deadline for submissions: 
November 21, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
Moveable Type - UCL English Graduate Journal

CFP: Issue 9: METRO|POLIS (2017)



Sicinius: What is the city but the people?

Plebians:                                    True,

            The people are the city.

                     - William Shakespeare, Coriolanus


The city is the slippiest of mankind’s creations. It is the wellspring of democracy; the seat of government; the land of opportunity; the sinkhole of vice; the playground of the rich; and the refuge of the outcast. It is tempting to say that it is all things to all people, and it is little wonder that it has proved a powerful source of provocation (if not always inspiration) for generations of commentators. Indeed, as Raymond Williams notes, by the end of the nineteenth century ‘City experience was now becoming so widespread, and writers, disproportionately, were so deeply involved in it, that there seemed little reality in any other mode of life’. It is with the ‘reality’ of the city in mind that Moveable Type invites contributions to its Winter Issue – METRO|POLIS.

From the Ancient Greek polis to the modern cosmopolis, the city has always been an ambivalent space. On the one hand it is unchanging and sepulchral, each idiosyncratic skyline, whether spiked with skyscrapers or adorned with marble temples, feeling indomitable: on the other hand it is always in flux, its neighbourhoods swell; its demographics alter; and its discontents simmer. Such conflicting spirits have given rise to an excitement, animation and even dread of urban spaces and what they might contain. How these emotions have been translated has, of course, differed from age to age: the poem, the novel, the short story, the article, the report, the inquiry, the map, the film and the HBO mini-series all engage in varied and fascinating ways. But how do these differ from city to city? And what do they tell us about the people who make up that city? Or the life lived within it?

Moveable Type looks to stimulate interdisciplinarity and encourages responses from across the humanities and social sciences. In addition, we also seek artistic responses and invite poetry, flash-fiction and short stories. Submissions may relate, but are not limited to: 

  • Representing the city (utopia; dystopia; science-fiction; film; photography).
  • Psychogeography.
  • Urban issues and their solutions.
  • Shifting populations (immigration; emigration; seasonal migration).
  • Power structures (policing; gang culture; riot; festival; ‘bread and circuses’).
  • The city as theatre (carnivals; trials; executions; funerals; the city on stage)
  • The ancient, medieval and early-modern city.
  • Town planning and public works (docks; railways; parks; canals; government buildings; social housing; schools; hospitals)
  • The metropole (empire; trade)
  • The city and the ‘good life’ (i.e. the polis as ‘born in view of living, but existing in view of living well’ Aristotle, Politics).


Please send submissions to by the 21st November 2016 with a short bio and clear abstract attached (docx files only). Academic articles are limited to 3,000-5,000 words and should subscribe to the MHRA referencing guidelines: authors may only enter one submission. We ask that creative responses do not exceed 5,000 words but they can be a series of interrelated poems or prose pieces. All academic submissions will be peer-reviewed and feedback will be provided for all submissions.  

In case of queries please feel free to contact