The urban humanities are a series of practices located at the intersection of architecture, urban studies, and the humanities. Over the last decade, it has been institutionalized as a field through the support of the Mellon Foundation (AUH grant), creating pedagogical programs, research centers, and community engaged scholarship. These efforts have yielded a cohort of scholars and practitioners spread around the world who have pushed the field in new directions, creating more explicit orientations towards race, class, gender, and social justice, while seeding urban humanities in new institutions and new cities. However, this call is not confined to just those who participated in an AUH program, but any scholar, practitioner, or artist whose work fits the spirit of the field.At this critical juncture of the urban humanities, we ask: what have we gained from urban humanities? What is missing, and where do we think urban humanities needs to go from here? How has the new generation of urban humanities scholars shifted the field in their scholarship and practice? What still needs to be filled, addressed, imagined? What new questions need to be asked and networks created? Each of our respective relationships and varying approaches to urban humanities practice, situated in our embodied and site specific knowledge, will inform our collective response to these questions.


From March 3-5, 2023, we will navigate the future of urban humanities in Tucson, an emerging hub of urban and public humanities scholarship and practice. Programming will include an in-person set of place-based experiences to foster deeper exchange, along with a range of session formats. In particular, the cultural and environmental landscape of Southern Arizona, in its austere ecological frailty, fraught borderlands history, and utopian imaginaries, will guide our attention. We will visit Biosphere 2 as a center-piece of place-based engagement and make connections to other Tucson places, histories, and latent narratives.Themes to explore in programmed activities include:

A selection of contributions to this gathering will be published in a hybrid digital/print publication, including scholarly articles, essays, interviews, artistic and design research, audiovisual media, and other formats. This publication is envisioned as the first volume in a series which documents the current state of urban humanities, and points toward the directions that it might unfold in the future.



Desired participants: emerging scholars or practitioners of the urban humanities encouraged—including pre-tenured faculty, lecturers, graduate students, early career professionals from a range of academic (from community, professional and small liberal arts colleges to R1 universities) and non-academic institutions (galleries, museums, architectural firms, design practices, city planning offices, NGOS), as well as interested artists, organizers, and community practitioners.Please submit a one-page letter of intent in PDF format that describes:

  • Your interest in the conference and how you position yourself as a scholar and/or practitioner of urban humanities.

  • A response or critical idea about what is missing and/or what new directions need to be taken within the field.

  • A description of a project that you would bring, present, and workshop for feedback with other urban humanists. Projects can come in the following forms: research article, design as research, creative media, applied and/or community engaged projects, curricula/syllabi, or “other.” Images may be included.

  • Preferred format for how we will program your work. We are aware of different institutional requirements to receive travel funds/permissions and want your participation to be legitimated via the format that best fits your needs. Suggested formats are as follows.

Suggested participation formats:

  • Panel presentations: Up to three participants presenting 15-20 min scholarly talks, receiving feedback through a moderated discussion.

  • Roundtable discussions: Up to eight participants exploring a topic through open-ended and self-directed inquiry, preceded by short 2-3 minute introductions by roundtable members framing their background and interests in the topic.

  • Workshops: Up to four participants pre-circulate papers or other projects (syllabi, design research) among workshop members for feedback and responses. Works-in-progress are welcome, and the number of participants open.

  • Meal-Time Lightning Talks: Participants prepare 10 min informal, conversational or multi-media talks for meal-time plenaries, also a space for non-traditional projects or organizations interested in sharing their work.

  • Other: We welcome proposals to present work in other formats (for example: performance-based presentations, place-based activities, methodology workshops). Let us know if you have preferred or alternative presentation formats, and if you would like to be involved in organizing or facilitating a session.



You can also direct queries to

© Urban Humanities Network. All Rights Reserved.