NeMLA 2014: Making Art In/About/For Cities in Crisis panel

full name / name of organization: 
Nate Mickelson / CUNY
contact email: 

This session seeks to promote cross-disciplinary discussion of the roles verbal and visual art might play in the 21st-century American city. On the heels of the Great Recession, cities are undergoing massive transformations, with some gaining new prominence by attracting what Richard Florida calls "creative class" workers while others, particularly in the industrial Midwest and overbuilt South and Southwest, seem to be in irreversible decline. In collaboration with government and business leaders, architects and urban designers are arranging the physical environments of cities on the rise to further accelerate and intensify economic growth. At the same time, writers and artists are flocking to cities at the other end of the spectrum—Detroit, most prominently—creating collectives and workshops reminiscent of the 1960s poetry and art scenes in cities like Los Angeles and New York. Are we on the leading edge of another wave of appropriation and displacement in urban centers? Can anything save cities from capitalism's tendency toward creative destruction? Do cities in crisis need to be saved? Is there a critique from art or aesthetic theory that might be put in productive dialogue with economic and cultural approaches to urban problems? When will the new generation of urban artists break through and in which media? Send 250-word abstracts with contact and affiliation information to Nate Mickelson, by September 30, 2013.

About the conference:

Dates: April 3-6, 2014
Location: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Host: Susquehanna University