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Social Justice and the Smart City 2018-2019

We seek to expand on the work that our CIH-funded reading group has been carrying out since 2017. The CIH funding obtained in 2017 has been instrumental in the creation of a shared academic culture among our diverse group, which included members (graduate students, postdoctoral scholars and faculty members) from diverse disciplines (geography, history, sociology, communications, anthropology, political science, public health and environmental design). Through our monthly meetings, we have discussed major publications on smart cities and subsequently refined our own positioning with regards to social and environmental justice in the smart city. These discussions have been successfully expanded by the visit of two guest speakers from the USA and Canada, Taylor Shelton and Elvin Wyly. These visits triggered in-depth conversations, but also increased our group’s visibility and fostered new partnerships that will considerably strengthen the global research network that we are seeking to constitute.

In light of this previous experience, our group plans to continue holding monthly meetings to discuss readings from key scholars as well as group members. After a first year characterized by a focus on urban studies scholarship, we seek to expand our critical analysis of smart cities by discussing broader theoretical work (including philosophical writings on justice, Science and Technology Studies – STS, digital humanities, history of technology). Additionally, we will use our CIH reading group meetings as a platform to discuss work in progress and to receive feedback on ongoing projects and publications. These meetings will be complemented by the visit of another guest speaker. In March 2019, we will host Dr. Gillian Rose (Professor of Human Geography, University of Oxford, UK) for a public CIH lecture and a seminar to discuss her work within the working group.

We welcome everyone interested in Smart Cities research and/ or theoretical work that can inform our critical engagement with social justice in the smart city and the digital age more broadly. Graduate students are particularly encouraged to join the group.  Do not hesitate to get in touch with us with any questions you may have.

Dr. Marit Rosol, Tier II CRC Global Urban Studies, Associate Professor, Geography (
Dr. Morgan Mouton, Postdoctoral Associate, Community Health Sciences (

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