Events, History & Classics, PotW
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#PotW: Urban belonging: history and the power of place

When: Friday 13 January 2017, 9am – 5pm
Who: Institute of Historical Research
Where: Wolfson Conference Suite, NB01/NB02, Basement, IHR, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

A two-day conference organised by the Centre for Metropolitan History, Institute of Historical Research (School of Advanced Studies, University of London) and the Centre for Urban History, University of Leicester, 13-14 January 2017, Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, University of London.

There is a paradox at the heart of the city. On one hand, the ‘urban’ has been conceived as a space where strangers and the rootless can interact and congregate, freed from the bounded constraints of rural communities. Yet, in practice, cities have historically also generated new forms of belonging, community and identity – from the city-states of Ancient Greece or Rome to medieval and early modern guilds and parishes, and, more recently, modern ethnic ‘ghettoes’ or ‘gaybourhoods’. For many people across the world, the experience, perception and reality of urban-formed identities has and continues to trump other categories of self-definition.

Such diverse forms of belonging, spawned and nurtured by the city, have seldom been subjected to sustained and systematic scholarly scrutiny. Stepping into this breach, this international conference seeks to connect, from a variety of temporal and spatial vantage points, the multiple histories of urban belonging. Keynote lectures will be given by Professor Seth Koven (Rutgers University) and Professor Vanessa Harding (Birkbeck).

The conference will take place over two days, 13-14 January 2017, at the Institute of Historical Research (Senate House, University of London). There will be a two-day registration fee of £40 (which covers lunch and refreshments on both days), or single-day of £25. An evening reception on 13 January will be sponsored by the journal Urban History.

Provisional Programme 

To register for the event, please click here

For any queries relating to this event, or for additional information, please email

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