[Kaupunkitutkimus] cfp: "Urban History and the Materiality of Literary Narratives" at eauh2016, Helsinki

ameel at mappi.helsinki.fi ameel at mappi.helsinki.fi
Thu Sep 17 11:00:59 EEST 2015

Apologies for cross-posting

Call for Paperes for the session "Urban History and the Materiality of  
Literary Narratives", a main session at ‘Reinterpreting Cities’, the  
13th International Conference on Urban History (Helsinki, Finland, 24  
– 27 August 2016), organized by the European Association for Urban  
Histury (EAUH)

Call for Papers
Urban History and the Materiality of Literary Narratives
Main Session at ‘Reinterpreting Cities’, the 13th International  
Conference on Urban History (Helsinki, Finland, 24 – 27 August 2016),  
organized by the European Association for Urban Histury (EAUH)

Deadline: 31 October 2015

The organizers invite 300-word abstracts of paper proposals, to be  
submitted by 31 October 2015. Abstracts must be submitted via the EAUH  
website https://eauh2016.net/, on which those proposing papers must  
register and create an account. Note: this means that the session  
organizers will be unable to extend the deadlines! Everyone who has  
submitted a proposal will be informed by 15 December 2015 whether or  
not their abstract has been accepted. Those whose proposals are  
accepted will need to submit their full paper (maximum length: 5,000  
words) to the abstract and paper section of the EAUH website by 15  
August 2016.

Session M26. Urban History and the Materiality of Literary Narratives

Literary and cultural representations of cities are much more than the  
secondary or tertiary responses they are sometimes made to be in urban  
historiography. Cities in literature (and other media) are not to be  
understood only in terms of traditions cut off from the actual sites  
and experiences they appear to describe – although questions of genre,  
period and literary ethos will always have to be acknowledged. This  
session wants to examine the materiality of literary representations  
of the city. To what extent do they reflect on, and (re-) produce the  
material, as well as the social realities in actual cities in a  
European and global context? Possible examples of case studies  
addressing these questions range from reappraisals of slum writing in  
nineteenth- and twentieth-century cities to the interaction between  
utopian city narratives in literature and urban planning, and the  
literary roots of current rhetoric of public housing, urban  
redevelopment, and place making.

In addition to the idea of city as performance, notions such as depth,  
individuality and materiality could be proposed as new ways of  
understanding the role of literary texts in the writing of urban  
histories. Within an environment characterized by mobility and  
ever-shifting, constructed and imagined class relations, literary  
texts while they have their own economic context and conditions of  
possibility based on the publishing industry, offer a specific sort of  
evidence about urban history that cannot be obtained elsewhere. In an  
important sense, everyone’s individual views are prejudiced and  
positioned and constructed within traditions. Literary texts are able,  
perhaps uniquely, to help us understand the lineaments of this  
reality. At the same time they reveal, in a way that resists  
reduction, the depth of individual encounters with urban sites as they  
exist in time.

This session aims at a re-examination of ‘cultural’ and ‘spatial’  
turns in literary and social studies, and to explore how innovative  
sources and methods from literary studies may provide important new  
insights in urban history studies. Key questions addressed in this  
session are: How should urban historians evaluate written texts that  
are commonly labelled literary? How can such texts best be used and  
interpreted in their research? How do they interact (actively and  
retroactively) with urban materialities, and how do literary texts  
relate to other genres of urban writing?

The EAUH International Conference on Urban History is held every two  
years to provide a multidisciplinary forum for scholars from across  
the humanities and social sciences working on various aspects of urban  
history from the Middle Ages until the present. The conference usually  
attracts about 500-800 participants, not only from Europe but  
globally. Our session in Helsinki is one of nearly eighty quarter- or  
half-day sessions, many of which should be of interest to literary  
scholars. The full list is at https://eauh2016.net/programme/sessions/

Keywords: housing, literary sources, literary studies, performance,  
the ‘slum’, urban materiality, urban planning

Period: Modern (post-1750)

Type: Main session

Session organizers:
Lieven Ameel (Finnish literature), University of Helsinki, Finland  
(ameel at mappi.helsinki.fi)
Richard Dennis (geography), University College London, United Kingdom  
(r.dennis at ucl.ac.uk)
Jason Finch (English literature), Åbo Akademi University, Finland  
(jfinch at abo.fi)
Silja Laine (cultural history), University of Turku, Finland (silaine at utu.fi)

Please contact any of the session organizers for further information  
or to discuss a potential proposal

Dr. Lieven Ameel
University Lecturer
School of Language, Translation and Literary Studies (LTL
University of Tampere
follow me on twitter: @lievenameel

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