Urban Space and Cityscapes: Italian perspectives in fiction, photography, and film.

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Letizia Modena, Vanderbilt University

Dear Colleagues,

Please consider submitting a proposal to the following session for the NeMLA 2019 Convention in Washington, DC (March 21-24).

 Urban Space and Cityscapes: Italian perspectives in fiction, photography, and film.

 The crisis in knowing and representing urban space that has unfolded in Western Europe over the past twenty years seems to have been exacerbated, rather than ameliorated, by global technologies of representation.  At the same time, the crisis in the humanities engenders almost daily defenses of the social value of literature and other arts, but it often goes unnoticed just how indebted architecture and other urban studies fields are to essential elements of literature and other arts: description and narrative.  This panel seeks papers that address this missed opportunity by exploring the interplay between fiction writers, photographers, and directors with architects and urban planners in contemporary Italy.   How do literary and visual narratives “tell space” in ways that might provide architects and urban planners with productive approaches to the ongoing crisis of knowing and representing urban space?   Preference will be given to proposals that reflect on how a narrative viewpoint (in writing or in images) endorses alternative ways of seeing, describing, and constructing urban space, thus renewing our perception and understanding of the city.  Possible topics include: the social meanings and values of written and visual representations of the city; the potential impact of topographical and architectural representations in fiction, photography, and/or film on our individual and collective relationships to the built environment; gender and spatial practices; marginalized space; documentaries and the telling of space. 

 Please send abstracts (250-300 words) and a short biographical note to Letizia.modena@vanderbilt.edu by September 30th.  

Organizer and Chair: Letizia Modena, Vanderbilt University

Thank you very much for your attention,

Letizia Modena

Vanderbilt University