Cinematic Cities: Beyond the Metropolis (SCMS Panel, Boston 2012 – Deadline August 5th 2011)

full name / name of organization: 
Lawrence Webb, King's College London
contact email: 

Cinematic Cities: Beyond the Metropolis
Proposed Panel for Society of Media Studies Conference, Boston, 21-25, 2012

This panel invites papers on cinema/media and urban space that go beyond the dominant hierarchy of 'first-tier' global cities to consider urban representation and the geographies of cultural production in small, medium size, or so-called "second tier" cities globally. In recent years, rich and multi-faceted debates have emerged around the relationship between cinema and urban space. However, just as the global city has been highly influential in contemporary urban research, scholarship on the "cinematic city" has tended to focus on a series of paradigmatic metropolitan centres such as Paris and Berlin, New York and Los Angeles. Yet urban areas beyond these nodes of financial and political power are nevertheless implicated in processes of globalization and the reproduction and reformulation of capitalist spatialities. Furthermore, the cultural or creative economy has become a central tenet of urban redevelopment policy for all types of cities as they struggle to compete on the global marketplace. Questions addressed might include:
– how do film and other media represent the effects of urban restructuring and globalization on non-metropolitan urban space?
– how has the financial crisis impacted on urban experience and culture outside global cities?
– in what ways are peripheral or marginal spaces implicated in global networks of image production and distribution?
– what is the role of visual media in maintaining, redefining or challenging the relationship between the centre and the periphery and in the reimagining of the "urban" itself?

Submissions are welcome on any period of film/media history and any national context. Please send abstracts of 250 words plus a short bio by August 5 to