ALUS was formerly known as Helsinki Literature and the City Network (HLCN). The HLCN’s first symposium was organized 2nd May 2012. Subsequent HLCN meetings included a theory seminar in November 2012 and a second symposium in spring 2013, hosted at the Åbo Akademi University in Turku, and further symposiums at the Universities of Helsinki and Tampere (spring, autumn 2015). Other symposiums have been the 1st ALUS symposium at the University of Tampere, 31.3.2016, and the 2nd ALUS symposium “Scaling the city” organized 2.12.2016 at Åbo Akademi University, Turku, Finland.
The HLCN organized its first international conference in August 2013. A second international conference, entitled Literary Second Cities, was organized in 2015 at Åbo Akademi University, Turku. The third international conference, and the first ALUS conference (Im)Possible Cities, organized at the University of Tampere, Finland, took place in August 2017 . The second international ALUS conference (Un)Fair Cities. Equity, Ideology and Utopia in Urban Texts was organized in 2019 at the University of Limerick. The third international conference of the Association for Literary Urban Studies Cities Under Stress: Urban Discourses of Crisis, Resilience, Resistance, and Renewal was organized at the University of California, Santa Barbara in February 2022.