City Peripheries / Peripheral Cities, Helsinki, 29-30 August 2013, cfp deadline 31.3.2013

full name / name of organization: 
Helsinki Literature and the City Network, Department of Finnish, Finno-Ugrian and Scandinavian Studies P. O. Box 3, 00014 University of Helsinki
contact email: 

City Peripheries / Peripheral Cities
The first international conference of the Helsinki Literature and the City Network (HLCN)
Helsinki, Finland 29-30 August 2013

The conference 'City Peripheries / Peripheral Cities' invites papers on new approaches to the study of literary cities, city peripheries and peripheral cities in any historical period or part of the world. See attachment for the conference abstract. The deadline for the call for papers is 15 March 2013. The language of the conference is English. Please send proposals (length approximately 300 words) to

The keynote speakers are Professor Tone Selboe, University of Oslo and Professor Jeremy Tambling, University of Manchester. Professor Selboe has written extensively on city literature and urban theory. Her latest articles in English include "Home and City in Dickens's Great Expectations and Flaubert's L'éducation sentimentale", and "Virginia Woolf and the Ambiguities of Domestic Space". Professor Tambling is the author of numerous books on comparativist literary themes including, with an urban focus, Lost in the American City: Dickens, James and Kafka (2001), Going Astray: Dickens and London (2009) and, with Louis Lo, Walking Macao: Reading the Baroque (also 2009).

Papers on subjects including, but not limited to, the following themes are welcome:

 City peripheries in pre-modern literature
 City writing from below: slumming, narratives of marginal urbanities
 From the centre to the margins and beyond: urban dynamics in literature
 Literary descriptions of travel to and beyond city peripheries
 Literature which addresses the question of how city peripheries are to be defined: what is and what is not city?
 The literature of cities (and language cultures) which are distant from other urban centres or from today's globalised megacities
 Peripheral urban genres: novels aimed at young readers, the 'urban novel' or 'street lit.', the hard-boiled crime novel, etc.
 Suburban perspectives on city literature
 Shifting and overlapping boundaries between the urban, the suburban and the rural
 Frontiers within the city (social, spatial, literary)
 Multicultural, multiethnic and multilingual cities
 Urban wastelands: the literature of abandoned areas and deserted buildings

Particular sessions on literary London, urban dynamics, and Northern peripheral cities have been proposed, and further sessions will be organized on the basis of the final applications.

During the conference, a round table discussion will be held to discuss the development of the network and the possibilities for further cooperation between international scholars in the field of urban literary studies. A peer-reviewed publication on the basis of selected conference papers is planned.

For more information contact:
Lieven Ameel, University of Helsinki (
Jason Finch, Åbo Akademi University (
Markku Salmela, University of Tampere (

HLCN website: