Appel à communication : « Persistent Spaces: politics, aesthetics and topography in the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century city »

Paris, Diderot University, December 12 – 13, 2013
Deadline: Oct 13, 2013

Call for Papers:

Persistent Spaces: politics, aesthetics and topography in the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century city’

Two-day postgraduate conference, 12th-13th December 2013, Université Paris Diderot

The aim of this two-day conference is to bring together young researchers to explore the city and its ideologies from a fully interdisciplinary perspective. We would like to combine approaches from the fields of literature and the arts, sociology, philosophy, law, science and engineering in order to create a dialogue between disciplines and methodologies. This conference would also establish a
dialogue between the 18th and the 19th centuries. We will seek to highlight the individual specificities of these two periods, but also to understand the echoes, continuities and breaks between them. From the Enlightenment to the late nineteenth century and before urbanism was fully established as a discipline, the city was constantly being configured and reconfigured by the joint influences of architects, civil engineers, political organizations, associations and the informal ‘practices’ of inhabitants. Writers and artists also play a major part in this process, both picking up on these developments and changing them through the aesthetics they deploy.  The conference will shed light on the city as a topography of struggle, a site of conflicting and interpenetrating layers, changing yet also persisting through time and space, and continually shaped by tensions between authority and resistance.

Topics may include, but are by no means limited to:
–    Authority, ideology, urban planning and everyday ‘practices’
–    Coherence or fragmentation of the urban space (home and workplace,
centre and slums, etc.)
–    Geographical juxtapositions / temporal superimpositions of spaces
–    Population, mobility and living conditions
–    Technological developments and urban networks
–    18th/19th century continuity and breaks
–    18th-century ideas persisting and materializing in the 19th century
–    Comparisons between / specificity of London and Paris

Papers will last for 20 minutes and will be followed by 15-minute discussions.

Our two keynote speakers will be:
–    Lynda Nead (Birkbeck College)
–    Stéphane Van Damme (Sciences Po Paris)

Abstracts no longer than 300 words should be sent to Clemence Follea ( or Clement Martin ( by October 13th, 2013, along with a brief biographical note, which should not exceed 50 words.

The scientific committee examining the papers is composed of doctoral students from Paris Diderot University: Claire Deligny; Clémence Follea; Clément Martin; Roisin Quinn-Lautrefin; Estelle Murail; and Marie Ruiz.

The conference will take place at Paris Diderot University (Paris, 13e arrondissement), on the 12th-13th December 2013.

This event is supported by the Laboratoire de Recherches sur les Cultures Anglophones (Université Paris Diderot).

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