Call for Papers: Ethnography, diversity and urban space
Call for Papers

Ethnography, diversity and urban space

COMPAS, University of Oxford

22-23 September 2011

The intensification of global flows in the current period has led
scholars to describe cities like London as ‘super-diverse’: a
‘diversification of diversity’, with a population characterised by
multiple ethnicities, countries of origin, immigration statuses, and age
profiles (Vertovec 2007). The diversification of diversity in cities
opens up two key research agendas: 1) It disturbs traditional
ethnographic modes of research. Super-diverse neighbourhoods are more
local than ever, but also increasingly transnational. The mythic lone
researcher, immersed in a bounded ‘community’, cannot represent this
reality. New modes of collaboration and new forms of the ethnographic
imagination are required; 2) Super-diversity is a spatial and an urban
process. How are emerging and changing forms of multiculture structured
in and by space, and how is urban space structured in and by diversity’s
multiplication? How is diversity experienced locally, and what new forms
of local belonging emerge?

The aims of this conference are: to address the missing dimension of
migration and mobility in the literature on urban space, and the missing
dimension of spatiality in the literature on diversity; and to develop
new modes of inquiry appropriate to the contemporary challenge of

Confirmed keynote speakers are Ash Amin (Geography, Durham) and Nina
Glick-Schiller (Research Institute for Cosmopolitan Cultures, Manchester).

We invite proposals for papers which investigate aspects related to the
conference themes and we welcome in particular proposals that focus on
the following areas:

• Understanding belonging and diversity in complex urban spaces

• Changing practices of fieldwork and new and old modes of ethnographic

Abstracts from early career researchers are especially welcome.

If you wish to present a paper please submit an abstract (max 250 words)
and a brief CV (1 page) to by Monday 6th
June 2011. Participants will be notified if their paper has been
included by Friday 17th June. Full written papers should be submitted by
30th August 2011 for pre-circulation among participants. Please note
that we can only accommodate a limited number of papers in the programme.

It is anticipated to turn conference proceedings into one or two journal
special issues in high impact peer-reviewed journals. Papers should
therefore be based on original research and should not have been
published already or be under consideration for publication elsewhere.
Please note that inclusion in the conference programme does not
guarantee inclusion in any publications arising from the conference.

The conference is organised by Mette Berg, Ben Gidley, Vanessa Hughes,
and Nando Sigona (COMPAS, Oxford University) and is part of the work
programme of COMPAS’s research cluster on urban change and settlement.

For further information about the conference and COMPAS’ research on
urban change and settlement, please visit
Date: 2011-05-27