The Digital Era: The Technological Transformations

Urban Studies: Between Creativity and Power

Winter Symposium: 18 March 2022



We invite scholars, emerging researchers, urban practitioners, artists and creative industries specialists, institutional representatives and non-governmental sector activists to take part in a symposium organized by the NSU study circle Urban Studies: Between Creativity and Power. The symposium will offer an opportunity to take part in stimulating presentations and discussions to co-produce knowledge by sharing research and practical experiences and discovering innovative theoretical and methodological approaches to the urban environment. 

Theme of the symposium: 

The Digital Era: The Technological Transformations 

Physicality of the urban environment in the age of growing presence of digital technologies is rapidly changing, diversifying the possibilities of contact and challenging ways how the physical realities are perceived. In this symposium we aim to visit a plethora of digital technologies increasingly organizing the urban living and establishing unavoidable presence in the everyday life: either it is through daily bank transfers, wifi connection to instantly find information, directions, connect with friends and providing entertainment or CCTV surveillance cameras, algorithms detecting our browsing history or sensors reading our movements. As a result, data and information is constantly being produced, open for analysis of patterns to generate knowledge, creating more responsive technologies, questioning what are the long-term effects of living in a technology filled world? How are technologies changing the way people interact with one another? And how it has changed the way people perceive themselves and the world they are living in? The topics of exploration include, but are not limited to:

  • cyborgs, robots and the conception of post-human;
  • global cybertime;
  • smart cities;
  • understanding the flows of emotion, information and knowledge in the digital era;
  • Third Infoscape.

Format of the presentation 

We encourage participants to do both traditional and non-traditional presentations. Given the format this year is online we suggest aiming for short presentations, designed as a food for thought, to start a discussion and idea exchange among all participants in a true NSU spirit! We believe that the conversations and intellectual contributions are the key to stimulate lively research. 


Due to the online format and our expectation of maximum involvement and feedback from all participants the symposium will be limited to 10 people.

1) Presentation of ideas:
We strongly encourage giving a free oral presentation rather than reading a paper. We wish to facilitate open debates for sharing and ask for presentations creating platforms for debate. A presentation should not exceed 15 minutes,however, shorter presentations are also welcome to provide a catalyst for a discussion around an idea. 

2) Performance, object or alternative forms:
You can present ideas, examples or reflections through other formats including inviting the participants to engage in experiments, situations, or individual and group activities. Please indicate the optimal time for this form of presentation; however the maximum time is 30 minutes. 

To submit a proposal, please send it via email to the coordinators Laine Kristberga and Anete Ušča ( by 30 January 2022

  1. A written proposal (max. 250 words). This should include a title and a short description of the topic, its format and its duration. 
  2. A short bio (max. 200 words)

If you would like to attend the symposium without presenting, please email a short bio. Participants with presentations will be given priority. 

The deadline to submit proposals is 30 January 2022Accepted applicants will be informed by e-mail and a preliminary programme will be announced on, where you can also find more information about NSU and sign up for the newsletter. 

The accepted participants will be notified by 10 February, including all the relevant details regarding the registration. 

The deadline for registration is 27 February 2022Please be aware that you are registered only when you have paid for the symposium. All registration and payment will be done electronically. 

Nordic Summer University membership fee 

All participants need to pay the Nordic Summer University’s annual membership fee. The membership fee facilitates the existence of the Nordic Summer University, which is a volunteer-based organisation. There are two rates: 

Annual membership fee (for those funded by institutions): €25 Reduced annual membership fee (all others): €10 

The membership fee must be paid online in advance of the symposium. Details about the payment will be provided on acceptance. 

Nordic Summer University (NSU) is a Nordic network for research and interdisciplinary studies. NSU is a nomadic, academic institution, which organises workshop-seminars across disciplinary and national borders. Since it was established in 1950, Nordic Summer University has organised forums for cultural and intellectual debate in the Nordic and Baltic region, involving students, academics, politicians, and intellectuals from this region and beyond. Decisions about the content and the organisational form of the NSU lay with its participants. The backbone of the activities in the NSU consists of its thematic study circles. In the study circles researchers, students and professionals from different backgrounds collaborate in scholarly investigations distributed regularly in summer and winter symposia during a three-year period. 

Circle 1 Urban Studies: Between Creativity and Power is established to address, evaluate and re-evaluate the understanding of the growing complexity of the urban environment, where people cohabit, share and create a culture of politics, communication, and the arts as much as the public space. Consequently, in the study circle questions of co-existence will be addressed in relation to power hierarchies, cultural production, and urban development initiatives. The circle invites to stimulate and strengthen a dialogue among both established and emerging academics and practitioners from interdisciplinary fields covering philosophy, anthropology, sociology, geography, political science, literature and arts to challenge and develop new knowledge, innovative perspectives and experimental approaches. 

For more information 

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