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Universities: space, place and community

13 Sep, Manchester

Universities: space, place and community

University of Manchester

Wednesday 13 September 2017

More than most institutions, universities have historically been defined in crucial ways by their relationship to spaces and places. They are typically named after and identified with the town or city in which they are located. They have also been important architectural patrons, and the buildings they have created tell us a great deal about their conception of their functions. And in their use of their own space they have consciously or unconsciously manufactured academic communities and impacted on the communities beyond their walls. Most importantly today, the tension between their global mission and their particular special location has come under scrutiny as governments see overseas students as a source of longer-term net migration.

 This one-day symposium seeks to consider the long and broad history of the spaces, places and communities of universities. The symposium hopes to consider questions including:

·      The importance of geographical locations for the development of universities, such as their proximity to capital cities and other institutions or their siting in out of town locations;

·      The spaces created for learning and research including libraries, laboratories and museums;

·      The communities that universities have built and how they have interacted with the communities that surround them;

·      The architectural symbolism of university architecture for the institutions and their vicinity;

·      How history can help us understand the dilemmas facing universities as they seek to develop into global institutions rooted in specific locations.

The symposium will be opened with a keynote address from Sir Peter Scott, Emeritus Professor of Higher Education Studies at the UCL Institute of Education.

Call for Papers

Proposals are invited from all disciplines concerned with universities past and present, including history, geography, education, policy studies, sociology, area studies and STS. We invite 20-minute papers that consider the role of space, place and community in the history of universities. We warmly welcome submissions addressing all parts of the world and a variety of time frames.

Abstracts of a maximum of 200 words should be submitted by 31 May 2017


There is no charge for the event and lunch will be provided. Please register


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