CFP: Panels Identities and the Cities & Performing Identity (Lucca, 13-14 Nov 15)

Palazzo Bernardini, Lucca, Tuscany, Italy, November 13 - 14, 2015
Deadline: Oct 5, 2015
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
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
For full details of the conference and on-line application please see:
[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
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
If interested to apply, please see first the full details of the
conference at
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

Share this post

News from the field

On the Traces of Misery

“Miserabilia” investigates spaces and spectres of misery in the imagination and reality of the contemporary Italian urban context. The main objective is the definition of tools for the recognition and investigation of the tangible and intangible manifestations of...