CFP: Peripheral Visions: Suburbs, Representation and Innovation (UK) 17-18 June 2011, CFP Deadline: 1 Feb 2011

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Kingston University London - Centre for Suburban studies

Peripheral Visions
Suburbs, Representation and Innovation
Kingston University, United Kingdom, 17-18 June 2011

Recent work in the burgeoning interdisciplinary field of suburban studies has focused on how suburbs have become increasingly diverse and dynamic places. Arguably, though, perceptions of suburban life, whether in executive commuter belts, banlieues or shanty towns, continue to be dominated by a relatively narrow range of representations. Yet, as suburbs have emerged, developed and diversified, new forms of creative production – across film, photography, literature, music and digital media – have arisen from and in response to them. This two-day conference will investigate what it is about these seemingly inauspicious environments and lifestyles that has rendered them so inspirational. It seeks to illuminate the aesthetic shifts and formal innovations that have been involved in their representation over the last century, across all media and genres, and within and across different cultures and territories. By focusing on such innovations, Peripheral Visions will interrogate developments to concepts that are central to twentieth and twenty-first century life, including property, autonomy, consumption and citizenship.

Confirmed keynote speakers:
-Professor Rob Shields (University of Alberta)
-Professor Carrie Tarr (Kingston University)
-Dr Jo Gill (University of Exeter)

We welcome proposals for panels and papers which explore topics including, but not limited to:
• Defining suburban aesthetics and poetics
• Suburbs and genre
• The suburb as fictional world
• New technologies and auto-documentary / subcultural production
• Pioneer suburbs and their representation
• Poverty on the periphery / the suburbs in economic crisis
• Suburban pasts, suburban futures
• Representing transnational suburbs

We also welcome contributions which cross critical/creative boundaries.
Please submit abstracts (of up to 500 words) online at by 01/02/2011. Email enquiries to or