Call for Proposals – Summer Session 2021

Call for Proposals – Summer Session 2021


The Urban Environment

Urban Studies: Between Creativity and Power

Summer Symposium: 23 and 24 October 2021



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 Urban Environment

The purpose of this symposium is to question the relationship between the urban environment and organisms living in it. While often considering natural elements as air, soil or climate the intention is aimed at understanding beyond the natural to focus on the ways how societies are organized and surroundings shaped. The notion of urban environment is investigated in science both in terms of its physical/material and social/emotional aspects. Therefore it not only opens up a space for research of planning strategies and urban development but also makes possible new observations of social and artistic practices redefining the environment. It has become a rich interdisciplinary research ground bringing into play methodology and terminology of diverse disciplines such as anthropology, architecture, economics, political sciences, geography, psychology, to name just a few. The topics of exploration include, but are not limited to:

  •  the landscape turned into cityscape as an ongoing interaction of nature and culture;
  •  landscape as an environment that has been modified, cultivated, enhanced or exploited through human activity;
  •  dwelling;
  •  intrinsic and aesthetic values of urban nature;
  •  urban mapping.
  •  urban landscape design;
  •  social ecology; 

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, with a priority given to the participants of the previous Urban Studies symposiums.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 10 min; 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 min.

To submit a proposal, please send it via email to the coordinators Laine Kristberga and Anete Ušča ( by 15 September 2021:

  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 15 September 2021. Accepted 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.

In your application, please let us know if you wouldlike to apply for a scholarship of grand to reduce the participation fees.Full information about the eligibility and application process for scholarships and grants can be found here:

Those travelling from West-Nordic and Baltic regions can also apply for a special grant to cover your travel expenses. Please let us know in your application letter if you would like to be considered for it.
The accepted participants will be notified by 30 September, including all the relevant details regarding the registration.

The deadline for registration is 10 October 2021. Please 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 http://nordic.universitypage4image56742992page4image56741952

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