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Towards 'Care-ful' Cities: unsettling boundaries

Project Topic Overview

The proposed research theme aims to reinvigorate the discussion of urban human-environment interactions through the lens of ‘ethics of care’, in contributing towards a new articulations of ‘care-ful’ cities. The agenda aims to advance our approach to sustainable cities that is contextually, socially and culturally sensitive. The themes aims to engage with care, as a lens of knowing meaningful ways of life, and as a critical hermeneutic in enabling discussion of transformations of human and environment interactions to unsettle boundaries within cities. Thus furthering our understanding on how these impact on mundane aspects of practices and injustice.

We aim to attract PhD research projects to investigate different landscapes of care, in examining the mutuality and mutability of caring relations and theorising personal, social and ecological relations as a set of values and moral principles in making sense of cities towards care and sustainability.

It is committed to generate new data and develop innovative theoretical and methodological approaches to urban human-environment interactions through engaging with different vectors of encounters, performance and interactions between human and more-than-human, human and technologies, human and materialities, as well as human and the social-eco worlds in cities.

More specifically, we would like to support PhD projects that would potentially collect creative data and offer innovative interpretations and analysis, such as those derived from sensory, material and visceral narratives, ‘filtered’ through different forms of mundane encounters and interactions within cities, as lived out by migrants, refugees, ethnic minorities, people with disability, older adults and so on. In so doing, we aim to develop new toolkits/methods, theoretical framings and knowledge of human-environment interactions, and to make sense of diverse lived experiences, strategies and innovations, involving critical evaluation of the reciprocal relations within cities.

Potential PhD projects will focus on topics such as everyday care-ful landscapes, technological innovations; urban landscapes; physical environments and care-ful places; therapeutic landscapes of care; care of/through/with urban regeneration; collaborative forms of production, such as connecting scientific knowing, social movements, and art interventions; feminist ethics of care and feminist approaches to sensing the cities.

Applicant Profile

Standard requirement for all projects: A good first degree (2:1 above or equivalent), a postgraduate degree/ or equivalent professional or research experience.

The scholarship is offered to applicants with outstanding academic profiles and research proposals. It normally includes UK fees and stipends.

Applicants are required to develop their own research proposals under this thematic topic. Please get in touch with the supervision team before submitting an application.

Specific requirement: Applicants should have a good undergraduate degree, preferably with postgraduate academic training in social sciences, including social research, human geography, sociology, anthropology or cultural studies. A professional background in urban planning, architecture, visual arts or creative practices is welcomed. The candidates are expected to have received substantial research methods training prior to their PhD programme and demonstrated great interest and potential in the topic of care, city and sustainability.

Supervisory Team

Dr Xiaodong Lin, Global Sustainable Development

Dr Lin is Director of the TRANSFORM PhD scholarship programme. His research takes a critical approach to sustainable development through the lens of culture. He has carried out a number of funded research projects in relation to food, ageing, gender, migration and everyday life, supported by the ESRC, the BBSRC and the British Academy. His research is underpinned by theoretical engagement with discussion on cultural values in order to open up existing discourses of development and sustainability in relation to health, care and wellness. Through engaging with local cultural beliefs and mundane practices, he hopes to generate new knowledge and to make sense of the cultural vectors of global challenges in relation to sustainability.

Dr Camilla Audia, Global Sustainable Development

Dr Audia is Assistant Professor in Global Sustainable Development. Her research examines the relations between climate change, populations, health and sustainable development through the co-production of knowledge. She is interested in using arts-based and embodied methods (photography, film, theatre, role-play, dance...) to tackle 'wicked problems' and challenge traditional dynamics in the society-policy-science nexus.