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Neo-Victorian Cities: Re-Imagining Utopian and Dystopian Metropolises (ed. collection), abstracts due: 28 Feb.2013
full name / name of organization:
Dr Marie-Luise Kohlke (Series Editor), Swansea University, UK
We invite contributions on the theme of Neo-Victorian Cities for the fourth volume in Rodopi’s Neo-Victorian Series, to be published in 2014. This collection will examine the retrospective presentation of nineteenth-century metropolises in the light of contemporary approaches to urban politics and geopolitics, exploring links between the city and the past’s paradoxical ‘modernity’, now obsolete. If the metropolis is seen as a synecdoche of the world, how does this conception reiterate or contradict nineteenth-century views of the city as a synecdoche of nations and/or Empire? How do urban centres reflect environmentalist grievances or anxieties surrounding globalisation, paradoxically functioning as sites of literal and metaphorical pollution and progressive forces? Does the hypermodern understanding of urbanism as a purveyor of plural ethnoscapes, mediascapes and ideoscapes find an echo in the re-examination of nineteenth-century cities as centres of social and ideological reform and cross-cultural encounter? By essence palimpsestuous places where the past can be read in the present and where the dead co-exist with the living, metropolises naturally lend themselves to neo-Victorian thematisation. We encourage chapters to investigate the problematic tension between the city as a site of social progress as well as segregation and injustice, as an ethical place of encountering the other and a non-place of individual negation, as a location of creative experimentation and (self-)annihilation. We also welcome analyses of the technical means used by neo-Victorian literature, film, and other media to convey the idea of the city as modernity in progress and never-ending because always re-creating itself anew.
Possible topics may include, but need not be limited to the following: