Call for proposals:

There is a call for proposals for the session “Representations of Tram Closures: Nostalgia, Modernity and Obsolescence” in T2M Conference, which is set to take place in Padua, Italy from 21-24 September 2022 and is planned as a hybrid event.

“The session will focus on narratives and representations of tram closure events, both representations that were contemporary with the closures and those produced afterwards. We also welcome presentations dealing with the ways the closures have been remembered and invite the presenters to think of the various ways, from souvenirs to political decisions concerning future transport, in which memories of the past are present in today’s urban culture. Cultural forms and media covered could include imaginative literature (poetry, fiction, memoir), journalism, documentary film, enthusiast and activist writing, or interviews with those who still recall the disappearance of tramways from their cities in this period. The focus could be on European and North American cities, but proposals concentrating on cities elsewhere in the world, with different historical trajectories, are also welcome. The session is open to scholars from all backgrounds.”

CfP_Representations of Tram Closures_T2M Conference 2022

If interested, send your abstract (max. 300 words) to the session organizers

Deadline for proposals:  11 April 2022

For more details, see


Call for proposals:

The LSU French Studies & Comparative Literature Graduate Student Associations calls for proposals to the conference:

“SPACE & PLACE. How Locations People Inhabit Influence Individual & Shared Human Experiences”.

The conference will take place April 7-8, 2022. Presenters will consider ideas about how diverse spaces hold unique meanings to different people at varying moments in time. This topic will explore how these interactions shape social and political thought and whether or not the spaces people occupy construct a reciprocal dialogue between individual and milieu. The abstracts should be sent to

Deadline for submissions: March 15, 2022



Call for proposals:

The session at the Modern Language Association conference in 2023 on the topic of “Literary Urban Studies and City Planning.”

The conference will take place in San Francisco, CA (USA) from January 5th – 8th, 2023. This session welcomes papers at the intersection of literary studies and the design professions. Topics may include literature and/as placemaking, literary methods in architecture and planning, and cross-disciplinary speculation about designing future cities and regions.

Deadline for submissions: Friday, 18 March 2022

Please find beneath the full-lenght call for papers:



Call for papers:

Special Issue of the Urban History Review / Revue d’histoire urbaine which is based at the University of Toronto, Canada, on the topic of “Urban Indigeneities and Settler Colonial Cities”.

Guest Editor is Lorenzo Veracini, Swinburne University of Technology.

The deadline for proposals is April 30, 2022.

More information can be found here:

Call for Papers_Urban indigeneities and Settler Colonial Cities


Call for proposals:

Call for proposals for the seminars “Gentrification in Contemporary Fiction” and “Embodied and Embodying Space-Time in Aural, Visual, and Textual Narratives”, organized in the 2021 American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA) Annual Meeting (Virtual, April 8–11, 2021).

The deadline for proposals is 31 October. If you have any questions, please contact the organizers of the seminars.

Please notice, that you should apply to the seminars on the ACLA website, where you can find all the seminars and their descripitions:

Call for papers:

Representing Urban Change: Gentrification and Displacement in Literature and other Media
International Symposium
Department of Modern Languages, Uppsala University
Institute for Housing and Urban Research (IBF), Uppsala University
21 August 2020, Uppsala University

See original cfp here:Representing_Urban_Change_CfP_15-01-20

In collaboration with
The Association for Literary Urban Studies (ALUS)
Uppsala Forum for Democracy, Peace and Justice
Faculty of Humanities, Psychology and Theology, Åbo Akademi University

Keynote speaker: James Peacock, Keele University (UK)

Proposals (300 words maximum) for 20-minute papers should be sent to Jason Finch (jfinch [a] by 15 April 2020. Please feel free to contact any of the organizers with
questions, including about the probable suitability of your topic.

Hanna Henryson, Modern Languages, Uppsala University (hanna.henryson [a]
Jason Finch, English Language and Literature, Åbo Akademi University (jfinch [a]
Åse Richard, Social and Economic Geography, Uppsala University (ase.richard [a]


Department of Liberal Arts, Indian Institute of Technology, Bhilai
in collaboration with
Association for Literary Urban Studies
presents online conference
Narrating the South Asian City: Critical Perspectives

The conference will be held online, via WebEx, on Monday, 15 November 2021 (IST). Keynote speakers of the conference are Dr Stuti Khanna, IIT Delhi, and Dr Dominic Davies, City, University of London. Please click here to access the programme and here to see the book of abstracts. There is no registration fee to attend. Joining details can be found in the conference poster here.


Call for papers
Department of Liberal Arts, Indian Institute of Technology, Bhilai
in collaboration with
Association for Literary Urban Studies
presents online conference
Narrating the South Asian City: Critical Perspectives
15 November 2021

Please find call for papers here:

Proposals of not more than 300 words accompanied with bio-notes of a maximum
of 100 words should be emailed to dept_la [a] by 13 August 2021.
Selected presenters will be informed by 6 September 2021 and working drafts of not
more than 3000 words will be due by 1 November 2021. While the conference will be
held in hybrid mode, we hope it will be possible for some of the presenters to participate
in-person and look forward to welcoming them at IIT Bhilai. There will be no registration
fee, neither for participation nor for attendance. One of the conference outputs will likely be a special issue in a journal relevant to the field. Please feel free to write to
dept_la [a] for any queries.

Conference Committee:
Anubhav Pradhan, IIT Bhilai
Rachna Mehra, Ambedkar University Delhi
Sonal Jha, IIT Bhilai
Anni Lappela, University of Helsinki
Meeria Vesala, Tampere University


Call for papers
Cities Under Stress: Urban Discourses of Crisis, Resilience, Resistance, and Renewal
The Third International Conference of the Association for Literary Urban Studies (ALUS)

We invite proposals for contributions at the third international conference of ALUS, scheduled to take place at the University of California, Santa Barbara on 17–19 February 2022. Following earlier successful meetings in Tampere, Finland (2017) and Limerick, Ireland (2019), and sessions at the Modern Language Association Convention (MLA) in both 2020 and 2021, ALUS now organizes its first event in North America.

This conference explores the theme of crisis and response as conveyed in cultural representations of urbanity. We welcome contributions that take up any aspect of or perspective on urban crisis and response, working on any period or genre of literature, from any linguistic tradition. Proposals are invited for individual 20-minute papers or multi-paper panels that in some way work with the theme of urban crisis and response.

See original call for papers here:Cities Under Stress CFP

Please send an abstract of your proposed talk (max. 250 words) and a 50-word bio indicating your affiliation and any other key points to alus-sb-2022 [a] by 1 August 2021. You may also direct any questions about the conference to this address or individually to the conference organizers.

Conference Organizers:
Liam Lanigan, Governor’s State University
Eric Prieto, University of California Santa Barbara.
Anni Lappela, Helsinki University


“Gentrification in Contemporary Fiction”

The organisers – James Peacock, Nick Bentley and Ceri Morgan – invite abstracts for a seminar on representations of gentrification in contemporary fiction from around the world, with “gentrification” understood in its various related senses: as particular processes of urban transformation involving the displacement of certain socioeconomic groups by others; as a collective failure of memory and imagination; and as a spatial manifestation of neoliberal ideology.

The seminar will comprise three panels of three papers, with each panel exploring a range of contemporary literary texts. Topics might include, among many others:
gentrification, genre and mode (frontier, picturesque, gothic, romance, crime fiction, comedy, satire);
gentrification and haunting;
gentrification and subcultural identities;
representations of houses, apartments and interiors;
gentrification and labour (for example stories emphasizing the work that goes into conversion, renovation and demolition);
the relationship between community and capital;
working-class representations of gentrification;
gentrification and gender;
gentrification and sexuality;
gentrification and race / ethnicity;
gentrification, access and disability;
gentrification: youth, age and ageing.

Please see the detailed call and in the ACLA website:
And apply to the seminar here:


“Embodied and Embodying Space-Time in Aural, Visual, and Textual Narratives”

Space-time informs, forms, and transforms humans, and vice versa. In this process, the hierarchy between subject (observer, self, mind) and object (spectacle, the other, body) dissolves, and new ethics and aesthetics are compelled to emerge. This seminar invites papers on specific aural, visual, textual, and multimedia narratives that keenly ask—and highlight the urgency of asking—how storytellers register and mediate ambiguous and volatile relationships across porous borders between space, time, and the body, and how the audience experiences corporeality, in sound, image, and text.

This seminar will address these issues while staying in touch with the métiers of the mediums and the laws of the genres as they contribute to and contradict the urge to grapple with the body in space-time. Such material and practical conditions are not necessarily restrictive, definitive, or encapsulating but can be enabling, ambiguating, and reinvigorating. We especially encourage papers that consider attempts at exceeding the limits or reconfiguring the terms of specific aural, visual and/or textual discourse.

Concepts to be engaged with include: Acoustic space; Affect; Anthropological space; Archives; Choreography; Chronotope; Ecopoetics; Experienced space; Heterotopias; Kinetics; Lightscapes; Liquid spaces; Mobilities; Object oriented ontology; Plasticity; Prostheses; Public transportation; Rhythmanalysis; Smellscapes; Snorous bodies; Thermalscapes; Sports.

Please see the original call here:
And apply to the seminar here:

Any seminar-specific question can be addressed to Atsuko Sakaki,


Call for papers:

DiSSGeA, Centre for Advanced Studies in Mobility and the Humanities, University of Padova, Italy, organizes a seminar “Mobilities of/in the Book” and in co-operation with Association for Literary Urban Studies (ALUS) a symposium “Mobilities of/in Urban Narratives” at University of Padova, 27 Semptember 2019.

Please see more details in the original call for papers on the conference website:

If you are interested in taking part in the discussion, please send a title and an abstract (max 250 words) and a short bio by 30 June 2019 to the following address:


Call for papers:

Association for Literary Urban Studies / Ralahine Centre for Utopian Studies
(Un)Fair Cities. Equity, Ideology and Utopia in Urban Texts
University of Limerick, 12-13 December 2019

Conference website:

See cfp here:UnFair Cities-Limerick-12-13.12.2019-cfp

(Un)Fair Cities. Equity, Ideology and Utopia in Urban Texts seeks to explore relations between the urban and the utopian, as manifested and explored in literary and cultural practice understood broadly, along another strand of the utopian problematic: that of the complex relations of the utopian and the ideological. These can be understood as antagonistic, with utopian departures challenging and undermining dominant ideological structures, of which the city is both producer and product. But they may also be analysed as dialectically conjoined, whereby utopian projections or disruptions form the basis upon which ideological reformulations are subsequently imagined and put in place.
Key, in this respect, is the problem of representation along both spatial and temporal axes. Writing the city in the light of utopia can thus result in a focus on nonconformist or disruptive spaces within the urban fabric, an attention to spatial discontinuities and their textual correlates, their accompanying discourses and poetics. But it can equally lead to a focus on singular experience; on the event and its after-life; on memory and anticipation of that which itself evades satisfactory representation. These are challenges which speak to the specific concerns of generic and experimental textual practices in an inclusive way – and this conference seeks to explore the full variety of responses elicited, across and between languages and traditions of practice, and in deep historical perspective.
Our title gestures towards a further ambivalence that is arguably key to the writing of the city and the urban experience – the ‘fair’ is what links the equitable and the beautiful, and the indissociably ethical and aesthetic challenge of imagining and writing the city – both inside and beyond ‘literature’ – thus makes such writing an especially fraught ideological space. This being so, the conference will seek in particular to re-visit the perceived ‘end of utopia’ in urban planning and contemporary literary fiction (see e.g. Baeten), and to think about new examples of both ‘spaces of hope’ (see Harvey), ‘utopic degeneration’ (see Marin), and ‘utopia, limited’ (Nersessian) in the textual worlds of urban planning, futures studies, literary fiction, and utopian studies.

We invite individual papers and sessions on subjects engaging with, but not limited to, the following themes:
– Representations of equity, equality and inequality in city writing
– Radical urban futures
– Geographies of hope in the context of 20th and 21st-century dystopia
– Afrofuturism and the city
– Urban segregation and future cities
– Representations of freedom in urban texts
– Novel forms of interaction and encounter in urban writing
– Representation of urban mobilities and large-scale infrastructure – from the industrial revolution to hyperloops
– Rule, Utopia! Class struggles in urban political fiction
– Techno-utopia and the representation of ‘smart cities’
– Governing Ecotopia in climate fiction
– Self-organization in 20th and 21st century dystopia
– Urban commons in near-future fiction
– Urban fables and cautionary tales
– Methodological approaches to interdisciplinary research bridging utopian studies, future studies and literary urban studies

The deadline for submission of proposals is 15 June 2019. Please send proposals (c. 300 words (per paper) / c. 500 words (session rationale)) together with short bionote(s) to:

The language of the conference will be English, but papers focusing on material in any language from any part of the world are very welcome. The organizers plan to publish a selection of the work issuing from the conference.

(Un)Fair Cities. Equity, Ideology and Utopia in Urban Texts is the second international conference of the Association for Literary Urban Studies and is organized in association with the Ralahine Centre for Utopian Studies at the University of Limerick. Conference Organizers: Lieven Ameel (ALUS), Michael G. Kelly and Mariano Paz (Ralahine). Confirmed keynote speakers: Prof Antonis Balasopoulos (Associate Professor in Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies, University of Cyprus); Dr Caroline Edwards (Senior Lecturer in Modern & Contemporary Literature, Birkbeck, University of London).

The Ralahine Centre for Utopian Studies was established at the University of Limerick in 2003 to pursue innovative research across disciplines on utopian thought and practice. The Centre’s research and service agenda is based on the premise that social values, policies, and practices are shaped by hopeful, utopian visions, and that this dimension is critical to the betterment of life for all members of society. The Ralahine Centre has been instrumental to the development of the (inter-)discipline of utopian studies in Irish, European and international contexts of the past fifteen years. More information at

Baeten, Guy (2002). ‘Western Utopianism/Dystopianism and the Political Mediocrity of Critical Urban Research.’ In Geografiska Annaler B, 3-4: 143-152.
Harvey, David (2002). Spaces of Hope. Edinburgh University Press.
Marin, Louis (tr. Robert A. Vollrath) ([1973] 1984). Utopics. The Semiological Play of Textual Spaces. Humanity Books.
Nersessian, Anahid (2015). Utopia, limited. Romanticism and Adjustment. Harvard University Press.


Call for contributions:

We invite expressions of interest in an edited volume provisionally titled “The City and Civilization: Representations of Urban Spaces in Italian Culture” and scheduled to be published in late 2020/early 2021.

The concept of space, its representations as well as the social, cultural and political forces that shape it and inhabit it have drawn increasing attention from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. Urban spaces, in particular, have come to the fore as crucial
subjects of investigation and reflection.

The city has always occupied a special position in cultural production. From the earliest surviving literary texts, city images interrogated readers as complex intersections of creative and destructive energies. In the modern era, urbanization grew as a byproduct
of the Industrial Revolution and was accompanied by the emergence of new social movements and cultural avant-gardes.

The complexity of connections among urban centers on a global scale has increased dramatically within the past two centuries. Today more than half of humanity lives in urban spaces. The imperative to fully comprehend this central space of our collective life is
becoming increasingly urgent.

In this context, this volume aims to investigate the Italian city seen as a microcosm of Italian society. We plan to organize the book chronologically, following the representation of Italian urban landscapes from the early modern period to the twenty-first century, and thematically.

In particular, we invite contributions that focus on:

  • city landscapes
  • urban utopias and dystopias
  • the opposition between urban and rural environments
  • the process of urbanization
  • representations of urban spaces as socio-political commentary
  • the influence of the arts in shaping city spaces.

If you are interested in contributing to this volume, please send an abstract (200 words max.), contact details, and a brief bio to both editors’ email addresses: ascapolo [a] and angela.porcarelli [a] by and no later than April, 5th, 2019.


Call for Contributions

Jason Finch (Assistant Professor, Åbo Akademi University; Maxwell Woods (PhD, University of Wisconsin – Madison)

We are calling for contributions to Mediating and Representing Slums, a special issue/collection. Building on a series of sessions at the 2018 Association of American Geographers conference in New Orleans, recent debates surrounding Alan Mayne’s (2017) most recent work, and earlier widely circulated examinations of slums (UN-HABITAT 2003; Davis 2006), this special issue/collection seeks to examine the effect and function, as well as the cultural and urban politics, of representing and/or mediating those urban spaces referred to as ‘slums’. Interested participants are encouraged to contact Jason Finch ( or Maxwell Woods ( prior to submission of abstracts with any questions they may have. Abstracts of 500 words are due to Finch and Woods by November 1.

The full call for contributions is available here: CfC_Mediating and Representing The Slum

The novelty of this special issue/collection will consist in its bringing together contributions concerned with the nineteenth- and early-twentieth century genesis of the notion of the slum, chiefly in the industrialized cities and imperial capitals of what became the Global North as well as in cities tied to these industrial and imperial capitals through global colonial matrices of power, with work on the period post-1945 in which urban settlements labelled ‘slums’ have grown explosively on every continent. Equally, it is envisaged that the collection will bring together researchers in a wide range disciplines alongside one another, thus opening up several new cross-disciplinary conversations.
This special issue/collection therefore seeks to investigate the function and effect of the mediation and representation of slums throughout the world. We seek papers and presentations from a diverse set of areas, languages, and time periods. Diverse methodological approaches are welcome, including but not limited to those offered by participants with backgrounds in fields such as human geography, cultural geography, urban history, literary studies, anthropology, sociology, and the history of art, architecture, and design. We are interested in perspectives from all geographical locations.

Questions we are asking include (but are not limited to):
– Should the word ‘slum’, viewed from the perspective of multiple disciplines, have continued currency in the mid-twenty-first century, or should it be replaced and if the latter then by what term or terms?
– How are slums mediated, conceptualized, and represented in literary works, artwork, cinema, formal reports, planning documents, and news media?
– What are the functions and effects of such mediations and representations?
– How are slums differently perceived by different urban collectives and populations? How do residents or potential residents of areas labelled ‘slums’ view them differently than government agencies?
– What is the relationship between ‘slums’ and discourses of modernization, development, and public health?
– What relationship do representations and mediations of ‘slums’ have with discourses and practices of colonialism, coloniality, and/or imperialism?
– How are slums being reconceptualized in the Anthropocene and/or the era of global climate change?
– How do race, gender, and class participate in the mediation and representation of slums?
– Can urban areas across time, space, and cultures be mediated through the concept of ‘slum,’ or should new modes of mediation be developed?
– How do the contemporary and historicized local histories and topographies of individual ‘slum’ areas relate to the longer-term identities of individual cities grasped through notions such as citiness, Deep Locational Criticism (Finch 2016) or the ‘stratigraphy’ proposed by geocritics (Westphal 2011)?
– How should the concept of the slum be related to notions of non-standard, non-traditional or provisional housing and urban living viewed not only negatively, including to notions of informality and improvisation?
– How does the history of the concept of the slum, including the history of the word ‘slum’ and related lexical items, affect an understanding of actual urban areas?



ALUS Symposium
Simultaneity in the City
15 February 2019, University of Duisburg-Essen

Simultaneity is an essential feature of citiness. The constant acceleration of urban life and the increasingly densely populated cities it takes place in confront us with countless layers of simultaneously occurring events, stories and developments. The interconnectedness of cities across the globe through new media only adds to the impression that simultaneity is “the crux of any attempt to narrate urban complexity, for simultaneity, the notion of innumerable things –momentous or trivial – happening at the same time, is surely a central characteristic of urban complexity.”[1] Simultaneity is a central concern not only in urban studies, but also in literary, film and media studies (and particularly in narratology across media), in transnationalism and transculturality, geocriticism, or diaspora studies, to only name some of the possible fields. Simultaneity therefore links urban studies to all of them.

The old question of whether a written text, linear in nature, can ever fully convey simultaneity, which has most famously been asked in Lessing’s Laocoon (1766), continues to motivate research on simultaneity. As Lessing argues, words on a page can tell a story only in sequence, unlike a painting (or the split screen in a film) which allows for simultaneous perception of several aspects of a scene. The innumerable stories that take place in a city, side by side, at any moment, can never be fully contained in any medium. Nonetheless, writers from diverse backgrounds—from Gustave Flaubert, Evgenij Ivanovič Zamjatin, Yokomitsu Riichi, Mu Shiying, Oliverio Girondo, James Joyce, Mário de Andrade, or T.S. Eliot, to Kiran Desai, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, or Naguib Mahfouz, to name only a few—have explored simultaneity in urban literature. This symposium aims to engage in a critical examination of such diverse attempts at representing urban complexity.

At the ALUS (Association for Literary Urban Studies)[2] symposium that will take place on Friday, 15 February 2019 at the University of Duisburg-Essen, we want to explore questions that relate to simultaneity in the city and the challenges that arise in representing it, while also encouraging research on the potential and potency of the concept. The symposium will take place on the Essen Campus of the University of Duisburg-Essen, where most of the institutes that share the university’s special focus on urban studies are located, although several research projects in urban studies also span the entire University Alliance Ruhr. Jason Finch and Lieven Ameel, president and vice president of ALUS, have been invited as a special guest speakers.

Suggested topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Simultaneity in literature
  • Simultaneity in audio-/visual arts and media
  • Urban complexity
  • The urban palimpsest
  • Globalisation, transnationalism, translocality
  • Theoretical perspectives on simultaneity
  • Historical perspectives on simultaneity
  • Simultaneity in Modernist/Avantgarde literature

We invite proposals for contributions (20 minutes in length) from scholars at all stages of their research. Proposals should include an abstract (200 words maximum) and a brief biographical note and should be sent to Lena Mattheis ( and Saskia Hertlein ( by 30 September 2018. Potential presenters will be informed by 15 October 2018 whether their abstract has been accepted. Further information and current updates on the symposium will be provided on the symposium website (

[1] Gurr, J. M. (2011). “The Literary Representation of Urban Complexity and the Problem of Simultaneity: A Sketchy Inventory of Strategies.” In: Gurr, J.; Raussert, W. (eds.) Cityscapes in the Americas and Beyond: Representations of Urban Complexity in Literature and Film. Trier, Tempe: 12.

[2] For more information on ALUS, please visit


Call for panelists:

Call for panelists for the annual conference of the International Society for the Study of Narrative (ISSN) 2019 (Pamplona, Spain, 6-8 June 2019). The panel on urban literary studies centres on the contemporary practice of psychogeography and psychogeographical literary works. It raises the question of how such a genre or discursive method can evoke a re-examination of our experiences of and in real urban spaces. As defined by Guy Debord of the Situationist International, psychogeography is “the study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behaviour of individuals” (1955). Contemporary psychogeography continues the practice of the dérive (drift) in urban settings. At the same time, it attends to the walker’s potential to actively unearth and generate narrations that counter urban scripts that have long been naturalised by formal institutions and repeated social practices.

Possible topics for the panel include:

  • Psychogeography as a genre
  • Psychogeographical literary moments as a discursive method
  • Textual cues and cognitive stylistics in psychogeographical literary moments in contemporary works (1999 and beyond) as triggers of reader emotion
  • Effects of (embodied) metaphors in contemporary psychogeographical writings
  • Urban rhythms and politics in contemporary psychogeographical writings
  • Second-generation cognitive approaches (such as enactment and experientiality) to psychogeographical writings
  • Walking-writing of the self and the imagination/fantasizing of (urban) space
  • Representation of the Thirdspace in psychogeographical writings
  • Effects of contemporary psychogeography on ideology
  • Lived spaces versus urban programmes
  • Representation and effects of urban designs, cognitive processes, and triggered experiences in psychogeographical literary moments
  • Psychogeographical walks in urban spaces (Pamplona)
  • Wordless histories: Walking as practical narration

Other topics that are related to psychogeography and the concerns of this panel are also welcomed.

See more information here: Call for Panelists ISSN 2019

If you are interested in joining the panel, please contact Kai Tan ( with a short description of your proposed paper by 31 July 2018 (Tuesday).

Call for applications:


Istanbul Studies Center at Kadir Has University invites applications for a nine-month Doctoral Residency Fellowship and a nine-month Post-doctoral Residency Fellowship starting in the Fall Semester of 2018 – 2019 academic year. We are interested in proposals that involve comparative perspectives and methods of understanding the city in general, and Istanbul in particular.

Call for applications here: ISC_Fellowship_call_2018

Please address the application material to the Director of Istanbul Studies Center ( The deadline for application is 15 May 2018. Applications will be considered as they come.



Large-Scale Housing Projects as Productive Space in Literature and Culture.
21 September 2018, Stockholm University, Sweden.
A one-day symposium organized by the Association for Literary Urban Studies (ALUS) in collaboration with the Department of Culture and Aesthetics (IKE).

See more information here: Call_for_Papers_Large_scale_housing_projects

During the latter part of the twentieth century, the high rise suburb emerged as a new urban space. This one-day symposium investigates questions about the representations and aesthetics of large-scale housing projects in the context of urban development, literary urban studies, and cultural geography.

ALUS and IKE want to encourage research on the representations and aesthetics of post-war large-scale housing projects in different cultural and geographical contexts, and invite proposals for papers dealing with the intersection of literary studies, urban history and other disciplines including human and cultural geography, design history and urban planning. Papers can be focused on theories and methodologies or be case studies.

Suggested topics that might be addressed include:
– Aesthetics of the large-scale housing project
– Post-war urbanism
– The large-scale housing project and the spatial turn in the humanities
– The large-scale housing project as dystopic/creative space
– New national identities, migration, and transnational literature
– The housing project and genre (literature, cinema, music, photography)
– The housing project as thirdspace/contactzone

We invite proposals for papers (20 minutes in length). Proposals should include an abstract (200 words maximum) and a short CV, and should be sent to Lydia Wistisen ( by 22 June 2018. Potential presenters will be informed by the end on June 2018 whether or not their abstract has been accepted.


CityLAB VI: City Aesthetics and Citizenship

Five day summer school on interdisciplinary approaches to urban aesthetics and citizenship, organized by the Antwerp Urban Studies Institute, July 2-6 2018.

This summer school, organized by the Urban Studies Institute (USI) at the University of Antwerp, in collaboration with the Antwerp Research Institute for the Arts (ARIA), will investigate both the impact of the aesthetic imagination on cities and the structural tensions between artistic visions and the social and material constructions of cities.

The application deadline is 3 April 2018. Candidates can apply by sending a letter explaining personal motivation and interest in the program (max. 500 words) and their brief CV.

Read more on University of Antwerp website:


Narva, an Industrial Border City: Literary Reflections
Symposium in literary urban studies and discussion day
University of Tartu Narva College, 13–14 September 2018

Studying city literature offers a rich interdisciplinary field for researchers to engage in. In autumn 2018 a meeting on literary urban studies will take place in Narva, an important border city and a commercial and industrial centre of historical significance. Contemporary Narva is also a hotbed of intriguing ideas. This is evident e.g. in the fascinating architecture of the building of the Narva College of the University of Tartu – a highly innovative educational building project on the Eastern border of the EU that has merited numerous prizes (ArchDaily 2013), as well as the exciting publications of the Narva Museum, the documentary film Paper City, and the intention of the President of the Republic of Estonia to move her seat temporarily to Narva in the coming autumn. Narva is an Estonian candidate city for the European Capital of Culture 2024.

Literary Narva has a broad scope. In 1898, Eduard Vilde published the novel Iron Hands, inspired by the Narva Kreenholm textile mill. The history of Narva and Sillamäe has been addressed by Andrei Hvostov, the Narva of memories reflected on by Albert Üksip, the lost Narva recalled by Adolf Rammo, Vladimir Beekman and Tiit Aleksejev (Hinrikus 2011, Talivee 2017).

We are suggesting two possible angles of approach.

A framework that has been gaining increasingly more attention recently is boundary studies. Boundaries are not seen as political or administrative lines of separation, but rather as sociocultural, environmental, economic and temporal processes that are being created by public practices and individual choices. Boundaries can be natural and visible in the landscape, but they can also be fully imaginary. Natural boundary regions often create contact zones that offer various opportunities for interaction and movement for humans as well as other species. Boundary regions are dynamic, compelling a constant engagement with issues of identity and of similarity and difference. Literary works concerned with Narva, as well as several other cultural phenomena in Estonia, will certainly provide fruitful material for study from these perspectives.

Secondly, from the perspective of technology studies we may enquire if Narva as a border city (observed in connection with, e.g., political boundaries, but also with the thresholds between nature and artifice, surface and the underground, the past and the future) exhibits a dependence of the social environment on the natural surroundings, and whether industrial aesthetics can be perceived here. Are the industrial and the beautiful in a negative correlation in an industrial city, or does a decrease in power diminish the beauty? Can the example of Narva serve to discuss the possible unfeasibility of restoring earlier associations, while the changed situation can be evaluated for its new value (e.g. recreational, cultural, heritage-related)? Can this be seen as reflected in the project of the Narva College building and the city’s more general planning policy?

Is Narva a city of more question than answers?

We invite you to address these topics, first and foremost in connection with literature. We welcome contributions for 20 min presentations and posters but are also open to suggestions for formats like shorter ‘provocations’ for works in progress (c. 5-10 min). Please send an abstract (for classical presentations) or a short note on why you are interested in the event and a possible title for your short intervention to Elle-Mari Talivee ( by 7 May, 2018.

The working languages are English (symposium) and Estonian/Russian (public day, summarising also the results of the symposium). Attendance is free.


The City: Myth and Materiality
29 May 2018, Wolfson Suite, Senate House, London WC1E 7HU, UK (10.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.)

A one-day symposium organized by the Association for Literary Urban Studies (ALUS) in collaboration with the Institute of Historical Research (IHR), University of London, with the support of the Turku Institute for Advanced Studies (TIAS).

Link to cfp here: The City Myth and Materiality CFP

Cities have always been driven by the dynamics between myths and materialities, oscillations between founding myths (from Rome to St Petersburg), to the material conditions of city sites (hills and swamps; river, estuary and seashore), and patterns of technological innovation, consumption, and distribution. City zones where myth and materiality meet include those to which ideas of the sacred and the profane are central, from cathedral precincts to slums and red-light districts. Unpacking the dynamics of urban materialities and their mediation in literary and other texts goes through a range of approaches, including the examination of urban experience, technology, or the topographic layout of streets in literary texts. Its aspects range from the physicalm production of books and the fetishization of art and other objects in city contexts, to studies of literary texts and historical moments from the perspective of book production, reading cultures, and consumption patterns.

ALUS and the IHR invite proposals for papers dealing with the intersection of literary studies and urban history, examining any historical period or geographical area, that work to reshape our understanding of the relationship between myth and materiality. Papers can be focused on theories and methodologies, or be case studies.

How do city myths and city materialities interact? And in what different ways do perspectives from literary studies, urban history, and other disciplines including human and cultural geography, design history and urban planning, cast light on these intersections?

Suggested topics that might be addressed include:
• Cities, their literature, and the history of technology including that of the media
• Studies of literary production in urban contexts
• Mediations and representations of specific city spaces, both imagined and actual
• Examination of the relation between actual city topographies to cities’ myths of themselves
• Approaches focused on ‘environment’ in literary urban studies and urban history
• The materialities of city myths, including memorials and toponyms
• Urban mythos: a given city’s self-fashioning through an idea of its unique personality
• Critical readings of city myth
• City objects
• Literary and historical urban archaeologies (both literal and figurative)

We invite proposals for papers (20 minutes in length). Proposals should include an abstract (200 words maximum) and a short (half page) CV (preferably in .doc or .docx format), and should be sent to Jason Finch ( by 20 March 2018. Potential presenters will be informed during the second half of March 2018 whether or not their abstract has been accepted.

A limited number of bursaries are available for Masters Students, PhD researchers and ECRs to help with conference fees and travel expenses. For more information and details on how to apply, please visit:

PLEASE NOTE: Booking for this symposium will open in April 2018.
Organizing committee: Jason Finch (ALUS, Åbo Akademi University), Lieven Ameel (ALUS, TIAS), Peter Jones (IHR, University of London)


Call for applications:

The University Alliance Ruhr (UA Ruhr) joins together the competences and resources of the Ruhr-University Bochum, the Technical University of Dortmund, and the University of Duisburg-Essen with the aim of further developing their performance and competitive position.

Within the framework of the Volkswagen Foundation’s sponsorship of the graduate research group Scripts for Postindustrial Urban Futures: American Models, Transatlantic Interventions (see, the universities of the UA Ruhr seek to fill the following positions for a total of four years from the period September 1, 2018-August 31, 2022:

7 Research Assistantships for Doctoral Candidates (TV L 13, 65%) as well as 1 Postdoctoral Position (TV L 13, 100%)

Please send your documents in PDF form (max. three attachments) with the subject line “Application: Scripts Graduate Research Group” and the code 201 18 to the speakers of the group, Prof. Dr. Barbara Buchenau (e-mail: and Prof. Dr. Jens Martin Gurr (e-mail:, by April 13, 2018.

See more information


Call for proposals:

(Im)Possible Cities
The First International Conference of the Association for Literary Urban Studies
23–24 August 2017
University of Tampere, Finland

In the wake of two successful international conferences under the auspices of the Helsinki Literature and the City Network, we are welcoming scholars interested in urban writing to the first international conference of the Association for Literary Urban Studies (ALUS).

This inaugural conference will be devoted to the theme of possible and impossible cities, the links between them, and the complex relationships between city imaginaries and real-world cities. The conference theme straddles a variety of fields, including literary urban studies, urban planning theory, cultural geography, and future studies. The two keynote speakers of the conference are Ayona Datta (King’s College London) and Eric Prieto (University of California, Santa Barbara).

The conference will take place in Tampere back to back, and in collaboration, with another urban studies conference, Re-City 2017 (24-25 August). This allows guests to participate in both conferences (i.e., two days in one, one day in the other; both conferences allow one-day registration). Please note that the two conferences will share the theme of (im)possible cities. Re-City 2017’s confirmed keynote speaker for 25 August is David Pinder (Roskilde University).

For more information: contact lieven.ameel [a]