CFP: Staging the City (summer '03; essay collection)

full name / name of organization: 
Robert Brazeau
contact email: 

Staging the City

I am seeking submissions for an essay collection titled Staging the City.
I have proposed the collection to a university press, and they have
expressed a strong interest in it.

Walter Benjamin was the first to regard the city as a schauplatz ("A Berlin
Chronicle"), a theatrical and theoretical space where post-Enlightenment
investments in rationality are coupled with myths of all sort to confound
Western notions of modernity, progress, and order. In fact, myth works
within the rational as a necessary counter-force to reorder or reconceive
the city. Michel de Certeau, following Benjamin, has also placed myth and
disorder prominently within his phenomenology of the city as navigable
landscape. This is, it should be noted, not the same as saying that the
city merely represents (or encodes and undercuts) Enlightenment values: it
stages scenes where these values are glorified in continuous exhibits of
progress, rationalism, and culture. In this staging, however, the city
also reveals its anxieties about populations and performances that fail to
fit Enlightenment ideals.

Papers are encouraged that treat the city from a number of different
approaches and within a broad theoretical range. The collection will bring
together essays that consider representations of urban space in literary
works of all genres, as well as explicitly theoretical writing on the city.
 I will consider proposals and completed papers, but would prefer the
latter. Please do not send essays that have been previously published or
essays that are under consideration elsewhere. The collection, which I
hope to have at the press by the end of the summer, will consist entirely
of new work.

Please send proposals or essays and a brief CV either by email (no
attachments please) or by regular post to Prof. Robert Brazeau, Dept. of
English, HC 3-5, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, T6G 2E5, Canada.


Dr. Robert Brazeau, Asst. Professor
Dept. of English
HC 3-5
University of Alberta
Edmonton, AB
T6G 2E5
ph: 780.492.4708
fax: 780.492.8142

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Received on Sun Feb 16 2003 - 17:33:51 EST