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Urban Political Ecology in African Cities Workshop [Pre-notice]

*PRE-NOTICE* Details regarding application deadline and available funding will be provided as soon as possible (late May). In the meantime, we wanted to circulate this notice with existing dates and details for your planning!

Urban Political Ecology in African Cities Workshop

University of Pretoria 22-26 September 2014


WHY? As cities become increasingly significant to development and environmental crises at multiple scales, there is a growing need for research that can both contribute to theory and practice. We use the term “urban political ecology” to emphasise a particular approach to considering the city across a number of themes, ranging from more traditional environmental issues (such as climate change and air pollution) to urban flows (such as sanitation and electricity provision). Like many other scholars, we believe there is a need for a more explicitly political approach to these topics that draws attention to the winners and losers as cities continue to change. 

WHAT? A 5 day workshop to discuss critical approaches to urban environmental research, drawing on recent conversations in the literature about theory and methodology. This workshop is aimed to support new ideas, research collaborations and grant applications and provide an opportunity for discussion and in-depth engagement around these issues. The workshop will include presentations by participants and established scholars, discussions, and exercises for developing critical political lenses into existing research topics. We will also have targeted discussions on establishing research partnerships, funding applications, and academic publication. Screen-Shot-2014-04-25-at-09.29.59-300x221

WHO? We envision that the workshop will include 15-20 emerging scholars, 2-3 established scholars, and the organising team. Applicants should have some experience in conducting research and academic publication and an interest in further international engagement. Preference will be given to participants from underrepresented categories (race, gender, nationality, etc).

COST? Some funding has been secured to subsidize the cost of the workshop. Further applications are pending, and it is our hope that we will be able to cover the majority of costs for participants. More information to follow.

HOW? Send us a short email noting interest to ensure we send you the forthcoming application details, deadlines and funding information.

For more information and suggestions, email us at (you find more about us here):

  • Dr. Mary Lawhon, University of Pretoria (marylawhon[AT#!]
  • Dr. Jonathan Silver, Durham University (j.d.silver[AT#!]
  • Dr. Henrik Ernstson, University of Cape Town (henrik.ernstson[AT#!]
  • Dr. Joseph Pierce, Florida State University (jpierce3[AT#!]

For more reading and to learn about the broader collective involved in these approaches, please browse the Situated Urban Political Ecologies website. Read for instance about our earlier workshop this year, and our ‘Pluralizing Urban Political Ecology’ special session at DOPE in Lexington (and an upcoming one at RGS in London). 



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SUPE organises student/early career workshop in Johannesburg in March

The SUPE Platform is organizing a workshop for students and early career researchers just before the Southern African Cities Conference in Johannesburg. The workshop on the 26th of March explores how to do Urban Political Ecology studies in African Cities and is part of our longer initiative to build networks, skills and companionship in developing critical urban political studies in Africa. We will follow up with a longer course/workshop later this year in September in Pretoria, and we applying for funds for a similar workshop in Kampala in 2016.

If you are student (PhD or Masters) or early career research, please read more on the banner below and then contact either Mary or Jon (more formally know as Dr. Mary Lawhon and Dr. Jonathan D. Silver) on their emails in the banner below, or on their profiles. Contact them as soon as possible. More details on reading etc. will be sent to you if you are accepted to this workshop.

Please note that no travel grants or other financial support can be given to this workshop. However, we hope future workshops will have such possibilities in order to gather students and researchers from across the African continent. So please stay tuned to the SUPE News feeds for upcoming events and workshops.