Conference 2023

CFP for Urban History Group Conference 2023

Recovery and the City

Deadline December 5th 2022

30th & 31st March 2023, University of Warwick.

This year’s Urban History Group Conference invites individual and panel submissions from scholars and practitioners at all stages of their careers who study the urban past in any period. The conference has two elements: the main theme – which this year looks at the subject of recovery – and a New Researchers strand that welcomes papers from ECRs on any aspect of urban history, that need not conform to the main theme.

Main Theme

The main theme at this year’s is the notion of recovery in the developing scholarship on urban history. How, for example, do cities and those who live, work and govern there remember, and recover from, episodes and events that disrupt or reshape the economies, networks, cultures, societies and processes that characterise urban space and life? Wars, environmental disasters, plagues, and economic crises all require cities to adapt and rebuild, but more subtle and more gradual processes of change – both positive and negative – also require strategies of recovery amongst the multiple strata of urban societies. How have groups defined by gender, class, sexuality, occupation or ethnicity adapted, recovered and even flourished in response to historical turning points and wider processes of change? How might we study and understand the ways in which institutions, guilds, families and other layers of civil society reshape themselves over time? Furthermore, how might historians interrogate the notion of recovery, and related concepts such as renaissance and growth, decline and decay, to uncover the inherent assumptions, biases and limitations that lie at the heart of historical periodisation?

The conference committee invites submissions that consider the theme of recovery in the very broadest and most creative sense. Submissions can be either individual papers of around twenty minutes in length or, following the successful trial of a session of shorter panels last year, panel proposals of either two or three papers . Papers and panel proposals might present individual case studies or they might cut, thematically, across time and space to draw out the larger-scale historical processes at work in urban history and urban studies. Contributions may cover any period of history and can be drawn from any geographical area. This year we have expanded the chronological scope of the conference and would thus particularly encourage proposals on pre-modern urban history.   

New Researchers Sessions

Proposals from graduate students, doctoral candidates and ECRs are a vital aspect of the Urban History conference and we will once again host a two-stranded new researchers’ forum. The first strand gives postgraduate researchers and ECRs the chance to present conventional papers that are the same length as main sessions, but need not be related to the main conference theme. The second strand provides an opportunity for first-year PhD students to present a 10-minute introduction to their topic, archival sources, and historiography. This is an opportunity to obtain feedback from active researchers in the field of urban history, but also to introduce your work to colleagues in the field.

Abstracts of up to 300 words, including a paper or panel title, name, affiliation and contact details should be submitted to Please mark your proposal ‘Main Theme’, ‘New Researchers’ or ‘First Year PhD’ in the subject field and abstract. We prefer submission in MS Word (or similar format) rather than PDFs. Those wishing to propose sessions should also provide a very brief statement that summarises the session’s content. The final deadline for all proposals is 5th December 2022.

Bursaries. Students registered for postgraduate study can obtain a modest bursary on a first come, first served basis to offset expenses associated with conference registration and attendance. Please send an e-mail application to Dr Nick Hayes at The deadline for this is the 12th December 2022. The Urban History Group would like to acknowledge and thank the Economic History Society for its support for these bursaries.

For further details please contact

Conference Organisers

Dr James Greenhalgh

University of Lincoln

Tel: 01522 83 7729


Dr Markian Prokopovych

University of Durham

Tel: 0191 33 44357


For New Researchers

Dr Tom Hulme,

Queen’s University, Belfast

Tel: 028 90973312



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