Mapping the World - The City, the Novel and Modernity

full name / name of organization: 
RMIT University, Melbourne

Mapping the World
The City, the Novel and Modernity
1900 to the present

'The city is one of the great subjects of literature, both ancient and modern.' (John M. Ganim 2002, Review essay, 'Cities of Words: Recent Studies on Urbanism and Literature' Modern Language Quarterly 63:3)

Despite the large number of studies of the city in literature, recent developments in literary geography emerging from Franco Moretti's in Atlas of the European Novel 1800-1900 (Verso: London, 1998) and the collaborative projects of Barbara Piatti and cartographers as in Die Geographie der Literature. Schauplätze, Handlugnsräume, Raumphantasien (Goettingen: Wallstein, 2008), suggest new ways of mapping the city in literature. Moretti's method demonstrates the unique form of insight that emerges from mapping fictional representations of place and locations of literary consumption and offers greater understandings about the formation of the nation state. Piatti attempts to map projected, imagined and invented places ('different geographies') as they appear in literature, and the way in which literature can claim geographic space.
Through an examination of some of the world's cities, this anthology aims to build on this discourse of the literary atlas and extend the long-standing interest in the intersections of literature and geography. Its essays will provide cartographic insights into the literature of the world's cities. Combining the two distinct disciplinary fields of literary study and cartography, the essays will offer a visually engaged discourse with fictional settings from which new understandings about literature can be built. Each continent will be represented in the volume. The essays will examine the cities' literature, the writer and the city, social movements, modernity and thought, mapping and place.

Abstracts are therefore sought from those engaged in the fields of literature, cartography, creative writing, media, cultural, social and urban studies, history, philosophy and theory.

Please refer any enquiries to Professor Harriet Edquist or Professor Catherine Cole, RMIT University, Melbourne.

Abstract Deadline plus short biography: 30 June, 2009
Please send abstracts of up to 2000 words and bio as a pdf to one of the following:
Professor of Architectural History
Research Leader, Geoplaced Knowledge program, Design Research Institute
Director, RMIT Design Archives
Professor of Creative Writing,
School of Creative Media,
RMIT University, Melbourne
Co-ordinator, Australian Literary Compendium
Board Member, Asia Pacific New Writing Partnership