Poetry and the Poetic Word in Public Spaces: Urban Resistances to Neoliberalism from 1970 to the Present

Seminar at the Annual Conference of the American Comparative Literature Association, March 20-23 2014, New York University

Deadline for paper proposals: November 1, 2013

Organizer: Cornelia Grabner, Lancaster University

Neoliberal policies have changed the ways in which city dwellers and visitors inhabit and experience cities. Spatial segregation, social inequality, securitization, militarization, gentrification, and the cut-backs in funding for cultural      projects have compartmentalized public space and the cultural expressions that develop within it.

Poetry and the poetic word often play a significant role in the social movements, countercultures and cultures of resistance that have formed in response to neoliberalism. Examples include the insertion of poetry into public space in order to form new and resistant collectivities; the use of the poetic word as a resistance to social division; and the work of autonomous social centers on and with poetry.

On the formal level, city poetry responds to the neoliberal division of cities into separated zones of perception. In some zones, the sense of danger and the need for constant alertness highlights the importance of poetry as an autonomous way of making sense. In others, social clean-up and architectural cleanliness reduce sensory perception and encourage a withdrawal into the intimate.

This workshop invites papers that explore the role of poetry and the poetic word as a resistance and response to the neoliberal city. Interdisciplinary approaches and approaches from a variety of disciplines are welcome.

Possible lines of enquiry include

      – poetry and the sensory in the neoliberal city

      – subjectivities and collectivities

      – the poetic word in film, music, and the visual arts

      – urban social movements

      – territorialities of resistance

      – autonomous cultural spaces and projects

 Please submit your paper proposal here: http://www.acla.org/submit/

 For further information on the ACLA conference see here:


Call for Papers: ‘Understanding Island Cities’

Special issue of Island Studies Journal and Island Dynamics

Despite the great progress made in the fields of island studies and urban studies over recent decades, little attention has been paid to island cities per se. Indeed, some may consider island studies and urban studies to be mutually exclusive areas of inquiry. Nevertheless, there is a strong correlation between islandness and urbanity: Over the course of human history, many important regional, global, and capital cities have developed wholly or partially on small islands or archipelagos and are almost invariably coastal (located near seas or along rivers). Physical separation from the mainland and

spatial limitations along with a maritime tradition can encourage the transport of products and ideas, improved defence infrastructure, construction of social capital, consolidation of political power, formation of vibrant cultures, and concentration of population. Examples of cities that are largely contiguous with small islands include Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, Hong Kong, New York, St Petersburg, Singapore, and Venice.

 Another kind of island city is represented by the capital city or major population centre of larger, primarily rural islands or archipelagos. Each of these cities is affected not just by the dynamics at work in urban areas in general, but also by the special functions it gains from acting as a metropolis that provides goods and services to rural island hinterlands. Examples of this kind of city include Havana, Manila, Palermo, Reykjavik, and Taipei.


Island Studies Journal (ISJ) (http://www.islandstudies.ca/journal) and Island Dynamics (http://www.islanddynamics.org) invite submissions to a special joint publication on ‘Understanding Island Cities’. Selected peer-reviewed papers will be published in a limited edition hardcopy format in association with the conference ‘Island Cities and Urban Archipelagos’ (21-25 October 2014, www.islanddynamics.org/islandcities.html). Papers will subsequently also be published as a thematic section in ISJ, Vol. 9. No. 2 (November 2014).

 ‘Understanding Island Cities’ aims to provide a theoretical and empirical framework for analysing urban centres located on islands. Submissions should address one (or more) of the following sub-themes:

CATEGORIZATION – How can we categorise and differentiate between different types of island cities?

FACTORS OF SPACE – How is urban development influenced by the spatial limitation and/or fragmentation resulting from island or archipelago status?

FACTORS OF MOBILITY – How does physical separation from continental landmasses influence an island city’s development?

FACTORS OF SCALE – How do island cities at different spatial scales (local, regional, and national population centres) relate to one another in large archipelagic states (for instance, Indonesia, Philippines, and Japan)?

THEORY-BRIDGING – How can the theoretical perspectives of urban studies and island studies inform one another?

 Papers are encouraged to utilize historical or present-day empirical examples and may make use of case studies. Papers are also urged to consider comparative and/or theoretical approaches.

 ISJ is a web-based, freely downloadable, open access, peer reviewed, electronic journal that publishes papers advancing and critiquing the study of issues affecting or involving islands. A limited edition, hard-copy, print version of this collection of papers will be published by Beewolf Press (www.beewolfpress.com) and will be distributed to delegates at the ‘Island Cities and Urban Archipelagos’ conference in October 2014. Please note that the conference itself is wider in scope than the call for papers for ‘Understanding Island Cities’, and submission to ‘Understanding Island Cities’ does not represent submission to the conference.

For further information or if you are interested in submitting a paper, contact volume editor Dr Adam Grydehøj, Island Dynamics, Denmark at agrydehoj@islanddynamics.org. To learn more about ISJ, contact the ISJ Executive Editor, Dr Godfrey Baldacchino, University of Malta, Malta at godfrey.baldacchino@um.edu.mt. Manuscripts, of around 5,000 to 7,000 words (prepared in the APA style, which is the ISJ house style: http://www.islandstudies.ca/guidelines_style.html) should reach Dr Grydehøj not later than March 31, 2014 to be considered for both the hardcopy publication plus special ISJ section. Please contact Dr Grydehøj at agrydehoj@islanddynamics.org with information about your proposed paper before you begin writing it.

Unequal Cities and the Political Economy of Housing – Call for Papers

ISA Congress: Facing an Unequal World

July 13-19, 2014, Yokohama (Japan)

Inequality in the housing market is not necessarily a result of inequality in other markets, e.g. the labour market, but forms of inequality are often related and have an important territorial expression. Inequality in cities is not only an expression of the socio-spatial patterns of housing markets, but is also, at least in part, a result of it. To understand unequal cities, one needs to understand the political economy of housing. The big question then is: How have state, market and civil society powers at different scales created nationally and locally variegated housing markets and how have the resulting structures contributed to in/equality? We also welcome papers that address the following related questions:

·        How do housing policies, in their relationship with housing markets, contribute to or counter inequality in other markets?

·        How do urban planning regulations and/or urban land management instruments have contributed to counter – or increase – inequality in housing markets?

·        How has the financialization of housing (both owner-occupied and rental) restructured existing patterns of inequality?

·        How is housing embedded in the wider political economy of a city?

·        How do income inequality and housing inequality together re/produce different forms of segregation in the city?

·        How do social movements respond to and contribute to the political economy of housing?

·        How are ‘crisis moments’ used to further both neoliberal and counter-neoliberal agendas in housing?

URL: http://www.isa-sociology.org/congress2014/rc/joint-sessions.php#RC21RC43


More RC21 (Urban+Regional Development) sessions:


More RC43 (Housing+Built Environment) sessions:



If you are interested in presenting a paper, please submit an abstract on-line before September 30, 2013
For more details, please see Guidelines for Presenters

PhD Studentship “Complex Contention”

Graduate Student Fellowship

Applicants are invited to apply for this PhD-position. Informal inquiries can be made to Justus Uitermark (j.l.uitermark@uva.nl)


Project description

Recent years have seen massive protests around the world, ranging from the revolutions in the Middle East and the Spanish indignados movement to the global Occupy protests and the revolts in Turkey. These mobilizations have in common that they diffused with unprecedented speed in both urban and online environments. The “complex contention” research project aims to develop an approach to map and explain these waves of contention.

 The research project builds upon a work on urban politics and social movements by Justus Uitermark and Walter Nicholls. Theoretically, the project aims to combine insights from relational sociology with complexity theory. Methodologically, the project aims to combine the quantitative examination of online and offline social networks with ethnography in urban settings. The successful candidate will develop the study’s research design in more detail in dialogue with the supervisors but is expected to especially focus on quantitative network analysis.

The PhD researcher will be based at the AISSR, which offers a stimulating intellectual environment across several social science disciplines. In the first year, the PhD student will participate in courses and meet with supervisors and other faculty members to develop a detailed research proposal. In the second and third year, the PhD-student will conduct and report on the research and complete the PhD-thesis.


  *  Conduct quantitative analyses of social movements’ social networks and diffusion processes, using data from social media;

  *  conduct focused ethnographic field research;

  *  10% teaching;

  *  collaborate with supervisors and peers on research and publications on complex contention;

  *  write a PhD thesis;

  *  participate in the AISSR PhD program;

  *  participate in conferences, workshops, seminars and other scholarly activities.

Conference on: Democracy, Citizenship and Urban Violence – Call for papers


University of Dhaka, December 4-5, 2013


This conference aims to draw together from academics and researchers to address urban violence under neoliberal democracy and insurgent form of citizenship. Topics might include, but not limited to: Neo-liberalism, market and democracy; the web of privatization and increasing inequality; the formation of urban peripheries and insurgent citizenship; the rise of readymade garments as manufacturing exploitations; violence in everyday life in the new urban peripheries; criminalization of poverty in the urban context; routine politics and violence in the city and public violence and increasing citizen insecurity.


Abstract submission by 15 October, 2013 to urdsbd@gmail.com


Conference Organizers:  Prof. Shahadat Hossain & Dr. Samina Luthfa, Department of Sociology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh