Call for Papers: Rethinking the Media-Gentrification Nexus

Workshop & Special Issue

View the full CFP text with references

This Call for Papers (CFP) encourages contributions that rethink the interface between gentrification, displacement, and the proliferation of ‘old’ and ‘new’ media practices. We hope to draw an inter- or trans-disciplinary set of contributions from sociology, geography, political science, media studies, gender and sexualities studies, Black studies, film studies, journalism, literature, planning, policy studies, among others. Selected participants will be invited to join an Online Workshop hosted this Summer by the Initiative on Cities at Boston University, which we aim to advance toward a Special Issue (SI) of a peer-reviewed journal. The CFP builds off a session of the conference Gentrification & Displacement: What Can We Do About It? An International Dialogue at Boston University in October 2023.

Cities concentrate on inequalities and racial capitalism (Dantzler 2021; Rucks-Ahidiana 2021), wherein, for instance, investment into real estate markets operates as a ‘safe investment’ for some and triggers racialized displacement or expulsion for others. Municipalities have also become targets of new and growing multiracial tenant mobilization advocating for the right to housing (Card 2022), sanctuary cities, or safe spaces free of xenophobia, classism, sexism, transphobia, Islamophobia, antisemitism, and so on.

Our interest in the interface between urban change and the variety of media practices is open-ended. We call for projects that employ or reflect on documentary film to capture urban resistance; systematic analyses of newspapers, blogs, or media content; web scrapes of social media sites; new forms of connective action as tools of movements (Bennett and Segerberg 2012); disinformation and polarization (Benkler, Faris, and Roberts 2018). We welcome contributions that engage the urban-media nexus as the object of investigation, as cultural artifacts, and with methodological innovation, i.e., media beyond representation, narrative, and discourse. The workshop and SI is to open up a space of networking, dialogue, and visibility between these emerging strands of academic, advocacy, and artistic practices to capture shifting urban geographies in the Global ‘North’ and ‘South.’ While we are open thematically, possible themes include:

  • News media representations of race & class (Rucks-Ahidiana 2018) and protests (Hutter 2019; Buchanan, Bui, and Patel 2020) in urban change (Brown-Saracino and Rumpf 2011; Barton 2016)
  • Documentary, narrative, and subaltern cinema (Card 2020; Sattar, Shaban, and Faizee 2022)
  • Podcasts, advocacy films, and policy impact (Rogers et al. 2022), e.g., the Antipod Podcast
  • Countermapping (Anti-Eviction Mapping Project 2021), oral histories & online debate
  • Literature, blogging, and social media on urban change (Lees 1996; Neculai 2014; Henryson and Sulimma 2024)
  • Disinformation, polarization, and policy (Benkler, Faris, and Roberts 2018; Donovan 2020)

Workshop co-organizers: Kenton Card (Boston University), Catalina Neculai (Coventry University), Loretta Lees (Boston University), and Japonica Brown-Saracino (Boston University)

Deadline & Submission Guideline

Deadline – April 1, 2024 – Please send a 300-word abstract to with the subject line: media-gentrification-cfp