Écrire (sur) la ville / Writing (on) the City

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Steve Puig / St John's University
contact email: 



NEMLA Convention

Philadelphia, PA, March 11-14, 2021


Panel on French literature

How do French cities exist in contemporary literature? This bilingual panel seeks to discuss texts that deal with representations of major cities in France. Many literary texts have represented space and culture as sites of personal but also collective identity. In the 20th (and 21st) century, new narratives have represented modernity and redefined the relationship between the individual and the city. This panel aims to explore the “imageability” of the city (as defined by Kevin Lynch), and the various ways in which the city is represented, lived, and sometimes imagined. Of particular interested is the exploration of the tension between the realities of the city and its representations, as well as the city as a character.

Ideas for possible topics:

· Marseille in Jean-Claude Izzo’s novels

· Nantes and Bordeaux as a (post-)colonial cities

· Lyon as a gastronomical and/or literary capital

· Tours in the works of Gérard Lecha

· Nice and the French riviera in literature

· Bordeaux in Bords d’eaux by Pierre Veilletet or in Bordeaux by Bernard Delvaille

· Toulouse as a “hard” city in Laurent Mauvignier’s work

· Strasbourg as a French-German city (Olivier Guez)

· Lille in French “polars” (Syndrome E by Franck Thilliez)

· Paris in contemporary literature

· Theorizing the city in the 20th/21st century (Henri Lefebvre, de Certeau, Michel Butor, etc)

· Urbanism and literature (center VS periphery)


Please submit abstracts via the NEMLA webiste by September 30, 2020: