Meeting Places: The City as a Space of Cross-cultural Encounter
Across a wide range of disciplines, the city has long provided a critical site for studying the major social, cultural and intellectual developments in any historical era (Simmel 1950, Sennett 1970, Harvey 1989). The UGC-UKIERI Thematic Partnership Project, Envisioning the Indian City (ETIC) seeks to further our understanding of the crucial role played by Indian cities in negotiating contact between India and the world, and Europe in particular. It brings together a more extensive coverage than has been attempted hitherto outside single-discipline approaches, combining frontline, 'on-site' research with a pooling of expertise and access to crucial archival material in both countries, and placing geographically and culturally specific research on Indian cities on the map of global research into the idea of the city.
Project website: http://eticproject.wordpress.com/
The inaugural workshop, Spaces of Encounter, held at Jadavpur University (Kolkata, India) in January 2014, looked at the Indian city as a crucible of encounter between Europe and the world. Examining cities as 'palimpsests of real and diverse experiences and memories' (Huyssen 2008), a number of international scholars including Sukanta Chaudhuri, Swati Chattopadhyay and Kiran Joshi provided multidisciplinary, regional and wide-ranging historical coverage on the project's focal Indian cities (Goa, Kolkata, Pondicherry/Auroville, Chandigarh).
The second International Workshop to be held at the University of Liverpool invites a wider focus on the role of cities as loci for cross-cultural exchanges between Asia and Europe. Methodological and theoretical reflections are welcomed, as well as presentations of current research projects particularly on Indian cities as spaces of encounter between India and the UK, and India and Europe.
Proposals are invited for complete panels of three or four papers, as well as individual papers. Themes for papers and panels could include (but are not limited to) the following:
Please send abstracts (250 words for individual papers and 500 words for complete panels), a brief biographical statement (if proposing a panel, one for each participant), and contact de- tails, to email@example.com by 20 July 2014.
Papers should take between 15–20 minutes to present, and panels should last no longer than 90 minutes.
• How has the city historically and contemporarily facilitated cross-cultural encounters?
• What is the residue of cultural encounter and how are experiences shared and relayed?
• What movements and interactions constitute cities?