. By inviting explorations of critical, decolonial, anti-racist politics, this conference hopes to bring together new forms of analysis, methods of urban historiography, organizing, and engaged forms of scholarship.

    The conference seeks to highlight the undercommons and the counternarratives fomented in the ordinary life of spaces and places. We will ask how contested knowledges and stories of a city may be experienced across different and intersecting power relations that organize bodies and space. We hope that accounts of everyday practices, local knowledges, and organizing will help illuminate how urban residents resist, adapt and reformat conventional structures of power, governance, and order. We do not expect to find a single solution, but to foster a variety of grounded strategies and projects that we aim to highlight, bring together, and learn from.

    Call for Proposals

    We seek proposals for 15-20 minute presentations which could address any of the following topics

    • Racial capitalism

    • Climate, ecology, water justice, and cities

    • Urban culture/urbanities

    • Water and land issues, particularly as they pertain to indigenous rights

    • Historiography of the city, historiography of urban political, social, or activist movements

    • Artistic practices and urban space

    • New ways to read and interpret cities—epistemologies of the urban

    • The dynamics of race, class, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality in urban spaces

    • Narratives of cities, urban crime, and/or segregation (in literature, film, or other media)

    • Indigenous knowledges and practices

    • Local foodways and agricultural practices

    • Urban design and sustainability (including transportation)

    • Settler colonialism and decolonizing cities

    • Cities and biopolitics/biopower

    • The urban in relation to the suburban/exurban

    Please send your abstract (up to 250 words) and a brief (1-page) CV in one PDF document by Monday, January 13, 2020 to Richard Grusin, Director, Center for 21st Century Studies, at

  • 05 Apr 2018 6:54 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    April 2, 2018

    Dear Richard Harris,

    As the OAH prepares to gather in Sacramento, California, for our Annual Meeting, we want to use our presence in a constructive way in the aftermath of the fatal shooting of an unarmed man, Stephon Clark, by local police officers. We are working on several initiatives:

    • Encouraging OAH members to donate to a fund for Stephon Clark’s family, especially his young sons, which former Sacramento King Matt Barnes is establishing for Clark's children's education. (Please note, there is not yet a link for this fund. We will post an update once it is available. Members and attendees may also wish to donate to the Build. Black. Initiative, which is spearheaded by a coalition group of activists, non-profits, legal support teams, youth advocates, faith leaders, police accountability and policy experts, and Sacramento community leaders in the fight for equity. Resting on four foundational pillars, the Build. Black. Coalition is working in key areas: 1) Uplifting Black Youth Voices 2) Health Equity and Access 3) Justice and Policing in Black Communities and 4) Investment in Black Neighborhoods and Businesses.)

    • Discussion in the Thursday opening plenary, on California and the nation, and in the Friday plenary on Confederate monuments, of the issues raised by the shooting.

    • Facilitating contributions from our colleagues in publishing of recent works on guns, policing, and racial violence for local libraries. (The 2018 Book Bridge partner is the California State University Sacramento library and they've partnered with Sacramento Public Library, which is hosting an event on June 3, "Let's Talk about...Guns." Donations from attendees of books on those topics are also welcomed.)

    We welcome other suggestions you may have.

    Edward L. Ayers

    OAH President

    Katherine M. Finley

    Executive Director

  • 06 Jan 2018 11:36 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    LA History & Metro Studies Group

     “Immigrants and the Metropolis”

    2018 Schedule

    January 23, 2018 – pre-circulated paper (Autry National Center)

    “Place-makers and Place-making: The Story of a Los Angeles Community.”          

    Natalia Molina, Professor of History, UC San Diego

    ** Tuesday 7:00 p.m., Autry National Center - Joint session with Works in Progress, Autry.

    February 16, 2018 – pre-circulated paper (Seaver 1-2)

     “Beautiful Junk: Assemblage, Black Rebellion, and the Watts Towers in the 1960s.”

    Emma Silverman, Ph.D. Candidate, Art History, University of California, Berkeley

    March 16, 2018 -- pre-circulated paper (Seaver 1-2)

    “Constructing ‘Country Living’ in the Suburbs: How Homebuilders and Boosters Branded Los Angeles' East San Gabriel Valley, 1970-2000.”

    James Zarsadiaz, Assistant Professor of History and Director of the Yuchengco Philippine Studies Program, University of San Francisco


    April 20, 2018Clark Davis Memorial Lecture (Seaver 1-2)

    “Hitler in Los Angeles: How Jews Foiled Nazi Plots Against Hollywood and America.”

    Steven J. Ross, Professor of History, University of Southern California


    *          *          *


    All sessions will begin at 10:30 am in the Seaver Classrooms in the Munger Research Center, Huntington Library, unless otherwise noted.  Please check e-announcements for exact location of sessions.  Parking is free.  Workshops will begin at 10:30, and lunch will be served at noon for attendees who RSVP before the posted deadline.

                For seminars with a pre-circulated paper, the paper will be made available approximately 2 weeks prior to the seminar (we are unable to distribute papers earlier than this).  At that time, you can access the paper via a link posted on the ICW website at The link will also be circulated in the email announcement for each session.  We request that participants read the papers if attending. 

                If you would like to receive announcements for these sessions, please fill out the form at


                For more information, email the co-coordinators—Ian Baldwin, Kathy Feeley, Caitlin Parker, Andrea Thabet, and Becky Nicolaides—at

    The LA History & Metro Studies Group is generously sponsored by

    the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West (ICW)

    ** Like us on Facebook: **

  • 21 Jul 2017 8:43 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Chicago Urban History Seminar: 2017-2018

     Chicago History Museum

    1601 N. Clark Street

    Chicago, IL 60614, or 312-799-2012

    Reception @ 5:45 pm, dinner @ 6:15 pm, and program @ 7:00 pm

    Reservations are $25: purchase by phone 312-642-4600 or


    Advance reservations for dinner are essential

    September 7, 2017

    Mike Amezcua

    University of Notre Dame

    Amigos for Daley: Richard J. Daley, Mexican American and the Making of the Conservative Colonia

    October 12, 2017

    Morris Vogel

    Tenement Museum NYC

    The Tenement Museum: Why, What, When, and How?

    November 9, 2017

    Andrew Diamond

    Université Paris-Sorbonne

    Making Neoliberal Chicago

    January 18, 2018

    Don Hayner

    Chicago Sun-Times Emeritus

    Jesse Binga: The Untold Story of Chicago’s First Black Banker

    February 15, 2018

    Cristina Groeger

    Lake Forest College

    Urban Schools, Ethnicity, and the Mobility Ladder

    March 15, 2018

    Ann Durkin Keating

    North Central College

    What if Early Chicago Was Not “Preeminently a Man’s City”?

    April 19, 2018

    Richard Anderson

    Princeton University

    Richard J. Daley as Urban Reformer

    May 10, 2018

    Timothy Mennel

    University of Chicago Press

    Publishing Urban History

    Michael H. Ebner        

    Lake Forest College

    Ann Durkin Keating 

    North Central College

    Russell Lewis         

     Chicago History Museum

     D. Bradford Hunt  

     Newberry Library

    CALL FOR PROPOSALS:  2018-2019

    We encourage expressions of interest – from historians early in their careers as well as more senior scholars – who might wish to make a presentation during 2018-2019.  We prefer that our speakers discuss their work-in-progress rather than a book or article already in print. Please contact:

  • 21 Jun 2017 9:55 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Urban History Dissertation Seminar

    Sponsors: The Karla Scherer Center for the Study of American Culture at the University of Chicago.

    2017-2018 Academic Year 


    Submission Deadline: August 15, 2017

    The Urban History Dissertation Seminar is a workshop held at the Newberry Library on select Saturdays for graduate students writing on urban history topics. The seminar provides a comfortable, low-pressure setting for presentation to peers of works-in-progress from dissertations (most often chapter drafts). Graduate students from all universities are welcome. Our goal is to provide a supportive space to offer ideas and comments that help our participants complete dissertations that touch on any topic of interest in our field. Our partic- ipants typically submit dissertation or book chapters, as well as academic articles, at varying stages of completion–working drafts are wholeheartedly welcome!

    Members should be committed to attending as many of the meetings as possible. To maximize time for discussion, papers are circulated electronically in advance. The group meets on six select Saturdays during the academic year, 2:00pm–4:00pm, at the Newberry Library in Chicago, Illinois. Please note that submissions must be from PhD students in candidacy, though we welcome all doctoral students to attend our workshop.

    Submissions will be reviewed and accepted, and dates assigned, on a first-come, first-served basis. After August 15, submissions will be considered on a space-available basis. Proposals should include an abstract, preferred presentation date, and a dissertation outline explaining how the paper fits into the larger project.

    Please submit proposal materials by visiting and using our webform.

    For further information, visit our website or contact

    .Urban History_CFP_flyer(2).pdf

  • 30 May 2017 2:30 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC) Arline Custer Memorial Award: Call for Entries

    Deadline: July 31, 2017

    Presented by the MARAC Arline Custer Memorial Award Committee, this award honors the memory of Arline Custer (1909-1975), MARAC member and editor of the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections.


    The Custer Award recognizes the best books and articles written or compiled by individuals and institutions in the MARAC region: the District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.

    Works under consideration include, but are not limited to, monographs, popular narratives, reference works, and exhibition catalogs using archival sources.  The committee accepts electronic copies of articles and books but requests print copies for consistency and ease of distribution and review.

    Individuals or institutions may submit up to two works published between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017.


    Works must be relevant to the general public as well as the archival community.  They should be original and well-researched.  In addition, they should be clearly presented, well-written, and organized.  Visual materials, if present, should be appropriate to the text.

    Preference will be given to works by archivists.


    Up to two awards may be given, with a maximum value of $200.00 for books and $100.00 for articles.  The 2017 awards will be announced at the Fall 2017 MARAC meeting in Buffalo, New York.

     How to submit an entry

    Please send two copies of each submission with a letter of nomination to the Senior Co-Chair of the Arline Custer Memorial Award Committee:

    Elizabeth Surles
    Institute of Jazz Studies, Dana Library
    Rutgers University—Newark
    185 University Ave.
    Newark, NJ 07102


    Entries must be postmarked (and preferably received) by July 31, 2017.

    For additional information and list of previous award winners, please see:

  • 16 May 2017 10:12 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Society for American City & Regional Planning History (SACRPH), an interdisciplinary society of scholars and planning practitioners, announces its biennial awards competition. The awards will be presented at SACRPH’s 17th National Conference on Planning History, to be held in Cleveland, Ohio, October 26-29, 2017. For more information, see

    Deadline to apply for Publication Prizes and Teaching Award: August 1, 2017

    Deadline to apply for Conference Paper Prize and Student Travel Awards, August 15, 2017


    (For work published between August 2015 and July 2017)

    Lewis Mumford Prize ($250)

    Best book on American city and regional planning history. Please send or direct your publisher to send three copies to the following addresses:

                Robert Fishman, Chair

                Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning

                2000 Bonisteel Blvd.

                Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2069

                Brent D. Ryan

                Department of Urban Studies and Planning, MIT

                Room 10-485, 77 Massachusetts Avenue

                Cambridge MA 02139.

                Lily Geismer

                5180 High Crest Avenue

                Los Angeles, CA. 90041

    Catherine Bauer Wurster Prize ($250)

    Best scholarly article on American city and regional planning history in any journal. Please send a PDF of your published article to Matthew Lasner:

                Matthew Lasner, Chair

                Hunter College, CUNY

                Anthony Raynsford

                San Jose State University

                Aaron Shkuda

                Princeton University

    John Reps Prize ($250)

    Best master’s thesis and best doctoral dissertation in American city and regional planning history. Please submit one copy of your manuscript to each of the addresses below:

                Greg Hise, Chair

                972 S. Orange Grove Blvd., Unit D

                Pasadena, CA 91105

                David Sloane

                Ralph and Goldy Lewis Hall 313

                Los Angeles, CA 90089-0626

                June Williamson

                39 Claremont Ave #103

                New York, NY 10027

    Journal of Planning History Prize ($100)

    Best article published in the Journal of Planning History. Authors do not need to submit copies. All articles published between August 2015 and May 2017 (inclusive) will be considered.

                Eric Sandweiss, Chair

                Indiana University

                Elizabeth Macdonald

                University of California Berkeley

                Renia Ehrenfreucht

                University of New Mexico


    (for papers accepted for presentation at the 17th National Conference on Planning History, Cleveland, Ohio, October 26-29, 2017)

    Student Paper Prize ($100)

    Best conference paper submitted by a full-time student. For consideration, students should send their paper as a PDF to Kristin Larsen:

                Kristin Larsen, Chair

                University of Florida

                Mariana Mogilevich

                Oculus, NYAIA

                Brian Goldstein

                Swarthmore College


    Lawrence Gerckens Prize ($250)

    Awarded to a scholar-teacher who has demonstrated sustained teaching excellence and educational leadership in the field of planning history. Teaching excellence refers to the nominees influence in the classroom. Educational leadership involves, among other things, curriculum development, colleague and student mentoring, and pedagogical publishing.

    Letters of nomination should be sent electronically to Domenic Vitiello:


                Domenic Vitiello, Chair

                University of Pennsylvania

                Mary Ryan

                Emeritus, Johns Hopkins University

                Lawrence Vale

                Massachusetts Institute of Technology

                Richard Longstreth

                George Washington University

    4. Student Travel Awards (up to $250 each)

    The Robert S. Birch Endowment supports the activities of students within SACRPH and helps fund travel to the conference for students whose proposals have been accepted by the program committee. Individual grants will not exceed $250. Students presenting papers should send an electronic copy to Sara Stevens:

                Sara Stevens, Chair

                University of British Columbia

                David Smiley

                Columbia University

                Jennifer Hock

                Maryland Institute College of Art

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software