The Cultures of the Suburbs International Research Network – Call for Papers

The Cultures of the Suburbs International Research Network

2014 Conference: Imagining the Suburbs – Thursday 19 to Saturday 21 June 2014- University of Exeter, Exeter, UK

 Confirmed Keynote Speakers: Professor Roger Keil, Director of the City Institute at York University, Toronto, and author, poet and broadcaster Michael Rosen. The Cultures of the Suburbs Research Network will host its 2014 conference, Imagining the Suburbs, at the University of Exeter, UK, from 19 to 21 June 2014.

 How do we imagine / re-imagine the world’s suburbs in the twenty-first century? How do current concepts of suburban space and experience sit with past ideologies and future planning? And how do these vary across different regions and in different social and political contexts? Are the suburbs unimaginative and outdated, or are they spaces for progress and change? And what part do (or might) the ‘cultures of the suburbs’ play in shaping and representing these environments?

 We invite proposals for individual 20-minute papers or for panels comprising three or four papers from a range of disciplines including (but not limited to) the Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences, and applied fields such as Architecture, Design and Planning. Areas of possible interest include (but again, are not limited to): the nature and meaning of cultural life in the suburbs; music and theatre (including amateur dramatics); visual culture (art, photography, digital modes); iconography; community radio and other forms of media; poetry, fiction, memoir, film & television; social networking; culture shock; faith communities / sacred spaces; religious spaces and practices; oral histories; local histories; archiving the suburbs; the rhetoric of the suburbs; language and dialect in the suburbs; teaching and researching the suburbs; working with students; learning from planners, architects and designers; children in the suburbs; the elderly in the suburbs; family life and change; health, education & work; privacy and public space in the suburbs; community / civic engagement; retrofitting; gentrification; poverty and deprivation; local, regional and national policy; changing economies; transport; globalization / borders; migration and diasporas; suburban land use; population density and change; green spaces; brownfield sites; sustainability; the suburbs of the future.

Please submit a 200 word proposal for your 20-minute paper (or a 200 word synopsis of your three / four-person panel) by 1 November 2013 to Jill Sullivan, Network Research Facilitator at

Once again, we have a limited number of travel bursaries (£100 each) available to postgraduate students who would like to participate. If you would like to apply for one of these bursaries, please include an application with your proposal, outlining the reasons why you would like to attend and how you feel your work fits with the theme of the conference.


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