“London Calling”: The British Capital in Popular Culture

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2024
full name / name of organization: 
PopCRN - the Popular Culture Research Network
contact email: 

PopCRN (the Popular Culture Network) will be holding a free virtual symposium exploring the city that is London. Held online on Thursday 5th and Friday 6th of December 2024.

London is one of the great cities of the world and has witnessed many events, both fictional and real. This conference aims to explore the multiple ways London has been depicted in popular culture, from a multi-disciplinary perspective.

This is the city of Shakespeare and Chaucer, Churchill and Vivienne Westwood, The Thames, the Met, the London Eye, the Tube, Trafalgar Square, Mayfair, the East End, Wimbledon Common, the Oval, Wembley, Lords, Crystal Palace, Alexandra Palace, Greenwich, the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus, Green Park, Hyde Park, London Zoo, Regent’s Street, Chancery, the City of London, the Isle of Dogs, the Guy Fawkes plot, Scotland Yard, 221b Baker Street, Diagon Alley, the Horniman, the V&A, the British Museum, Downing street, Notting Hill, Portobello Road, Soho, The Royal Ballet, Harrods, Hamley’s, Liberty’s, Fortnum and Masons, Carnaby Street, Abbey Road, the Millenium Dome, Brick Lane, Jack the Ripper, Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral, the Monument, Heaven nightclub, Borough Markets, Peasouper fogs, Charles Dickens, Michael Caine, the Blitz, Paddington Bear, the Wombles, red phone booths, double decker buses, police phone box, the Shard, the Tate, Millenium Bridge, London dry gin, Battersea Power Station, Battersea Dogs home, Last Night of the Proms, Black Cabs, Oranges and Lemons, the MI6 Building, London Symphony Orchestra, Hammersmith Apollo, the London Dungeon, Kew Gardens, the Sex Pistols, Pigeons, Squirrels, the Savoy, the Ritz, Adele, Hampton Court, Hampstead Heath, Alfred Hitchcock, Elizabeth Taylor, Worlds Dart Championship, Banksy, Cockney Rhyming Slang, Madame Tussauds, the University Boat Race, Moll Flanders, Oliver Twist, The End of the Affair, Hellsing, Neverwhere, the London Marathon, the Hundred and One Dalmations, King’s Cross Station, The Left-Handed Booksellers of London and the Great Fire of 1666 to name just a few.

Keynote - Pamela Church Gibson

Reader in Film & Cultural Studies at the London College of Fashion, Vice-Chair of the European Popular Culture Association, and Principal Editor of the refereed journal Film, Fashion & Consumption

We welcome papers from researchers across the academic spectrum and encourage papers from postgraduate researchers and early career researchers. Papers from this conference will have the opportunity to be published in the International Journal of Popular Culture

To whet your appetite, we have provided some topics below. We will also accept topics beyond this scope:

  • “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.”- The city as a microcosm of the world.
  • “Mind the Gap.” – Travel and tourism in London.
  • “When it's three o'clock in New York, it's still 1938 in London.” – How traditions define London.
  • “As long as I gaze on, Waterloo sunset, I am in paradise” – The city as muse.
  • “Oh, I love London Society! It is entirely composed now of beautiful idiots and brilliant lunatics. Just what society should be.” ­– Depictions of glamour and London society in popular culture
  • “If the ravens leave the tower, the Kingdom will fall” – The royal city in popular culture.
  • The parks be the lungs of London.” – How London’s green spaces are imagined and reimagined.
  • London’s greatest strength is our diversity.” ­– How immigration is depicted in popular culture.
  • “Well, I saw Lon Chaney walking with the Queen, Doin' the werewolves of London.” – Paranormal happenings in London.
  • Have you seen the old girl, who walks the streets of London? – Age and the city.
  • In a West End town, a dead-end world/ The East End boys and West End girlsClass and geography of London.
  • They're changing guard at Buckingham Palace; Christopher Robin went down with Alice.” – London as a military city in popular culture.
  • “London Bridge is Falling Down, My fair lady!” – The art of London’s architecture.
  • “Old Father Thames.” – The riverscape as narrative backdrop.
  • “Mrs Brown says that in London everyone is different, and that means anyone can fit in.” – London’s alternative scenes.
  • “London’s burning! London’s burning!” – The long cultural memory of 1666.
  • “Advance to Mayfair!” – The London of boardgames.
  • “Turn again, Whittington, Thou worthy citizen, Lord Mayor of London.” – Politics and politicians in popular culture.
  • “Excuse me sir, can you tell me where I might find Platform Nine and Three-Quarters?” – London reimagined.
  • “Dance the Tyburn Jig” – Crime and London in popular culture.
  • “You know, fish, chips, cup of tea, bad food, worse weather, Mary-f**king-Poppins. London!” – Stereotyping London.
  • “Any time you’re Lambeth way, Any evening, any day, You’ll find us all, Doin’ the Lambeth Walk” – Historic London dance crazes.
  • “Would I were in an alehouse in London” – Leisure in London.
  • “Oranges and Lemons say the Bells of St Clements” – London as religious centre in popular culture.
  • “If the lull is to end, if the storm is to renew itself, London will be ready, London will not flinch, London can take it again” – London’s character in times of adversity.

Please email abstracts (200 words) to popcrn@une.edu.au by 30st September 2024. Please include your name, affiliation, email address, title of paper, orcid ID (where available), google scholar link (where available) and a short biography (100 words). Registration is free.