Narratives of the Urban Waterfront in Crisis

Presenting a paper on narratives of the urban waterfront in crisis today at a seminar at the University of Tampere on spatial themes.

“How is the experience of crisis at the waterfront, and the uncertainty vis-a-vis possible futures, shaped in and by narrative?

This paper looks at narratives of the post-industrial urban waterfront from two distinct, but intermingling perspectives. I examine how narrative fiction frames the experience of the waterfront in crisis, and how literature presents possible futures and alternative courses of action in the face of crises. My research moves on to analyse how, in planning and policy documents of the waterfront, the simultaneous possibility of alternative storyworlds structures the way planning narratives are shaped. This research is interested, in particular, in how competing alternative storyworlds organize the narrative dynamics in both contemporary literary narratives and policy documents, juxtaposing desirable with undesirable storyworlds, and identifying moments of agency – the possibility to act towards a particular future. Three case studies will be addressed: the development of post-industrial waterfronts in Antwerp (Belgium), Helsinki (Finland) and New York City (US) in the period 1990–2015. The juxtaposition of these two different sets of texts will put into greater focus the sense of urgency of many of the literary texts examined, while simultaneously drawing out the profoundly rhetoric and narrative strategies underlying policy documents.”


Guest Lecture & Seminar on Spatial Themes

8 November 2016, room B4116

14.15 Elena Trubina (Ural State University):  ‘Permsky Kul’turnyi Proekt’ [Perm Cultural Project]: Looking back, looking forward

15.15  Lieven Ameel: Narratives of the Urban Waterfront in Crisis

15.40  coffee

15.55  Essi Katila: Russian Arctic as Utopian Myth and Apocalyptic Space – an Ecocritical Approach

16.20  Pasi Metsä: From Fittja to Myrbacka – Poor People’s Spaces in Mathias Rosenlund’s autobiography ‘Kopparbergsvägen 20’ (2013)

16.45  Yulia Bakhtina: Identity and Space in Narratives of Russian-Speaking Ingrian Finns

17.10 Books & refreshments

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