On Cities and Utopias, Individualities and Globality--Deadline February 1, 2010

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Issue of Journal of Contemporary Literature
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Troy, Ur, Sumer, Babylon, Samarqand, Timbuktu, Jerusalem, Cairo, Bagdad, Damas, Constantinople/Istanbul, Prag, New York, London, Dublin, Berlin, Paris, Tangiers, Delhi/Indraprastha are just a few names in the long list of real/mythical urbanities.


The birthplaces of cultures, they symbolize better than everything else the expressions and contradictions of fictional identities. Ulysses wants to go back to Ithaca, Stephen Dedalus wants to leave Dublin, Mahfouz's "beggar" roams the streets of Cairo in search of wisdom…


Almost every major work of world literature fiction, theater and/or poetry is linked, in some way or another, to a city, whether a small fisherman's village or a metropolis.


In the age of globalization, the city as fictional background takes on an acute signification, as the paradigms keep on shifting, not only from the micro to the macro and back, but also transversally, from culture to culture, from gender to gender, from dominant to dominated.


In this issue of THE JOURNAL OF CONTEMPORARY LITERATURE (an international bi-annual refreed journal), all aspects of the problem will be considered, revolving around these main topics:

-Origins and identities.

-Narrative architectures.

-Gender relations within an urban frame.

-Dominant cultures vs local resistance.

-Travels between cities – encounters and confrontations.

-Poetry within – urban metaphors.

-Modernity and globalization – the city as a problematic.

-North, south, east, west: cardinality of the cities.

-Myths and social-realism – urban narration today.

-Urbanity and genre.


An abstract of not more than 500 words can be sent to prof. Sébastien Doubinsky at sebdoubinsky@yahoo.fr. Deadline: February 1st 2010.