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Rethinking the City: A Comparative Mapping of the Relationship between Resistance and Empowerment in Global Anglophone Cultures

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Organizer: Aparajita De

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What is the relationship between urban space, formation of networks of resistance in its various manifestations in Anglophone and global postcolonial literatures and cultural texts? Urban theorists, such as Doreen Massey or David Harvey, have studied spaces as processes and study the role of transnational corporations in reconfiguring the city. Cultural theorists like Lefebvre have extolled the city as a site whose making and remaking is part of citizens’ rights (1968, 1974). Any transformation of the contours of the city also includes social and political mobilization. So, the city is fertile ground for revolution and resistance (see Lefebvre 2003). Thus, urban transformation is intricately linked with the ideologies of the members of the civil society. In a world of uneven economic and social development, rising inequality implies conflicts and collisions between civil society groups and political authorities. In contemporary Anglophone protest literatures and performative texts, how have cityscapes reinforced or critiqued civil society alliances across economic and socio-political zones of differences? Has it led to more consolidated spaces that are homogenized and organized on group interests? Or, have literatures and texts representing current movements led to an urban activism that is expansive and include disparate collective interests? This panel invites papers in the context of exploring the nature of organizing city spaces along socio-economic-cultural markers through reading various literary and performative texts situated within world literatures.

The interest in exploring this question is twofold.

1. What are some works that explore how spaces, especially urban spaces are being remapped and reconfigured along resistance networks? How is this examined in the writing-representation or in the performances of cultural texts and artists? How is space decoded along neocolonial and neoliberal corporate structures of power through citizen groups and networks? How do citizen organizations and networks function in this urban space? 

2. I invite abstracts that explore how artists from the global south or minority writers within the west have conceptualized the relationship between urban space and citizen networks. How have writers, performance artists, poets, filmmakers represented resistance organized along city spaces? How have artists explored the relationship between urban spaces, citizen alliances, and sites of resistance? 

Please submit abstracts no longer than 300 words to Aparajita.De@udc.edu, de.aparajita@gmail.com

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