BERT DE MUNCK (University of Antwerp) & JENS LACHMUND (Maastricht University)

At least since early modernity, the worldwide process of urbanization has been accompanied, and partly shaped by, the formation of the city as a distinct domain of knowledge. Cities provided environments whose dynamics and complexity was unprecedented, and knowledge making was key when planners, experts and policy makers, as well as ordinary inhabitants tried to make sense of its variegated phenomena and problems.

In the context of the Scientific Research Community (WOG) ‘Urban Agency: The Historical Fabrication of the City as an Object of Study’, we are planning an edited volume which explores the mutual entanglement of the development and worldwide spread of the city, and the creation and circulation of knowledge about the city. The guiding question of the volume will be how contextually contingent knowledge-making by sciences, professions and civic knowledge agents have been mutually connected to the ways in which cities and their physical and social spaces have been produced, governed, managed, and contested.

Conceptually, the book seeks to combine historical research with insights from strands such as governmentality studies, various brands of STS, and recent discussions on “assemblage urbanism”. We envision a collection of thematically and geographically diverse historical case studies (from the Renaissance to the present – within and beyond the ‘West’) which each focus either on an exemplary episode in which a new field of urban knowledge and related politics (governmental practice or contentious action) came into being, or on how the emergence of a new epistemic practice has reconfigured the nexus between urban knowledge, space, and politics.

We would be happy to receive any proposal for a chapter that fits with these general goals. If you want to know more about our ideas for the book, please consult a more extended prospectus at–/subthemes/knowledge/.

If you consider to contribute to the volume, please send an abstract of about 500 words and a short bio to Please make sure that we will receive your proposal no later than April 15th 2018.

We will inform you within two weeks after that deadline if we would like to include your
proposed chapter into the volume. As further steps we plan a work-in-progress meeting (at the end of this year), and a final authors’ workshop (based on pre-circulated drafts) in 2019. Both workshops will take place in Antwerp. For the contributing authors the traveling and accommodation costs will be covered.