City Maps was a series of five workshops encouraging doctoral students to explore, discuss and experiment with different ways of conceptualising and studying cities in the arts and humanities. It aimed to equip participants with knowledge, tools and approaches for engaging the urban as an object of study in their own research.
In ordinary conversation, we often take cities for granted as distinct and identifiable places. But when the city becomes an object of study, it quickly becomes elusive, layered, interconnected and potentially boundless. A city can be a built environment of myriad structures and infrastructures, its people and their differences, a series of representations or aesthetic impressions, an object of politics or public address, a node for global flows, and many other things besides. Often going hand-in-hand with these disparate aspects of the city are specific disciplinary preferences and domains.
The workshop series was funded by the CHASE Doctoral Training Partnership. Students participating in the workshops were asked to rise above narrowly disciplinary or highly attenuated orientations to the city. Each workshop session approached the urban as an inherently trans-, inter- and pluri-disciplinary object, bringing together CHASE expertise and invited workshop leaders.