The Tenth Annual Wenshan International Conference: The City and Literature: A Geography of Culture and Space

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English Department, National Chengchi University, Taipei, Taiwan
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The reciprocal relationship of literature and the city reveals a complexity of urban life that has given rise to literary imagery and themes that define our understanding of the city. Novelists and poets contrast ideal cities with earthly cities, culture with nature, the mechanical with the organic, and the city with nature. These writers embrace our ambivalence toward the city that captivates but threatens, excites but intimidates, showing us the potential for greatness along with the fear of failure. Aside from the physical and social development of the city through stages such as concentrated settlements, urban areas with suburban rings, and de-centered, undefined urban areas, there are the human constructed worlds built on the virtual reality of the digitalized information world, through the infrastructure of the Internet and cyberspace. As a result, the geography of modernism includes both the physical and virtual worlds. One finds variant representations of the city as a (anti-)signifying structure, the images of the city in accounts of the experience of urban life in the works of the giants of the last century as well the masters of our times. This conference aims to study the responses of writers, artists, and thinkers to the challenges of the city. Possible topics may include but are not limited to:

1. Modern/Postmodern Cities and Spaces
2. Myth and Metropolis and Urban Apocalypse
3. Visions of the City: History, Art, and Literature
4. Poetics of Exile and (Dis)location of Literary Genres
5. Cultural Geography and Transformation of Identities
6. Unreal City and Imagined City—Theme and Variations

Paper Presentations:
The language of the conference will be English, though there will be a special session for papers delivered in Chinese. Paper presentations will be limited to twenty minutes, plus ten minutes for questions and discussion following each presentation.

Abstract/Proposal Submission:
Please submit abstracts/proposals of 300-500 words written in either English or Chinese (without name of the author(s)) via the conference website at:

The deadline for all abstracts and proposals is September 10, 2010.

Authors of proposals invited to present at the conference are also encouraged to submit their papers to the refereed journal: Wenshan Review of Literature and Culture.

Important Dates:
1. The deadline for all abstracts and proposals is September 10, 2010.
2. Responses to submissions will be sent no later than September 30, 2010.
3. Full papers are due by April 29, 2011.
4. Conference date is May 28, 2011.

Further information is available at: