[UPDATE] Re-Conceiving the Urban: Public Space and Public Health (ACLA, 1-4 April 2010, New Orleans)

full name / name of organization: 
Heather Houser / Stanford University
contact email: 

Seminar Organizers: Allison Carruth, University of Oregon; Heather Houser, Stanford University

We invite paper proposals for ACLA's 2010 Annual Conference, "Creoles, Diasporas, Cosmopolitanisms," to be held 1-4 April, 2010 in New Orleans, LA.

DEADLINE EXTENDED: Proposals are due Monday, November 23, 2009.

How should we understand the "culture of cities," to cite historian Lewis Mumford, in the context of recent environmental and public health challenges? The industrializing city has often been imagined as cancerous in promoting both human illness and metastatic growth. This seminar will interrogate the relevance of this idea to the aesthetic forms that major cities inspire today; and we will examine how different urban imaginaries conceptualize the complex entanglements of ecology, health, and justice. In dialogue with the conference theme, the seminar will focus on the creolization of "city" and "country" spaces. Do neo-pastoral ideals inform cultural and material developments taking place within city limits? Do urban texts (and projects) enable new forms of "urban-rural synthesis," to borrow from James Machor? And how do contemporary cities reshape earlier notions of beauty and ugliness? We invite well-developed theoretical papers as well as those that examine specific late-twentieth- and twenty-first-century works of literature, film, urban design, and new media. Papers might also engage questions of de-urbanization, revitalization, gentrification, environmental justice, urban farming, and global labor flows.

Proposals of 250 words must be submitted through the ACLA website by Monday, November 23, 2009

Please select the seminar title, "Re-Conceiving the Urban: Public Space and Public Health," when submitting.

Feel free to contact Heather Houser, houserh@stanford.edu, if you have any questions.

The ACLA's conferences use a seminar format in which most papers are grouped into twelve-person seminars that meet two hours per day for the three days of the conference. This enables intensive discussion, participation, and collaboration.