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Postgraduate research project

Exploring the trans-local nature of cultural scene

Type of degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Entry requirements
Masters with merit or 2:1 honours degree
(View full entry requirements)
Faculty graduate school
Faculty of Environmental and Life Sciences
Closing date

About the project

The project aims to explore connections between cities and cultural scenes within the global economy. Using qualitative methods and it will examine the nature of trans-local cultural scenes and the flows of ideas, people and practices.

Geographers have long been interested in trying to understand how specific neighbourhoods, scenes, and movements develop and evolve within cities. In recent years increased attention is being paid to the connections between cities and trans-local flows of ideas, people and practices.

Translocalism is a nuanced way to ‘ground’ globalisation and to think about contemporary forms of global mobility by identifying ‘local to local’ placemaking connections and processes. To date, studies have focused on specific cases and forms of trans-local flows including:

  • people, products and policy
  • urban practices
  • social movements
  • cultural identities

However, there is still scope to explore the mechanisms that underpin trans-local flows. In cities such as London, Santiago and Toronto cultural scenes help to attract residents, workers and tourists, contribute to city branding and redevelopment initiatives and have been critiqued for encouraging gentrification. Yet, despite their purported uniqueness and authenticity, these scenes contain a remarkably similar mix of urban aesthetics (graffiti alleys), shops (record stores), movements (DIY urbanism), communities (craft collectives) and people (artists, baristas, influencers). As vital sites for the production, curation and consumption of cultural products, these scenes are ideal places to study the creation and diffusion of knowledge, practices and values across space and the tensions between local authenticity and global uniformity.

We are looking for PhD students to co-design a project around this broad topic. Qualitative methods will be used and students are encouraged to develop an approach which reflects their own interests and connections.

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