The Urban Transitions Hub, the AESOP Young Academics Network and project “UrbanoScenes: Post-colonial imaginaries of urbanisation”, with the support of Research Group SHIFT: Environment, Territory and Society of ICS-ULisboa, will host the third edition of the Lisbon Early-Career Workshop in Urban Studies, from 8 to 10 of November 2023. Circa 30 PhD candidates and early-career scholars will have the opportunity to present and discuss their research projects and/or findings during a 3-days event organised as a space of exchange, debate and learning.

The topic for this edition is “Imaginaries of inhabitation, or, the future of planetary dwelling”. From the global housing crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic, all the way to the looming climate catastrophe, the present predicament seems to be one where the very possibility for inhabiting is being increasingly put under stress. In and outside the urban, human and non-human animals alike seem to be increasingly struggling to find their space, place and time to dwell, to reside. Urban, geographic, sociological and anthropological critique, indeed, have explored and exposed the multiple scales and plural subjectivities of the global crisis of inhabitation. Consider, as just some examples, to the role of debt, in the fields of housing and social reproduction, in foreclosing the future,[1] to the long-term implications political ecology of global austerity,[2] to the transformations of animal dwelling in the context of urbanisation[3] or to the challenges for breathing amid respiratory diseases and the oppressive atmosphere or racism.[4]Think, in broad terms, about the slow violence of the Anthropocene,[5] the controversial calls for geo-engineering our way out of the planetary crisis,[6] the growing attempts to transform urbanised spaces and places for human and other forms of life[7] or, more generally, about the many non-Western populations that already experience the (violent) end of the world as they knew it, and the necessity to find new ways to re-inhabit it.[8]

Drawing from this breeding ground, in this workshop, we encourage participants to think prospectively, imaginatively and speculatively on what futures there may be for our common planetary dwelling. We aim to discuss projects and paper drafts that address the imaginaries of inhabitation at multiples scales and from diverse perspectives (human and other): from the seeds for different housing policy/politics, to the trajectories of more-than-human kinship, interbeing and intermingling; from the catastrophic/hopeful political ecology of the Anthropocene to the new ways of breathing in a pandemic planet; even to arguments for thinking ‘beyond’ inhabitation.[9]

It is not specific topics or themes that we aim to discuss, but attempts to think the future of planetary dwelling through the lenses of urban studies, geography, spatial policy and planning, architecture, anthropology, and so forth. What we are keen to receive are projects and papers that deal with inhabitation – in the widest possible sense – by exploring its imaginaries, futures, desires and anxieties.

As the main goal of the workshop is to offer a space for discussion and improvement of ongoing research, papers will above all consider theoretical questions and development, preliminary analyses of empirical findings and reflections on epistemological/methodological dimensions – or a mix of two or more of these approaches.

Access the full call for abstracts