CFP for Atlanta Studies Symposium 2024

Call for Proposals

Eleventh Annual Atlanta Studies Symposium

Visions of Atlanta

April 12, 2024

Emory University

Atlanta, Georgia

Our city emerges at the confluence of lived experience, policy experiments, the built environment, history, the environment, and a myriad of other factors and influences. Among those factors are peoples’ visions and imaginations for what the city can and should be. This year, the symposium would like to invite submissions on all topics related to the many pasts and possible futures of the greater metropolitan Atlanta region. In particular, the symposium invites submissions on “Visions of Atlanta,” or how people and institutions imagine, design, develop, and engineer the city. The symposium looks for people to share work from perspectives including the humanities, social sciences, planning, engineering, sciences, and the arts.  

Questions one might explore under this theme could include, but are in no way limited to:

  • Urban Landscapes and Technology
    • How are emerging technologies like generative AI, smart city initiatives, digital infrastructure, or sustainable urban planning being harnessed to create more or less inclusive and equitable urban landscapes?
    • What’s been the impact of technology on urban accessibility, transportation, food security, and housing, and whether these innovations are bridging or exacerbating socio-economic disparities?
  • Historical Policies’ Influence on Visions of Atlanta
    • What policies have shaped Atlanta’s development, and what visions did they exemplify in relation to segregation, redlining, zoning, public transportation, finance, education, and other decisions?
    • How has the policy making process, the work of activists and non-profits, or systems of governance contributed to specific visions for the city?
  • The Arts’ Role in Imagining Atlanta
    • How have the creative arts and their communities envisioned Atlanta over time or into the future, and how do those visions influence local and external perceptions of the city?
    • How have artistic expressions reflected the city’s cultural and social dynamics, and how have they contributed to the city’s self-identity and branding?
  • Perspectives on Urban Engineering
    • How are visions of Atlanta embedded in and enacted by the engineering of the city’s transportation infrastructure, sustainability initiatives, climate resilience, architectural design, urban planning?
    • How have different engineering disciplines collaborated and clashed in shaping the physical environment of Atlanta, and how might those clashes exemplified different visions for the city?
  • Visionaries, Activists, and Policy Makers
    • How have individuals, organizations, and community leaders envisioned and worked towards enacting specific changes in Atlanta or preserving existing conditions?
    • How have and do grassroots activism, policy advocacy, and community-based initiatives shape the city’s development and socio-political landscape?

In addition to these questions, researchers and contributors to the symposium might consider the role of environmental sustainability, public health, economic development, and education in Atlanta’s past and future visions. The multidisciplinary approach, which includes the humanities, social sciences, planning, engineering, sciences, and the arts, hopes to share a broad perspective on the complex and evolving interplay of Visions of Atlanta and the diverse forces that influence its trajectory.

This year, we seek a diverse array of symposium sessions from scholars and practitioners at academic institutions, and public, private, and nonprofit organizations. We welcome proposals for:

  • Fully constituted panels with up to 4 presenters and a moderator
  • Individual papers or posters
  • 5 minute / 5 slide presentations that will be part of a lightning round session
  • Roundtable discussions
  • Interactive workshops
  • Film screenings
  • Any other creative form of presentation you’d like to propose

Please submit abstracts via this Google form no later than January 22, 2024.

Notifications will be sent out by mid-February 2024.

If you have questions about the event or proposals, please contact

Symposium Organizing Committee:

J. Marshall Shepherd, Georgia Athletic Association Distinguished Professor/Associate Dean for Research, Scholarship and Partnerships in Geography and Atmospheric Sciences (University of Georgia).

Katherine Hankins, Department Professor and Chair of Geosciences (Georgia State University).

Na’Taki Osborne Jelks, Assistant Professor of Environmental and Health Sciences (Spelman College).

Martina Dodd, Program director, Curation and Object Based Learning (Robert Woodruff Library).

Louise Shaw, Senior Curator (David J. Sencer CDC Museum).

Allen Hyde, Associate Professor of History and Sociology (Georgia Institute of Technology).

Clint Fluker, Senior Director of Culture, Community, and Partner Engagement (Michael C. Carlos Museum and Libraries).

Brandeis Marshall, Data Equity Strategist in Computer Science (DataedX Group, LLC).

LeeAnn Lands, Professor of History (Kennesaw State University).

Ben Miller, Associate Teaching Professor of Writing, Quantitative Theory and Methods (Emory University).