European Association for Urban History
11th International Conference on Urban History
“Cities and Societies in Comparative Perspective”
29 August -1 September 2012
Prague, Czech Republic
Call for Papers for Main Session (M28):
Mashup Metropolis: The British Imperial City in Global Context
Deadline: 1 October 2011
Associate Professor Andrew J. May (University of Melbourne, Australia)
Dr John Griffiths (Massey University, New Zealand)
Dr Brad Beaven (University of Portsmouth, UK)
Recent scholarship on the networked British world (e.g. G.B. Magee and A.S. Thompson, Empire and globalisation Cambridge, 2010) and transnational municipal connections (such as P.-Y. Saunier and S. Ewen, eds, Another global city, New York, 2008) has challenged the urban historian to observe the ways in which the form and character of British empire cities derived not only from the ties that bound them to the mother country, but were also influenced by ideologies and technologies of urbanism from continental Europe and Asia. British empire cities may been the offspring of the mother country (Edinburgh and Dublin as much as London or Liverpool), but they learned to crawl and walk under the influence of more global flows of people, ideas, information, texts and designs.
Put simply, where did these civic and cosmopolitan ideas come from? How did both the pull of Britishness, as well as the distinctive and local contingencies of everyday city life—for example in Melbourne, Calcutta, Singapore, Dunedin, Shanghai, Cape Town or Montreal—affect the ways in which British empire cities operationalised a suite of ideas derived from non-British sources? How British was Bombay; how European was Sydney?
Papers are invited which explore characteristic patterns of thought, debates, ruptures, contests, regulatory frameworks, and other sets of ideas about urban life that highlight the differing and at times competing global vectors of influence. How did ideas circulate from the inter-continental peregrinations of city officials, or the plans they circulated and the journals and books they read? To what extent were model by-laws and ordinances circulated far beyond the British world? Al fresco eating, keeping to the left or right on footpaths, enamel street name plates, the management of abattoirs, asphalting technologies, the design of fish markets, public rituals, attitudes to spitting—British imperial cities could take their cue from Milan, Switzerland, Morocco or Paris. What were the key features of this type of more broadly derivative and ultimately recombinant municipalism? And how did it come to influence the mannerisms of citizens in the public sphere?
Please submit 300 word abstract and short CV written in English.
Associate Professor Andrew J. May
School of Historical and Philosophical Studies
University of Melbourne
Parkville, Victoria 3010
AUSTRALIA Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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