Monday, October 23, 2006

The Idea of the City: Early Modern, Modern, and Post-Modern Locations and Communities

A two-day international conference at the University of Northampton, UK, 8-9 June 2007 Call for Papers

Salmon Rushdie provocatively observes that 'the modern city is the locus classicus of impossible realities'. This conference will explore the nature of the modern city in literature from its origins in the early-modern period to post-modern dislocations. Speakers are encouraged to submit papers which explore the representation of real and imagined, national and international, capital and regional cities, in poetry, prose and drama. Prospective papers might dwell upon the city as a context within which literature is created, structured, or inspired, and as spaces, places, and localities in which distinct voices and genres emerge, for example plague-ridded C16th London, post-revolutionary Paris, Bradford after the 2001 riot, sectarian Belfast, the interface between the tradition and technology in Tokyo, or globalisation in Mumbai.

While the focus of the conference is literary, papers are welcome by scholars from cognate disciplines, including history, art, and film, especially if their paper considers the interface between their discipline and the literary. Potential areas of interest might include: the impact of regional theatre upon its cities; the role of city authorities in the dissemination of ideas; the city and its aliens; ethnic minority voices in the inner cities; the tension between the country and the city; the interface between global cities; and marginal urban identities and activities (vice, prostitution, and poverty).

Plenary speakers to be announced

Prospective speakers are invited to submit proposals for 20-minute papers by 1 March 2007 to the conference organizers, Dr Joan Fitzpatrick and Dr Lawrence Phillips by e-mail to or to


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