White Paper Proposal

White Paper Proposal

Urban Communication is the study of communication within an urban context. The built environment is rich with information and physical architectures that manifest unique social situations. From traffic patterns to sidewalks, to mobile computing and surveillance technologies, the issues presented by the rapidly changing communication context constructed through urban environments are vast and varied.

The Urban Communication Foundation (UCF) has been a leader in promoting scholarship in this general area. The Foundation has funded dozens of research projects and acknowledged dozens of scholars that have advanced the field of study. We now seek to extend this influence by focusing in on particular issues or areas of research. As such, will be soliciting public research reports on issues that have a direct bearing on public policy and/or the everyday life for people within cities.

These reports should be between 8000-10000 words in length and present original research on the topic. The end product should aim to have some influence on policy makers, community leaders and scholars and contribute to basic research and practical solutions. The author(s) of the top rated proposal will receive a stipend of $10,000. The money can go to individuals or institutions to provide various forms of research support.

2015 UCF White Paper Program

Area of Research: Changing Cities: Migration, Communication and Culture

More than half of the world’s population currently lives in cities (UN Habitat), largely as a result of regional and global migration. Cities are transit and endpoints in migrant journeys, they are imagined, lived and mediated destinations. Many urban societies have developed out of long histories of migration, while the growing diversification of migration flows has been changing cityscapes across all continents. Urban communication landscapes reflect the cultural diversification of cities but also many of the challenges presented to cities as a result of migration and urban change. As many urban societies increasingly become cities of difference –in terms of shifting demographics, linguistic and cultural composition – critical questions about the future of the urban world need to be systematically addressed. How are participation, equity, and respect achieved in cities of difference and how are values of equality, mutuality, and democracy communicated? How are cities’ symbolic and material resources distributed and controlled and what is the role of communication in these processes? How do urban dwellers manage close proximity to difference and how do communication technologies mediate and manage difference, migration, and intercultural exchange?

Urban Communication Foundation (UCF) is dedicating this year’s White Paper Program to migration and the multifaceted opportunities and challenges it presents to understanding urban communication. UCF is soliciting research proposals that will lead to the development of a white paper on the theme of Changing Cities: Migration, Communication and Culture. Interested researchers from all disciplinary backgrounds should submit a proposal outlining the research problem they seek to pursue and how it relates to the theme of this CFA (see guidelines for submission below). All theoretical and methodological orientations are acceptable and approaches that are inter/multi-disciplinary, and rely on mixed-methods are particularly welcome. Moreover, comparative work across urban locations is encouraged. The final report should be 8,000-10,000 words in length. The end product should aim to have some relevance to policy-makers, community leaders and/or researchers within one or more urban contexts and to also speak to urban action and/or practical solutions. The author(s) of the top-rated proposal will receive a grant of $10,000 (for details on the review process, see below).

The following are but some examples of research questions and topics that applicants may pursue. This list is not meant to be exhaustive:

–In what ways do urban communication landscapes reflect a city’s migration history and its current cultural diversity?

–Who has access and who is excluded from urban communication infrastructures, in terms of gender, sexuality, age, ethnicity and race, class. How do these processes of inclusion/exclusion relate to migration?

–How do architecture and urban planning enable or restrict communication across cultural/ethnic/racial differences?

–How do local organizations engage with local media in their attempt to reach out toresidents and record their diverse needs?

–Do local media (‘old’ and ‘new,’ mainstream and ethnic) reflect the city’s/neighborhood’s diverse histories? Are some histories privileged against others?

–How are different migrant cultures (e.g. food cultures; religious practices; linguistic diversity)communicated in the city?

–How are gender roles within migrant families and communities in the city negotiated?

–What is the role of communication technologies in supporting/changing relations acrossdistance and with those ‘left behind’?

–In what ways can communication support social and environmental sustainability inculturally diverse urban societies?

– In what ways do different experiences of migration – e.g. forced; privileged – allow us tounderstand different forms of urban communication within and across cities?

–In what ways do comparative perspectives help us understand continuities and differencesin urban communication as this relates to migration?

Guidelines for Submitting Proposals/Applications

–Proposals should not exceed 1,000 words (excluding references). Please include a cover page with the name, position, institution, and contact information for all authors. Please adhere to APA or AMA publication guidelines.

–Applications should include a short itemized budget and a concise statement providing a rationale for the expenses listed in the budget. Funds may be expended in a variety of ways (e.g., to hire a research assistant or for a course buy-out), provided that it is clear how doing so will enable the researcher(s) to complete the proposed work. Funds may not be used to purchase computer hardware. Funds awarded by the UCF may be utilized to offset fringe costs (such as those often involved in hiring a research assistant), but the Foundation will not cover overhead expenses (i.e., indirect costs). In any case, the total amount of the award will not exceed $10,000.

– Applicants should include at least one letter of recommendation. The referee should be able to assess the significance and viability of the project described in the proposal, as well as the qualifications of the applicant as they pertain to the proposed work.

–Proposals should be submitted to Myria Georgiou at m.a.georgiou@lse.ac.uk no later than September 14, 2015. Funding decisions will be made by November 1, 2015. White papers should be delivered no later than May 1, 2017. White papers will be published on the UCF website and disseminated widely. Author(s) are encouraged to develop academic publications linked to the white paper.

Evaluation of Proposals and Awarding Funds

–A committee consisting of two Urban Communication Foundation members of the Board of Directors as well as two external reviewers will evaluate all applications submitted by the specified deadline.

–UCF will contact the author(s) of the top-rated proposal to ascertain their commitment tothe proposed research project and will subsequently release funds to the researcher(s).

–The UCF will announce the proposal selected on the Foundation’s website, through press releases and via social media.

Questions? For questions about the CFA, please contact Myria Georgiou at m.a.georgiou@lse.ac.uk