Call for Student Proposals: Interdisciplinary Publications on Cities and Urban Life

Call for Student Proposals: Interdisciplinary Publications on Cities and Urban Life

Proposal deadline: We are NOT ACCEPTING applications and proposals at this time.

PDF- Application Information and FAQs

Word doc- Application Cover Sheet


The UC Berkeley Global Urban Humanities Initiative seeks to deepen our understanding of cities through cross-disciplinary inquiry.  We bring together faculty and students from the fields of environmental design, the humanities, and the interpretive social sciences to investigate urban form and its relationship to human experience.

We invite student teams to submit proposals for a peer-reviewed online or print publication on an urban theme of their choosing.  We are offering support for a one-time collection of research, essays, and/or visual materials around an urban topic or theme that draws on the knowledge of a variety of disciplines such as architecture, music, landscape architecture, literature, art practice, city planning, or history.  Themes that connect critique to practice in the realm of city-building or that illuminate the experience of urban life are encouraged.  A single geographic focus is not expected but may be considered. 

We envision this as a student-led project with guidance from faculty advisors.  Support is provided for research, editorial work, and online production. Printing costs should be covered by the publisher. Creativity in presentation is encouraged: the final product may be conceived as an online publication or as a website, although it can also take the form of an edited collection of essays. GUH is happy to consider supporting the production of a special issue of an existing publication.  The publication will be widely promoted by the email and social media networks of the Global Urban Humanities Initiative, as well as via its website.

Please visit the Global Urban Humanities Publications Page to see past examples of publications we have funded.  Publications previously funded by this grant include Participatory Urbanisms, Urban Pilgrimage, and a print publication associated with the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project (in progress).  The Urban Humanity special issue of BOOM magazine gives an introduction to the Global Urban Humanities approach to cities.

Proposals should include a description of the publication editorial team, the tentative title of the publication, keywords, and potential authors (identifying their home department) and a description of organization, themes, and topics.  The editors must be UC Berkeley graduate students, but contributing authors may come from UC Berkeley or other institutions.  Please also briefly outline the proposed process for disseminating the call for papers, for the peer review of contributions, and whether articles will be available via JSTOR, etc. Plans for approaching a publisher for the print version of the publication should be outlined.  A budget and timeline with key tasks and milestones should be included.

Proposals will be evaluated on the basis of the strength of concept, clarity of the draft call for papers, potential for increasing understanding of cities and urban life, potential for increasing communication and sharing of theories and methods across disciplines.   The capacity of the team for managing the production and distribution of a publication will be carefully considered; your timeline and budget will demonstrate your ability to think through the nuts and bolts of producing this publication.


Current UC Berkeley students in Master’s and PhD programs at the College of Environmental Design, the Arts & Humanities Division, and the interpretive social sciences. Project teams where both members will be enrolled at least through Spring 2020 are strongly preferred. At least one team member must be enrolled through Spring 2020, and if you will not both be in residence at UC Berkeley for the entire editing and production period you must explain how you will complete the necessary tasks. Publications focusing on strong humanities and environmental design content will be favored. Each team must include one student from CED and one from the College of Letters & Science. Faculty advisors do not need to come from the students’ home department but must come from these Colleges. Any requests for exceptions should be made in advance of application.


Student stipends: $5,000 each for two students, one from the College of Environmental Design and one from the College of Letters & Science. Faculty grants:  $500 each for two faculty members, one from the College of Environmental Design and one from the College of Letters & Science. These faculty members will contribute papers or essays to the publication and advise the student team.

Production costs: $4,000 for web design, copyediting, images, printing, promotion and other production and distribution-related costs. Note: this budget will probably be insufficient for printing a sizable number of copies of a print publication, so your proposal should include an explanation of how you plan to find other sources of funds (purchase price, publisher funding, other grants, etc.) or how you plan to avoid printing costs through an online-only publication. We recommend at least a limited print run of some kind of print product to ensure a physical record of the work of the publication exists.


Student stipends will be disbursed into student accounts in Spring 2019 and may be used for any purpose, including research, travel, tuition, living expenses, etc.

Production costs will be paid via invoice by the Global Urban Humanities Initiative.  Students should NOT make payments to vendors directly and any requests for reimbursement for supplies, etc. must be approved in advance of purchase.


Call for publication proposals: due November 1, 2018
Publication team selected: November 2018
Team issues call for papers: Winter 2018
Publication goes live/prints: By Spring 2020

Please submit proposals to by November 1, 2018 using the application form. You will receive an email acknowledgment of your application.

The Global Urban Humanities Initiative (GUH) is a program supported by a generous grant from the Mellon Foundation.  GUH offers a Graduate Certificate in Global Urban Humanities and supports the creation of new interdisciplinary, team-taught courses each year, plus symposia and research.  Please visit

Proposal submitters are encouraged to contact Susan Moffat, GUH Project Director, to discuss concepts prior to submission of a proposal. She can be reached at or 510-926-2771.


Q. Are we allowed to use our stipends for production costs?

A. Ideally, production costs will come from the $4,000 production budget. The stipends are meant to help you cover your expenses as a graduate student, including travel related to this publication. However, you are free to spend the stipend as you wish.  Because of differing requirements for documentation for stipend and production budget expenses, please consult GUH staff before making any purchases. 

Q. Why do you require a plan for marketing and distribution?

A. We want as many people as possible to read and cite the articles in your publication.  It is important to consider the audience for your publication.  To maximize impact, you should have an outreach plan for contacting key scholars, institutions, conferences, etc. to which you plan to reach out directly (i.e. via email, via presentation, etc.).  Helping your article contributors promote their articles individually by setting up your web presence to allow individual page links and making suggestions for outreach ( etc.)  is also encouraged. You should not print any copies without a plan for sales, mailing and distribution.  These must be handled by you or a publisher. GUH cannot handle distribution, so you should include this task in your timeline and allocate human resources to it.

Q. Are we required to hold a symposium/roundtable, and is additional funding available for this from GUH?

A. After all the work you put into a publication, you will likely want to gather some contributors for conversations in a roundtable or symposium, which you may want to combine with a launch party.  You are encouraged to seek funding from other sources for this; unfortunately, no additional funds are available from GUH. Another option is to organize a session at a conference where people will already be gathered. 

Q. How do you define “interpretive social sciences”?

A. We are looking for approaches by your contributors and in your editing process that focus on qualitative approaches.  We are looking for the incorporation of the arts, imaginative literature, film, etc. and methods including close reading, formal analysis, etc. that are central to the humanities. While we welcome the incorporation of quantitative approaches if they are combined with humanities approaches, the use of qualitative social science methods alone (such as interviews) without creating new intersections with the design disciplines and the humanities will not form a strong proposal. We recommend you look at our past publications in detail, especially the Fall 2016 special Urban Humanity issue of BOOM California to better understand our approach.

Q. May undergraduates apply?

A. Grants are available to graduate students only, but undergraduates are welcome to assist the graduate team.

PDF- Application Information and FAQs

Word doc- Application Cover Sheet



Participatory Urbanisms explored new directions in the ways artists and activists engage with citizens to investigate and intervene in cities.  It included a comparison of urban participation projects in New Delhi and São Paulo through an interactive, juxtaposition of interviews with practitioners in its online version, as well as through a collection of peer-reviewed articles by scholars examining the notion of participation.  The interviews and scholarly anthology were also presented in a bilingual print format. It was co-edited by a student in a joint Architecture-City and Regional Planning program and a student in Theater, Dance & Performance Studies.


Urban Pilgrimage was a special issue of the architecture journal Room One Thousand that explored the notion of moving through and to cities through scholarly and personal essays. It presented a rich array of images as well as text in an online as well as a print version. To enhance dissemination, individual articles are available through the eScholarship portal as well as on the publication website. It was co-edited by a student in East Asian Languages and Cultures and a student in Architecture and South and Southeast Asian Studies.