Island Cities and Urban Archipelagos (Hong Kong, 07-11 March 2016 )

Conference call for papers: Island Cities and Urban Archipelagos 2016
University of Hong Kong, 07-11 March 2016

This island studies conference brings together researchers from across the globe to explore urban life on islands and archipelagos.

Keynote Speakers: John Urry (Lancaster University), Arjun Appadurai (New York University), Elaine Stratford (University of Tasmania), Stephen Graham (Newcastle University), C.Y. Jim (University of Hong Kong)

Islands are often associated with peripherality, yet they have long been important sites for the growth of cities. Physical separation from the mainland and spatial limitations can encourage the transport of products and ideas, improved defence infrastructure, construction of social capital, consolidation of political power, formation of vibrant cultures, and concentration of population. Some island cities were located on inland river islands and have since expanded far beyond their original borders while others are still strongly associated with their island cores.

Fostering dialogue between the fields of island studies and urban studies, this interdisciplinary conference will feature presentations that explore and critique the varied connections between the urban and the insular from a diversity of perspectives on culture, planning, politics, architecture, economy, and environment in island cities worldwide. We welcome papers and panels focusing on individual case studies as well comparative analyses and conceptual frames.

Presentations are invited to address questions such as:
• How does islandness sustain processes of urbanisation?
• How can urban planning and urban design address the challenges faced by island societies?
• Why are islands historically privileged sites for urban development?
• How does islandness influence urban cultures?
• What roles do island cities play in national, regional, and global frameworks and processes?
• How does urbanisation affect island society and environment?
• How does island city status affect distributions of political authority?
• How do urban archipelagos relate to their hinterlands and oceanic environments?
• How are island cultures reconstituted in (mainland) urban diasporas?
• What challenges do island environments pose to urban development and planning?
• How does the particular mobility of island populations shape the development of island cities?
• What other topics are critical to the future of island cities?

The deadline for abstracts is 16 August 2015. However, to take advantage of early registration rates and ensure that you have time to seek funding from your institution or government, we recommend that you submit your abstract early:

To get involved in the Island Cities and Urban Archipelagos project, join the research network here:
For more information on the conference, contact convenor Adam Grydehøj (

This Island Dynamics conference is organised in collaboration with the
University of Hong Kong’s School of English, Faculty of Arts and Department of Geography, Faculty of Social Sciences

National Taiwan Normal University’s Department of Geography
University of Copenhagen’s Centre of Global South-Asian Studies
University of the Philippines Manila’s Department of Social Sciences

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