Rethinking Cities and Communities

The Center for Urban and Global Studies sponsored a major conference "Rethinking Cities and Communities: Urban Transition Before and During the Era of Globalization” on November 14-15, 2008 at Trinity. 

CUGS plays a central role in promoting Trinity’s new strategic initiative of innovative and integrated urban and global teaching, research, and engagement on campus, in Hartford, and globally. By organizing this conference, the center reached out to develop scholarly exchanges and cooperation with scholars and institutions, especially those in the greater Northeast region, that share a broad interest in urban and global studies. This conference provided an open forum for both guest- and Trinity scholars to present their research and engage in debates that would reevaluate and advance the current interdisciplinary scholarly work on cities and communities in the context of globalization and transnationalism. Invited scholars who attended and spoke at the conference came from Harvard, MIT, Yale, Brown, and other research universities and liberal arts colleges in New England.
This conference addressed several thematic questions that threaded through six panels:

  • How do we make sense of cities and communities becoming both contested terrains and shifting crossroads for transnational flows of movements and identities of race, gender, and politics?

  • How do we think about the historical and political spatialization of city cultures?

  • How do the social and the spatial (or built) dimensions of cities and communities interact and intersect?

  • How do we better understand the differences and similarities between U.S. and non-U.S. cities regarding how they are affected by, and respond to, globalization?

We have completed an edited book titled Rethinking Global Cities (edited by Xiangming Chen and Ahmed Kanna) of selected conference papers and other invited papers for publication by Routledge. The book's 14 contributors include several faculty, a student, and recent visiting fellows at Trinity College and scholars at Brooklyn College, Brown University, Georgetown University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Massachusetts-Lowell, University of Amsterdam, and National University of Singapore.

Xiangming Chen
Dean and Director
Center for Urban and Global Studies
Paul E. Raether Distinguished Professor of
Sociology and International Studies
Trinity College