Cinema and the City: Interdisciplinary Perspectives

deadline for submissions: 
November 6, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
University of Palermo

Call for Papers

Cinema and the City: Interdisciplinary Perspectives


International Conference

November 29-30, 2019


University of Palermo, Department of Architecture, viale delle Scienze

Room 1.3 and 1.4, Main Building


Deadline for proposals: November 6, 2019


The conference aims to explore the relationships established between cinema and urban areas. We want to stress the connections woven between cities and cinema, films, fiction and documentaries – important unconventional sources for the understanding of social and cultural contexts. We intend to focus on the modalities used in films to tell stories – through images and speech – concerning cities, territories, and places, residents’ lives in relation to spaces, to buildings, to landscapes, as well as to its urban culture as a whole. The perspective we have chosen for this conference is interdisciplinary and cinema will be considered as a medium to be understood and interpreted in several, possibly comparative, ways. Actually, cinema, as a specific cultural artefact, expresses both individual and collective viewpoints mirroring cultures and hybridizations that can be explored by various disciplines and comparative perspectives. This complexity, possible reflection of the contemporary world, is perhaps more tangible in cinema than in other expressive forms, making it accessible to many people and at the same time a medium in which several genres and contents meet and can be analysed and compared. We are particularly interested in comparative perspectives and interdisciplinary viewpoints. As a result, the conference aims to engage researchers from different countries and various fields of study in order to explore the multiple ways through which cinema is able to contain and manifest crucial aspects of cities and urban spaces. Anthropologists, architects, urban planners, geographers, sociologists, film critics, semioticians, scholars of aesthetics, of images, of cultural studies, as well as film directors, documentary film makers and designers are invited to share their experiences and their ideas. We intend to collect the articles and publish them in a collective volume.


The Committee welcomes papers on any-related topic. Suggested topics may include:


Cultural and social exchanges and/or conflicts between cultures, people and places

Cultural hybridizations

Urban spaces: the concrete building

Urban spaces: the symbolic building

Urban spaces: beauty

Urban spaces: transformation

Urban spaces: relationships between people

Living, moving, dwelling

Urban economy and the real estate market

Urban rituals

Visual imaginaries

Cities and comics

Film photography and urban spaces

Food and cities

Politics, cinema and cities

Ghettoes and cities as “prisons”

Urban distress and marginalization, inclusion and exclusion

Transforming urban spaces

Centres, suburbs, gentrification

Cities and dreams

Urban biographies: telling the city

Everyday life and urban infrastructures

Domestic spaces and cities

Identity and urban configurations

Old and new methodologies of analysis

Imaginary horizons and cities

Perception, interaction and urban spaces

Urban Resilience/Resistance


Scientific Coordinators

Flavia Schiavo and Stefano Montes


Organizing committee

Flavia Schiavo, Stefano Montes, Leonardo Mercatanti, Federico Montanari, Alessandro Prato, Gaetano Sabato, Giusi Coppola, Massimo Bonura, Alessio Arena


Administrative organisation

Department of Architecture, Università di Palermo, Viale delle Scienze 90128, Palermo


Proposals  and information should be sent to:

Flavia Schiavo ( and Stefano Montes (


Deadline for proposals and biodata: Novembre 6, 2019

Proposal abstract and title: max 250 words

Time for speech: 20 minutes

Languages used in the conferences: Italian, English, French and Spanish


Participation is free, travelling, accommodation and meals are covered by participants.