CFP: London in Text and History, 1400-1700 (UK) (3/1/07; 9/13/07-9/15/07)

full name / name of organization: 
Ian Gadd

London in Text and History, 1400-1700

13-15 September 2007 at Jesus College, Oxford

Organisers: Ian Archer (Oxford), Matthew Davies (Centre for Metropolitan
History, London), Ian Gadd (Bath Spa), Tracey Hill (Bath Spa), Paulina Kewes

Plenary speakers include: Paul Griffiths, Rob Hulme, Mark Jenner, Mark
Knights and Peter Stallybrass


This conference will focus on the variety of metropolitan identities, and
how these were constructed, represented, and contested by contemporaries
through a variety of media, including text (broadly
defined), visual culture, maps, architecture and performance.

Between 1400 and 1700, London expanded hugely in population; it was affected
by religious and political upheaval; it emerged from the shadow of its
near-neighbour European competitors to become a world metropolis; and its
physical face was transformed by the dissolution and the Great Fire. Our
concern, however, is not so much with what these political, economic, or
religious changes were but rather how they were figured in a range of forms
and genres: ballads, drama, civic shows, sermons, pamphlets, poems, urban
chronicles, topographical guides, paintings, engravings, and maps.

Lively literatures exist for medieval and early modern London but they
rarely engage with each other nor do studies of post-Restoration London
connect with the pre-civil war period. Consequently, plenary speakers will
range widely to set up the major areas of debate, while the panels will be
designed to encompass broad time-spans and to facilitate exchange among
scholars from a wide variety of disciplines, including history, literature,
art history, architecture and cartography. The conference will also reflect
on the impact of some 10-15 yearsworth of unprecedented scholarly attention
to London.

We would particularly welcome proposals for papers relating to the following

Ideas and beliefs

    * The idea of the City. How contemporaries understood the city in local,
national, and international terms
    * Citizenship. The shaping and contestation of notions of citizenshipin
    * History and civic memory. Chronography, chorography, and civic
history. The ways Londonersidentities were informed by their sense of the
citys past and by the associations of particular places
    * Belief and the citizen. Perceptions of the place of religion in the
life of the capital; responses to and interpretations of religious change
and controversy

Places and people

    * The urban landscape. Ideas of civic/communal/private space;
perceptions of boundaries, streetscapes and neighbourhoods; the
representation of Londons physical expansion
    * Urban deviance. The shaping of languages of deviance by the
metropolitan experience; the representation of disorder and criminality
    * Visual London. The changing ways in which the city was represented to
itself and to others in maps, prints, and paintings
    * Inclusion and exclusion: the problem of the stranger. Representations
of aliensand foreigners; newcomers and the problem of marginality
    * Londons business and commerce. The perception and representation of
economic change and the citys position in relation to other cities;
consumerism; financial and productive network

Texts and art

    * Literary London. The ways in which writings about London were both
shaped by and shaped the identities of Londoners
    * Civic entertainments. Lord Mayors Shows, royal entries: pageantry,
display, and politics
    * Communication and information. Licit and illicit communication; the
production and consumption of advertising and propaganda; gossip and civic
    * Readers, writers and the circulation of texts. Reading communities in
the city; the creation of cultural networks

Proposals for papers (300 words max) should be sent by email to or by 1st March 2007 (NB.
this is an extended deadline).

Dr Ian Gadd
School of English & Creative Studies
Bath Spa University
Newton Park
Bath BA2 9BN / 01225-875455
(alternative e-mail:

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Received on Sat Oct 14 2006 - 20:52:05 EDT