Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Texts / Cities - Call for Papers

TEXTS / CITIEs: from the 1970s to the present

A one-day seminar at the TVAD Research Group, University of Hertfordshire

Thursday January 23rd, 2014

Convened by Dr. Daniel Marques Sampaio and Mr. Michael Heilgemeir, University of Hertfordshire

This seminar will explore relationships between texts and urban spaces in contemporary culture and society. The aim is to bring together scholars within an interdisciplinary range of art, design, and media practices to examine, analyse and interpret the complexities of those relationships, looking at the movement from text to urban space and back.

Cities have often been compared to palimpsests, their streets, buildings, and subways pleated, crumpled, written and rewritten over and over again: as material texts, poïesis. What is at stake in this conflation of city and text? Can the city be read, does it indeed operate like a text? How do urban spaces relate to artistic, political, or economic texts and ideologies, and vice versa? What transformations occur between the designing and imaging of urban spaces, and the building and eventual inhabiting of those spaces? How do the technologies employed in designing and imaging architectural and urban spaces (computer modelling and simulation, CGI renderings of future buildings, etc.) contribute to the ‘idea’ or representations of a city? In what ways can data and imaging influence understanding of, and policies within cities?

These are some of the questions we invite; further topics could include but are not limited to:

  • Analyses of representations (fictional, cartographic, theoretical) of urban spaces and of the ‘urban experience’;
  • New media, Big Data, imaging technology, and daily life in contemporary cities;
  • Ideal cities, utopias, dystopias, heterotopias;
  • Political and economic ideologies and urban spaces;
  • Arts in the city;
  • Textual interventions in urban spaces (graffiti, advertising, etc.).


To submit a proposal for a 20-minute paper, please send an abstract of 300 words, five key words, contact details, affiliation (if any), and a short biographical note, to: Dr. Daniel Marques Sampaio and Mr. Michael Heilgemeir

Selected papers will be presented at the seminar and may be included in a planned peer-reviewed issue of the journal Writing Visual Culture

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