Of Victorian Interest

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Of Victorian Interest

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CFP: Neo-Victorian Cities: Re-Imagining Utopian and Dystopian Metropolises (2/28/2013)

We invite contributions on the theme of Neo-Victorian Cities for the fourth volume in Rodopi’s Neo-Victorian Series, to be published in 2014. This collection will examine the retrospective presentation of nineteenth-century metropolises in the light of contemporary approaches to urban politics and geopolitics, exploring links between the city and the past’s paradoxical ‘modernity’, now obsolete. If the metropolis is seen as a synecdoche of the world, how does this conception reiterate or contradict nineteenth-century views of the city as a synecdoche of nations and/or Empire? How do urban centres reflect environmentalist grievances or anxieties surrounding globalisation, paradoxically functioning as sites of literal and metaphorical pollution and progressive forces? Does the hypermodern understanding of urbanism as a purveyor of plural ethnoscapes, mediascapes and ideoscapes find an echo in the re-examination of nineteenth-century cities as centres of social and ideological reform and cross-cultural encounter? By essence palimpsestuous places where the past can be read in the present and where the dead co-exist with the living, metropolises naturally lend themselves to neo-Victorian thematisation. We encourage chapters to investigate the problematic tension between the city as a site of social progress as well as segregation and injustice, as an ethical place of encountering the other and a non-place of individual negation, as a location of creative experimentation and (self-) annihilation. We also welcome analyses of the technical means used by neo-Victorian literature, film, and other media to convey the idea of the city as modernity in progress and never-ending because always re-creating itself anew.
Possible topics may include, but need not be limited to the following:

  • the neo-Victorian city as palimpsest & site of passage towards the present
  • global cities & national identities
  • the city as theatre
  • the re-imagined nineteenth-century flaneur
  • queering the neo-Victorian city
  • global urbanism vs. imperial urbanism
  • metropolitan narratives of past/present migration
  • exploring the anxieties & opportunities of globalisation
  • metropolitan mirrors of postmodernity
  • urban race, class & gender politics & conflict
  • cities’ public places vs. domestic spheres
  • urban architectures of crime & justice: courts of law, prisons & public executions
  • (post)colonial cities & the re-visioned subaltern
  • the neo-Victorian metropolis & Marxism
  • city & spectacle (pageants, processions, galleries, exhibitions, etc.)
  • the monstrous city: enabling spaces of crime, exploitation, and perversity
  • metropolises and their margins
  • the urban underground

Please send 300-500 word proposals (for 8,000-10,000 word chapters) to the series editors: Dr Marie-Luise Kohlke at m.l.kohlke@swansea.ac.ukand Prof Christian Gutleben at Christian.GUTLEBEN@unice.fr by 28 February 2013. Please add a short biographical note in the body of your email.
Completed chapters will be due by 1 September 2013.

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