CFP: Jane Jacobs and Our Urban Myths (1/22/07; ASA, 10/11/07-10/14/07)

full name / name of organization: 
Jamin Rowan
contact email: 

Proposed Panel for the American Studies Association Conference (October 11-14, 2007; Philadelphia)

Jane Jacobs and Our Urban Myths

In 1969, Herbert Gans suggested that Jane Jacobs had created a "badly needed urban myth for our now almost entirely urbanized society" and proposed that, "[i]n the long run, this may well be her most important contribution." Especially in light of the many editorials written after Jacobs's recent death, it is clear that the "urban myth" born in _The Death and Life of Great American Cities_ and subsequent work has gained a serious foothold in our culture. While many conversations about and critiques of Jacobs have focused on the legitimacy of her urban planning strategies, this panel seeks to examine her as writer of urban narratives: What are the coordinates of Jacobs's urban myth? What are the discourses—urban and other—that she draws upon and engages with in her attempt to describe cities? How has Jacobs's particular urban myth informed representations of urban life grounded in other narrative forms? How do her narratives speak to contemporary urban communities, espec!
 ially those shaped by newer patterns of immigration? What other urban myths compete with or supplement the explanatory power that Jacobs's urban narratives have acquired over the past several decades?

Please send 500-word abstract and cv to Jamin Rowan (Boston College) at by January 22, 2007.

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Received on Tue Jan 16 2007 - 17:50:11 EST