*** Apologies for cross-postings ***
Abstracts are due on October 25, 2019 to John Bryson 
(j.r.bry...@bham.ac.uk<mailto:j.r.bry...@bham.ac.uk>) and Vida Vanchan 

Call For Papers:  Do Extraordinary Things Happen in Ordinary Cities?
AAG Annual Meeting 2020 (Denver, 6-10 April 2020)
Organizers: John R. Bryson (University of Birmingham, UK), Ronald V. Kalafsky 
(University of Tennessee, US) & Vida Vanchan (SUNY Buffalo State, US)

Sponsored by: the Economic Geography Specialty Group

Extraordinary things happen in ordinary towns and cities. This session brings 
together papers on smaller towns and cities. The focus is on the development of 
an alternative approach to urban theory and economic geography that foregrounds 
smaller towns and cities rather than much larger cities and conurbations. The 
argument is that urban studies has tended to focus on exploring extraordinary 
cities rather than ordinary cities. An ordinary city is defined as a smaller 
urban center that will be connected in many complex ways to regional, national 
and international flows of people, goods, ideas, materials.

The focus of too much social science research has been on special, 
extraordinary, or global cities. We are not suggesting that researching 
extraordinary cities is not required, but rather that a more inclusive urban 
economic research agenda should emerge that acknowledges urban heterogeneity. 
Recently, a number of papers have argued that the emphasis placed on large 
cities ". . .has ensured that a large number of cities are essentially labelled 
as 'lesser' or irrelevant" (Bell and Jayne, 2009: 684). But, in many accounts 
these smaller cities are not considered to be irrelevant but simply ignored. 
The difficulty is smaller cities have local economies and processes, providing 
settings for urban lifestyles that may be very distinctive or different 
compared to those found in larger or more extraordinary cities. Moreover, the 
drivers of economic growth within ordinary cities are also different in myriad 
ways (Erickcek and McKinney 2006). Thus, we argue that it is timely to develop 
a research agenda on ordinary cities or those places in which the majority of 
people live, but have been largely overlooked by most urban and economic 

This call for papers is intended to stimulate a debate on ordinary cities. We 
welcome papers that cover all dimensions of living and working in ordinary 
cities. Papers may examine topics including, but are not restricted to:

*       Economic geographies of ordinary cities.
*       Living and working in ordinary cities.
*       Restructuring of ordinary city economies.
*       Linkages between ordinary cities and other places.
*       Finance, financialization, local property markets and ordinary cities.
*       International business and ordinary cities.
*       Immigration/migration and ordinary cities.
*       Ordinary cities and global production networks.
*       Ordinary cities and identity.
*       Governance.
*       The culture economy of ordinary cities.

Abstract Submission
Please send your abstract (max. 250 words) conforming to the requirements of 
the AAG (see 
 and provide your PIN by Monday, October 25, 2019 to John Bryson 
(j.r.bry...@bham.ac.uk<mailto:j.r.bry...@bham.ac.uk>)  and Vida Vanchan 

       Bell, D. and Jayne, M. 2009. Small cities? Towards a research agenda. 
International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 33, no.3, 683-699.
Erickcek, G. and H. McKinney (2006) 'Small cities blues': looking for growth 
factors in
       small and medium-sized cities. Economic Development Quarterly. 20(3): 

Dr. Vida Vanchan
Associate Professor, Department of Geography and Planning
Affiliated Faculty, Public Administration Division, Department of Political 
State University of New York (SUNY) Buffalo State
1300 Elmwood Ave.
Buffalo, NY 14222
Tel: 716-878-5209
E-mail: vanc...@buffalostate.edu<mailto:vanc...@buffalostate.edu>

Reply via email to