Sites of Citizenship--10 June 2011

full name / name of organization: 
King's College London

This one-day conference seeks to bring together interdisciplinary scholarship illuminating the ways in which the 'spatial turn' towards site-specific research is informing discussions of citizenship in the arts and humanities. As a particular socio-legal construct, reckonings of citizenship have always engaged the built environment. Yet as an imaginative concept envisioned most readily within humanities scholarship, citizenship has come to engage the built environment on increasingly varied and contestable terms.

Encompassing civic identity as well as community memory, mass consumption as well as mass participation, citizenship—and, perhaps more importantly, 'the citizen'—has expanded beyond traditional legal boundaries and traditionally drawn political borders. As such, we ask: How have debates over citizenship been played out in the built environment? How have these differed across temporal and geographic boundaries/contexts? How has 'the spatial' influenced the concept of citizenship and the character of individuals or communities seeking formal recognition as citizens?
A range of topics and approaches are desired, including (but not limited to):

o Sites of protest movements, civil disobedience, collective action(s), community projects
o Sites of civic commemoration and cultural memory (memorials, museums, libraries etc.)
o Civic public spaces (parks, squares etc.)
o Built environments both real and imaged (urban 'utopias', suburban 'dystopias', rural hinterlands, industrial heartlands etc.)
o Sites of social control (prisons, hospitals, government buildings, administrative cities, etc.)
o Sites of social interaction across the spectrum from public to private (public transport, polling stations, shopping centres, markets, schools, bars, hotels, theatres, residential environments etc.)

Please send a 250-word paper proposal, with a brief CV, to Dr. Cara Rodway ( or Dr. Jason Narlock ( by 15th February. Presentations will be considered for a possible special issue on space and citizenship.