CALL FOR PAPERS
‘In the Jungle of Cities’: mobs, murders, crowds, riots and crises in the Modern City
An academic conference to be held at Chetham’s Library, Manchester, on 30th May 2013
Speakers Include Dr David Alderson (University of Manchester) and Dr Katja Diefenbach (Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht)
Proposals are invited for papers on the relationship between the modern city and violence. The relationship has been an essential one for literature, film, television and other cultural production. Proposals are encouraged from across the whole range of disciplines dealing with representations of violence and the city. Suggested topics include but are not limited to:
• Crime and the city. The association between the city and crime in literature, film and other art forms, as well as in the writing of history, including; the Newgate novel, the detective novel, the police drama, the contemporary crime novel, the city in European and world cinema, and presentations of acts of urban violence like the 2011 UK riots.
• The city in critical and literary theory. Discussions and theories of the city within all areas of critical and literary theory; from Walter Benjamin on the nineteenth century, through Deleuze, Baudrillard and Virilio on the modern and postmodern city, to questions of the city as definitionally violent (Derrida).
• Politics of the violent city. Considering the relationship between urban violence and political formations – both revolutionary and reactionary. Discussion could include historical examples and/or theoretical approaches e.g. Marx, Debord, Fanon or Harvey.
• Architectures. Analysis of the ways in which the built environment, and/or specific architectural movements or styles shape urban violence and crime. This could include consideration of particular cityscapes or their cultural representations.
• The man and the crowd. Conceptualizations of mobs, crowds and riots, as well as their relationship to popular culture, such as; public hangings, butchery, street performance, markets, fairs and the Carnival.
• The nation and the city. Questions of the relationship between the urban space and citizenship, the British and European city, and the relationship between the city and national identity, cosmopolitanism, migration and other conceptualizations of identity.
• Gendering the city. Examinations of the ways that gender impacts upon the negotiation of urban space, and how geographies of violence structure gendered experiences of the city.
• The city of Manchester. The history and representation of Manchester and its significance within literature and politics.
• Non-canonical, marginalized and international cities. Discussions of the non-Western city and the study of traditionally less-examined materials or comparative literature, and their impacts on our models of the development of the city.
Applications of around 400 words should be sent to Alfie Bown, Jane Stedman and Chris Vardy at firstname.lastname@example.org by 15th February 2013.
Supported by artsmethods@manchester and cities@manchester
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