Palazzo Bernardini, Lucca, Tuscany, Italy, November 13 - 14, 2015
Deadline: Oct 5, 2015
<http://euroacademia.eu/conference/fourth-forum-of-critical-studies/>

Call for Papers for the Panels:

[1] Identities and the Cities: Urban Transformations, Transition and 
Change in Urban Image Construction
[2] Performing Identity: The Relationship between Identity and 
Performance in Literature, Theatre and the Performing Arts

As part of the Fourth Euroacademia Forum of Critical Studies

[1] Identities and the Cities: Urban Transformations, Transition and 
Change in Urban Image Construction

Elasticity of the label identity accommodates everything that does and 
does not surround us, thus finding its place in every discourse on 
making and re-making, invention and re-invention, destruction and 
construction. Every transition is synonymous with said processes, be it 
a tectonic change or a peaceful shift. As political systems and 
countries disintegrate and new ones rise, as they become more entangled 
in the global hyperspace, their skin changes in a manner of theatrical 
scenery change after each act, sometimes with discrete adaptation, 
sometimes with radical interventions. If the scenery is composed of 
streets, parks, roads, museums, monuments, shopping malls and buildings 
connected through the intricate network of the perpetual and cumulative 
actions of its inhabitants and the burden of their existence, if this 
setting is a city, every adaptation and intervention affects its 
multi-dimensional identities. However, can one speak of an identity of 
the urban space in the singular form?

As the chaotic canvases of cities are being stretched over a framework 
of identity, its further exploration seems more than appropriate. 
Amidst the incredibly rapid urban growth crowding more than half of the 
world population in towns and cities, the questions are only going to 
keep multiplying. How are city identities made and re-made, used and 
abused, imagined and narrated, politicised and communicated, expressed 
and projected, imposed and marketed? And above all, how do they thrive 
within the dynamic interpolation of the nexus of East-West, 
Europe-Balkans, centre-periphery, urban - suburban, old and new. As 
out-dated as these dichotomies sound, in many places their daily life 
is far from over. As old cities became new capitals and new capitals 
struggle for more capital, the challenges of maintaining state-driven 
collective identities in the face of cultural fragmentation and 
diversification, coupled with consumer-attractiveness is turning them 
into urban palimpsest. This transformation is ever more complex in the 
cities of Central, Eastern and South-eastern Europe. In these last 
decades, during the period of socio-political and cultural 
deconstruction, the redefinitions of their urban space reflect the need 
to refashion, consolidate or even establish their new/old identities. 
Flooded with imported ‘non-places’, (not) dealing with the material 
legacy of memories of the recent past that seem unable to resolve, 
trying to accept or reject the rest of Europe in the race towards 
‘Europeanization’, these cities adopt different approaches in their aim 
to resemble and at the same time, differ. Zagreb generously welcomed 
its marketing nickname “pocket size Vienna”, while regenerating itself 
with the mega Museum of Contemporary Art tailored up to an imagined 
‘Western European’ standard. Skopje’s attention seeking project 
transformed the ‘open city of solidarity’ into a literal national 
identity construction site. The list goes on. Queuing to win the old 
continent’s capital of culture contest and eager to squeeze into the 
ever-enlarging itinerary of the consumerist Grand Tour, the only thing 
cities are not allowed to be, is invisible.

As the research on cultural identities of the city is becoming more 
abundant, this panel aims at adopting a wide-lens inter-disciplinary 
approach, while focusing on various transitional processes affecting 
identities in the urban context in its global-regional-national-local 
interplay.

Some example of topics may include (but are not limited to):

Collective memory, identity and urban image construction
Appropriation, instrumentalisation and functualisation of public space
Contemporary nomadism and the city as a common denominator for 
collective identities

Architecture as ‘politics with bricks and mortar’
Is there a new rise of the city-state?
Urban regeneration projects, landmark buildings and ‘starchitects’
Non-places and (non)identity
Immigrants and the cultural identity of cities 
City marketing and city branding in transition
European capitals of culture and European identity
Identity creation and the cultural offer of the city 
Urban cultural heritage as identity-anchor
Creative Changes of the cities
Art and industry in urban development
Urban aesthetics
Ugliness, kitsch and value in shaping contemporary urban spaces
Post-communism and the shape of urban change
East-West nexuses in urban development

If interested in participating, please send a maximum 300 words 
abstract together with the details of your affiliation until 5th of 
October 2015 at application@euroacademia.eu

For full details of the conference and on-line application please see:
http://euroacademia.eu/conference/fourth-forum-of-critical-studies/

[2] Performing Identity: The Relationship between Identity and 
Performance in Literature, Theatre and the Performing Arts

Panel Proposed by: Pollyn Chrysochou, The University of Cyprus

Identity is often seen as being a controversial topic. Whether it is 
fictive or real, (de)politicized and/or aesthetic, gendered or 
engendered, identity is often seen as being a powerful political tool 
and an essentially social construct. It also allows individuals to 
define themselves. In a sense, we perform our own identities everyday - 
or, perhaps, we perform a wide range of different identities at any one 
time. We implicitly live in a society which constructs various 
definitive identifications, and which often sees the rigid maintenance 
of hierarchical systems and exclusive ideological constructions of 
gender, identity and sexuality, or what Judith Butler defines in her 
work Bodies that Matter as an 'exclusionary matrix.' This has often 
resulted in the displacement of any discursive systems which resist 
these exclusionary systems. This panel seeks to give voice to 
discursive systems which have so often been displaced by exclusionary 
systems of identification. The main exclusionary focus in culture and 
the arts has often been on the white, heterosexual and supremacist male 
(or female). To rectify this oversight, this panel seeks to address any 
works of art and culture which are directly and explicitly related to 
the performance of identity from a different standpoint - that is, one 
which is not exclusively heteronormative and heterosexual.

We welcome any papers which focus on the following topics(but not 
exclusively):

1. Identity as a performative and political tool and/or as a site of 
political resistance and change
 2. The work of gay/lesbian or drag performance artists who do not form 
part of the white, male/female and heterosexual/heteronormative matrix
 3. Identity as a fluid and shifting construct in the theatre, the 
performing arts and literature generally
 4. Cultural and literary works or works of art which resist fixed 
identifications and engender performative meanings/ways of 'reading'
 5. The abject as a site of identification
 6. Gender and identity formation
 7. Sexuality as a performative and identificatory construct or mode of 
identification.

If interested to apply, please see first the full details of the 
conference at 
http://euroacademia.eu/conference/fourth-forum-of-critical-studies/

You can apply online on the conference website or by sending 300 words 
abstract together with the details of affiliation until 5th of October 
2015 at application@euroacademia.eu

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