EAUH2022 - European Association for Urban History - Inequality and the City
The International Committee of the EAUH and the local organizing committee of the Antwerp Conference have sadly come to the conclusion that organizing the Antwerp Conference in the beginning of September this year would under current corona circumstances constitute too great a risk. The current situation of the pandemic in Europe and beyond is still very much unclear, the pace of the vaccination programmes are uneven, adding to the inequalities worldwide, and it is not clear if the corona measures of the Belgian government and of the University of Antwerp itself will be completely lifted by that time. Many of the mass events (and our conference is ranked as such an event) organised in Belgium have either been cancelled or have been postponed until late September. Because of logistical reasons and the limited capacity of the conference rooms we cannot adapt to any of the social distancing requirements, and the conference can therefore only be organised if all containing measures are lifted.
For all these reasons the International Committee has decided to postpone once again the 15th EAUH Conference with one year, to Wednesday 31 August – Saturday 3 September 2022, to be held as scheduled at the University of Antwerp. Because of the Committee’s earlier decision to hold the 16th Conference only in 2024, we will return in this way to the normal two year rhythm.
COVID-19 urged the European Association of Urban Historians to cancel its 2020-conference in Antwerp. With over 90% of all reported COVID-19 cases in cities, one of the most significant dimensions of the pandemic is its connection to urbanisation and urban inequality in especially. In a recent policy report the United Nations went as far as to conclude: “The pandemic has exacerbated existing inequalities, with the sharpest fault lines evident in our cities. Without inclusive cities and urban development, the impacts of future shocks and stress may be as acute as – or greater than – they have been during the current outbreak. If cities continue to be divided starkly along lines of income, service access, race, and migration status, leaving no one behind will be progressively more difficult. Investing in inclusive cities means investing in inclusive nations. Reducing urban inequalities is a cornerstone to ensure we are all better prepared for future shocks and crises and are able to thrive.” (United Nations, COVID-19 in an urban world, July 2020, p. 19). While the connection between urban density and the pandemic is by far not a deterministic one, pandemics cannot be defeated without adequately addressing urban inequality. Over the past decades social inequality had already been identified as one of the most pressing global challenges at the start of the 21st century. An alarming process of growing inequality in many countries throughout the world was said to disrupt societal stability, impede economic growth, even threaten the political foundations of democratic societies. Meanwhile global urbanization still continued at a fast pace and cities are often considered to be hotspots of growing polarization and rising inequality.
The main ambition of the EAUH is to reconsider the historical relationship between urbanization and inequality. For various reasons cities are indeed (perceived as) loci of inequality, in the past as well as today. Inequalities in wealth and income, but also in bodily health and integrity, in the access to political power, justice or education, or in the exposure to environmental hazards and nuisances, often seem more visible in cities, and especially in larger cities. Yet, cities are also drivers of economic growth and social emancipation. New forms of solidarity, cultural expression, concern for health or respect for non-human beings often originated in cities. As the city did not exist, the nexus between cities and inequality was far from stable. The social architecture of cities varied with the variety of functions fulfilled by different urban settlements across the urban hierarchy. The question whether or not specific forms of urbanization produced, reproduced or mitigated specific outcomes of social inequality is especially relevant.
Because of the long time-gap between the Call for sessions for the 2020 conference in 2019 and the Conference in 2022, a new Call for Sessions and a new Call for Papers has opened on 1 May 2021 and will run until 30 October 2021, so new research and new researchers get the opportunity to present their findings or plans to their peers at the conference.
- Sessions will already contain all indiviudal papers. Both continued as new sessions on any topic of Urban History are welcome. Session spokespersons are responsible for adding the session including all papers. Click HERE for the online form and more details.
- Papers not belonging to a session can be added by first authors and have to deal with Inequalities and the City. These papers will be assigned to brand new sessions by the organizers. Click HERE for the online form and more details.