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4th Annual Conference New York 2008

„In Search of the Postfordist City: Concepts and the Meaning of Urban Space and Society“

About the Conference


September 25 - September 27

The 1970s are often viewed as a moment of radical departure in the periodization of metropolitan development.  Many urban scholars argue that the historical shift from industrial to postfordist societies had profound transformative consequences for the meaning and use of metropolitan urban space and the expanding global networks that link these cities to one another.  Some have even formulated specific characteristics that mark the postfordist city in contrast to prior urban forms.

The fourth annual TGK conference seeks to question this new paradigm through a critical interdisciplinary evaluation of the possibilities and limitations that arise from a postfordist conceptualization ofurban space.  How radical and unprecedented was this so-called postfordist break?  Can we really speak of a paradigm shift since the 1970s?  If so, how did it manifest itself in the spatial orientation of and daily practice in metropolitan arenas, and what consequences does that have for the conceptual and empirical research of scholars including urban planners, ethnographers, sociologists, historians, and political economists?  Moreover, what impact did this conceptual shift have on the social and cultural layout of cities, particularly with regard to class ethnic, and gender relations?  Did this alleged postfordist shift give rise to distinctly new urban types?

With these overarching questions we hope to encourage a self-critical transdisciplinary debate about the conceptual foundations of current urban scholarship and its significance for understanding thehistorical and contemporary perimeters of (post)modern metropoles. We invite proposals that address these questions in light of the specific empirical contexts of the participants’ dissertations or research projects.

Download: Conference Report (only in German) (PDF)

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