International workshop: Reclaiming the City Square: Urban Protests in the Mediterranean, international Workshop at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute to be held May 25–27, 2014. The aim of this workshop is to discuss and conceptualize the recent social protest movements from an interdisciplinary, regional perspective. We will study individual movements within the broader context of social movements in the Mediterranean and examine regional trends and commonalities.
To apply, submit an abstract of up to 500 words by February 1, 2014. Invited participants will be asked to submit their draft papers by April 1, 2014. Selected papers presented at the conference will be published in the Journal of Levantine Studies following a standard peer-review procedure.
For inquiries and to submit your abstract, contact Nathalie Alyon: firstname.lastname@example.org
From Madrid to Athens, from Tahrir to Taksim, the shores of the Mediterranean have been stormy with waves of urban protests in recent years. Discontent over socioeconomic policies related to issues such as austerity measures; the uneven distribution of basic commodities such as food and housing; corruption; lack of democracy or democratic majoritarianism; overdevelopment; capitalism; and commercialism have found expression on the streets and in the city squares.
As these urban movements give voice to political, economic, and social grievances of citizens, they raise crucial questions regarding the relation between public space—in its political, symbolic, and tangible senses—and democracy and citizenship.
Topics of discussion include but are not limited to:
-- Are these movements the result of a new world order, or are they mere coincidences?
-- To what extent do these movements reflect a battle between competing geopolitical and spatial perceptions?
-- What is the function of public spaces in cities today?
-- What do the geographical and spatial aspects of the social protests reveal about the nature of new (urban) citizenship?
--What is “the public”; does it include ethnic and racial minorities, women, and migrants?
Workshop committee: Dr. Haim Yacobi, Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem; Dr. Anat Lapidot-Firilla, The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute; Nathalie Alyon, The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute.
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