Queering the Creative City – Call for Papers

CfP – please feel free to forward and address any queries to the organisers.

Queering the Creative City – Call for Papers

Royal Geographical Society with IBG Annual Conference, London, 27-29 August 2014.

During the last decade, an increasing interest has been seen by urban and economic geographers around the creative economy, creative cities, and ‘creative class’, informing the development of a strong and rigorous body of academic research in the area (Chapain et al 2012). Within this debate, the work of Richard Florida (2002) continues to remains highly influential for policy-makers in search of economic growth and urban regeneration in a time of austerity, and has informed an abundance of urban branding and creative city developments. Whilst substantial critiques have been levelled at this work (eg. Peck 2005, Markusen 2006) one of its more contentious elements remains underexplored – that of ‘Technology, Talent, Tolerance’, which argues that “Gays can be thought of as the canaries of the knowledge economy because they signal a diverse and progressive environment that fosters the creativity and innovation necessary for success in a high-tech industry” (Florida and Gates 2001).

This session aims to interrogate and unpack this aspect of the urban and economic geography literature to ask: where do queer bodies and identities exist – and are placed – within the creative city, and in the wider contemporary political agenda about the creative economy? What are the relationships and tensions which operate in this space? We welcome empirical, theoretical and policy-related abstracts, and are open to receiving proposals for non-traditional presentations. We also welcome abstracts that bring together the literatures around queer geographies, and regional and economic geographies on industrial clusters and cities.

Potential themes include (but are not limited to):
• Queering the constituents of the ‘creative class’, ‘creative city’, ‘creative economy’ and ‘creative industries’.
• Careers, jobs and work identity
• Entrepreneurship and self-employment
• Queer spaces, places, and venues
• Critical race theory
• Queer intersections
• Communities of support and resource mobilisation
• Digital environments and built spaces
• Grassroots innovation, anti-capitalism, contested spaces, and sites of resistance.
• Place branding

We are looking for abstracts of 300 words to be submitted by February 14th 2014 to Georgina Voss (gsv20@sussex.ac.uk)

References
Chapain, C., Clifton, N., & Comunian, R. (2012) Understanding Creative Regions: Bridging the Gap between Global Discourses and Regional and National Contexts. Regional Studies, 47:2. 131-134.
Florida, R . (2002). The Rise of The Creative Class, and How It’s Transforming Work, Leisure, and Everyday Life. New York: Basic Books.
Florida, R. and Gates, G. (2001). Technology and Tolerance – The importance of diversity to high-technology growth. Washington, DC: Urban Institute.
Markusen, A. (2006) Urban development and the politics of a creative class: evidence from a study of artists. Environment and Planning A, 38;10. 1921 – 1940
Peck, J., (2005). Struggling with the Creative Class. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 29:4. 740-77

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