Call for Participation

Urban Affairs Association Conference > Call for Participation

We welcome paper/poster abstracts and session proposals on urban studies-related research topics from all disciplines. UAA conferences typically attract researchers from fields such as sociology, geography, public policy, planning, political science, urban studies, environmental studies, law, social work, education, women’s studies, area studies, and many others.

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51st Annual Conference of the Urban Affairs Association
April 26-29, 2023 | Renaissance Hotel | Nashville, TN

From Global to Local: Urban Communities in Flux

As the 21st century unfolds, urban centers continue to experience new and unexpected challenges, while historical ones remain. Pandemics, protests, and restructuring raise new questions about the future of urban centers. We are witnessing multiple globalisms as cities and urbanized regions are transformed by unprecedented shifts in work, security, and immigration. And, while technology continues to reshape our concept of place, recent constraints on human interactions (e.g., global pandemic) remind us of the basic preference for direct contact, and the importance of social connections to family, friends, communities and neighborhoods. Many urban places are redefining themselves as nodes of entertainment, tourism, creative industries, and technology.  As they transform, questions emerge surrounding their local relevance, uneven opportunity structures, and environmental impacts. Uneven patterns of development continue from the global to the metropolitan level. From quality of life to basic needs, urban centers are in transition. Our biggest challenge: how do we direct the process of change to yield equitable and sustainable outcomes?

Nashville as a Redevelopment Center

Internationally known as the home of country music, Nashville epitomizes the recent booming development found in the American South sunbelt. The rebirth of its core also seeks to reframe a troubled history: a century of Jim Crow segregation,  race riots in the 1960’s, a declining downtown in the 1970s, and white flight to the suburbs. In 1963, Nashville and Davidson County consolidated, forming a metropolitan government facing problems with expanded suburban infrastructure demands against a declining central city tax base. In the 1990’s, Nashville’s downtown revitalized around country music entertainment and professional sports arenas. Rebounding from the 2008 recession, the central city attracted corporate centers expanding its music production economic base into health care. Nashville’s growth is a combination of relocations within the U.S., as well as growing international immigrant populations. The region is one of the United States’ hottest housing markets and the city is a trendy location for young adults. Simultaneously, this success created a homelessness crisis from a combination of rising home prices and opioid abuse. Nashville offers a unique opportunity to examine how urban centers are changing, and how the “success” of redevelopment directly challenges goals of equitable and sustainable development.

Nashville, Tennessee

Conference Topical Categories 

In keeping with UAA tradition, we encourage proposals that focus on an array of research topics including:

  • Arts, Culture in Urban Contexts 
  • Disaster Planning/Disaster Management for Urban Areas, Cities and National Security
  • Economic Development, Redevelopment, Tourism, Urban Economics, Urban Finance 
  • Education Policy in Urban Contexts, Educational Institutions and Urban Inequalities 
  • Environmental Issues, Sustainability, Green Policies 
  • Globalization, Multi-national Urban Issues 
  • Governance, Intergovernmental Relations, Regionalism, Urban Management 
  • Health and Urban Communities 
  • Historic Preservation 
  • Historical Perspectives on Cities and Urban Areas
  • Housing Policies and Urban Communities
  • Urban Neighborhood Dynamics, Community Development 
  • Human Services and Urban Populations, Nonprofit/Voluntary Sector in Urban Contexts 
  • Immigration, Population and Demographic Trends in Urban Areas 
  • Infrastructure, Capital Projects, Networks, Transport, Urban Services 
  • Labor, Employment, Wages, Training 
  • Land Use, Growth Management, Urban Development, Urban Planning 
  • Poverty, Welfare, Income Inequality 
  • Professional Development, The Field of Urban Affairs
  • Public Safety in Urban Areas, Criminal Justice, Household Violence 
  • Race, Ethnicity, Diversity
  • Gender, Identity in Urban Contexts 
  • Social Capital, Democracy and Civil Society, Social Theory, Religion and the City 
  • Urban Communications (Urban Media Roles, Urban Journalism)
  • Social Media, Technology in Urban Life 
  • Urban Design, Urban Architecture, Space and Place 
  • Urban Indicators, Data/Methods, Satisfaction/Quality of Life Surveys 
  • Urban Politics, Elections, Citizen Participation 
  • Urban Theory, Theoretical and Conceptual Issues in Urban Affairs 
  • Urban Issues in Asia and the Pacific Rim
  • Urban Issues in Central & South America and the Caribbean

Local Host Committee

Cara Robinson (Chair), Tennessee State University
Kimberly Triplett, Tennessee State University
Rafael Harun, Tennessee State University
Michelle Steele, Meharry Medical College
Sekou Franklin, Middle Tennessee State University
Chris Da Silvia, Vanderbilt University 
Michael Harris, Tennessee State University

2023 Program Committee

William G Holt (Chair), Birmingham-Southern College
Santina L. Contreras, University of Southern California
Kathryn Howell, Virginia Commonwealth University
Montserrat Pareja-Eastaway, University of Barcelona
Nathaniel S. Wright, Rutgers University-Camden

Proposal Submission Formats and Policies 

To maximize participation and minimize scheduling conflicts, individuals are limited to participation (as presenter, speaker or moderator) in one (1) session. There is no limit to the number of papers/posters for which you are a co-author. Persons in sponsored panels can participate in one additional session. A proposal (one per participant) can be submitted through the UAA website (starting July 1, 2022) for a: 

  • Research paper presentation–(proposal requires an abstract) OR
  • Pre-organized panel–(proposal requires a panel summary, group of 4-5 paper abstracts/ moderator) OR
  • Pre-organized colloquy– (proposal requires theme statement & names of 4-5 formal discussants) OR
  • Breakfast roundtable–(proposal requires theme statement & names of 1-2 conveners) OR
  • Poster–(proposal requires an abstract)—best option for persons who are in early stage of their research

DEADLINE: November 1, 2022 – Abstract/Proposal Submission Ends
Add to Calendar

DEADLINE: January 26, 2023 – Registration deadline for all accepted participants (presenters and moderators)
Add to Calendar

Abstracts and pre-organized session proposals may be submitted until 12 midnight Central Daylight Time (CDT) or 5:00am GMT on November 1. Acceptance or rejection notices will be sent by November 18, 2022.

To maximize opportunities and minimize scheduling conflicts, UAA limits your participation (as presenter, speaker and/or moderator) to one (1) session. 

    • Exception: Persons in sponsored and professional development panels or breakfast roundtables can participate in one additional session.
    • DO NOT agree to participate in more than one session, unless you meet the exception criteria.

See also: General Conference Policies | One-session Exception Request Form

DEADLINE: January 26, 2023 (11:50pm CST) – Registration deadline for all accepted participants (presenters and moderators) Add to Calendar

    • All accepted participants must register and pay the associated fees to have their names listed in the final program
    • Accepted participants who fail to register by the registration deadline will not be included in the conference program.
    • You do not need to be a UAA member to register for the conference. However, UAA members are eligible for discounted rates.

See also:  General Conference Policies