Neighbourhoods are the essential building blocks of the urban landscape. Yet, these are immensely ignored in urban studies, planning and policy making.  In the core, neighbourhood is spatial but it cannot be perceived as merely administrative units bereft of its neighbourliness. The seminar aims to look at neighbourhoods in their spatial locationality and in terms of their embedded particularities in social and historical trajectories. This seminar is conceptualised to focus on neighbourhoods, their particularities and their role in shaping our understanding of the urban in the global South. 

Although urban neighbourhood has been a subject of discussion in sociology and urban planning for nearly a century, with a considerable influence of Chicago school, the socio spatial complexities and their implications on urban discourse and planning is often ignored in the scholarship. The discussion on neighbourhood in recent decades have either been overshadowed by questions of ethnicity and ghettoization of specific segments or it is framed in terms of increased global flow of capital, commodities, practices and forms where the local and the spatial particularities loose significance. In this backdrop, the proposed seminar attempts to address and understand questions such as 

How to conceptualise neighbourhoods as changing socio-spatial units in their specific regional settings; How do value regimes, religiosity and subjectivities give neighbourhoods their social meanings and stereotypes; How discourses and knowledge practices i.e. planning, architecture and urban discourses of governance shape the understanding of neighbourhoods; How to conceptualise linkages and dis-junctures between the social practices of neighbourhoods and the language and logic of urban planning and governance; How to conceptualise particularities of neighbourhoods and neighbourliness in the global South?; What do these particularities offer us in terms of thinking about contemporary urban landscape?

The seminar welcome papers with focus on, but not limited to, non-mega cities, tier II cities and small cities from global South. An edited volume has been planned as a follow up activity. It is intended to be a multi-disciplinary exercise and it looks forward to receive paper which may be rich in ethnographic detail, sophisticated in terms of conceptual exploration or innovative in approach.

The seminar is organised by the Department of Sociology, Tezpur University, Assam, India. The local hospitality including boarding and food along with airport transfer will be taken care of by the host institution. We are currently working towards covering domestic travel expenditure for participants within India. The seminar is open to participants who are at an advance stage of Ph.D. to senior academics and practitioners. Kindly send the title and abstract of your paper along with the CV of author(s) to Amiya Kumar Das ([email protected]).

Important Dates

  • Abstract Submission: 5th June 2019 (Around 400-500 words; along with the CV)
  • Acceptance Confirmation: 10th June 2019
  • Full Draft Submission: 31st August 2019 (Around 6000-8000 words)

Seminar Conveners

  • Amiya Kumar Das, Tezpur University, Assam
  • Dev Nath Pathak, South Asian University, New Delhi
  • Sadan Jha, Centre for Social Studies, Surat