The Global Urban History Project (GUHP) invites applications from graduate students and early career scholars in urban history to join one of four research and collaboration workshops affiliated with its continuing program of Dream Conversations in Urban History. 

Selected applicants will participate in a series of events designed to facilitate intellectual engagement, offer feedback on research and writing, and promote peer and professional support. Workshop participants will be invited to all other public events in the four Dream Conversations series. Works-in-progress will be developed in a year-long seminar series, with an eye to developing them for presentation at international conference events that GUHP is planning for the spring and summer of 2023. Participants will also have opportunities to publish in the Global Urban History Blog, journal special issues, or other venues. Participants will be eligible for consideration for GUHP’s inaugural Dissertation and Emerging Scholar prizes. 

Participants will be expected to develop and present the results of their projects, to constructively discuss the work of other participants, and to attend and contribute to public-facing Dream Conversation events. As intellectual priorities and working relations develop, there will be opportunities to participate in the planning of panels and events for the broader GUHP community, as well as to promote their research profile via ‘takeovers’ of the organization’s social media networks. Participants will also be invited to attend a few practice-oriented professional development meetings. All meetings and events will take place virtually, facilitating maximum engagement from the global urban history community.

Applicants must be advanced graduate students or have completed their graduate degree in the past five years and must register as members of GUHP to qualify for the workshops. If you are not a GUHP member, please sign up prior to applyingNo-cost options are available. Please join us in the third annual iteration of GUHP’s innovative and exciting suite of programs for emerging scholars!

GUHP’s Four Dream Conversations

The Emerging Scholars Workshops will be associated with one of the four Dream Conversations in Urban History, a series of events that began in 2021 and will continue during the academic year 2022-23. Applicants should select a first and second choice of workshop from one of the four Conversation topics.

Conversation #1: Theory of, for, and by Urban Historians

What would happen if urban historians took an inventory of our theoretical vocabulary, checked its archaeology, reassessed its usefulness, exposed its blind spots, rediscovered overlooked alternatives, especially from scholarship in the Global South, re-calibrated the proportion of concepts from different sources, searched elsewhere for useful theory, asked what we might do without theory, or even generated concepts of our own that feel better to us as primary researchers? Over the course of this Conversation, we hope to find answers to those questions. We also hope to begin suggesting theoretical approaches of our own that honor our complex archives and our professional commitment not only to spatial scales from the urban to the global but to change over time.

Conversation #2: Cities, Empire, and its (Dis)Contents

Cities, Empire, and its (Dis)Contents, c. 1500-2000 is particularly interested in, but not limited to inter-, trans-, post- and comparative imperial cases of the global urban. Examples include: anti-colonial, abolitionist, and decolonizing networks, methods and memories; inter-city competitions and hierarchies; inter-municipal relationships; compared urban “citizenship”; cities’ di- or synchronically governed by multiple empires; internationally governed cities; compared ambivalences; e.g. cities as sites of resistance and oppression or of imperial confidence and doubt. We also have a particular interest in case studies and conceptual texts connecting imperial cases of the global urban to other burgeoning scholarly concerns, often comparatively. Examples are: cities as disconnectors; colonialism and vs. settler colonialism; urban-rural relations (where “is” the city?); environmental dimensions; and most broadly, how to (not) to square “the global” and “the imperial: through the lens of cities.

Conversation #3: Cities and Inequalities

This Conversation will foreground inequality in urban history, locating it within cities while remaining attentive to global patterns, connections, forces, and processes. Investigating inequality within such spaces and in the historical context of urbanization affords us the opportunity to contribute theories and models as historians of the global urban. In exploring the interplay between global connectivity, social differentiation and hierarchies within cities, our GUHP conversation seeks to speak to the field of global history, and through it, to the broader social-science debates about inequality, from which historians have too often been absent.

Conversation #4: Cities and the Anthropocene

Can global urban historians engage the concept of the Anthropocene? This conversation is devoted to the temporal, spatial, theoretical, disciplinary, and moral challenges of doing so. As we engage with geologists and climate scientists, we rethink our relationship to such concepts as “global city and “planetary urbanization.” We think on many time scales at once: how can our sources, overwhelmingly focused on choppier rhythms of political time, help us understand how urban life pulses in tune with geological time or with long cyclical patterns in the relationship between Earth and Sun? Spatially, we treat cities as one of many layers of geological stratigraphy, and trace their deep links to such Earthly spaces as fields, forests, grasslands, mountains, marshes, rivers, estuaries, oceans, and the atmosphere. Morally, we must keep our eye squarely focused on cities’ role in human and environmental justice. Can the lens of the Anthropocene help global urban historians usefully sharpen questions about inequality, rights to the city, and the right to water, food, land, labor, and wealth?

To apply:

Please submit the following information in a single PDF file as an attachment to by Friday, September 23, 2022:

  • A letter of interest that includes: Name, affiliation, email; whether applying as a graduate student or early career scholar; first and second choice of Dream Conversation you would like to join as your primary focus of this work.
  • Title of proposed writing project for a works-in-progress seminar, along with a 750-1,000-word description of the work (and its broader context, i.e. dissertation or book project). This description should speak to the relationship of the research to the Dream Conversation theme, the project’s sources and methodology, and its contribution to broader scholarly literature and debates in urban history.
  • Curriculum Vitae.