"City, Space and Literature" - Special issue of "Sanglap: Journal of Literary and Cultural Inquiry"
Imperial expansion in the late nineteenth century brought the phenomenon of the modern urban metropolis to the peripheral colonies. Urban modernism was appropriated in the discourse of settler colonialism in distinct and diverse ways. In the context of the colonial, the ‘urban’ and ‘modern’ opened up heterogeneous places of cultural contact which facilitated complex formulations of race and class along the lines of socio-economic, political and aesthetic categories.
The western metropolis in the early decades of the twentieth century was subjected to historic upheavals both culturally and economically, given their geo-strategic role during the World wars. The idea of the imperial metropole was further affected in the wake of decolonization and gradually transitioned into the structure of welfare states which emerged in the latter half of the twentieth century. Urban metropolitan centres have evolved and in the process given shape to late capitalist and neo-imperialist tendencies. The colonial metropole on the other hand interpreted the urban phenomenon on its own terms and cities which were strongholds of colonial power paradoxically became the originating points of nationalist struggles for independence from colonial rule.
Cities, today operate as multi-textured, amorphous spaces of hybridity, dissent and cultural contamination. They exist, as Bill Ashcroft would say “in an interstitial space between the nation and the world” and are alien, if not disruptive, to the myth of national identity that permits a singular, totalized narrative of the nation. Precisely for this reason, they also become spaces of radical openness, creativity, and imagination, traversed by multiple affects. They are mapped around the way the individual or communities interpret the space they inhabit. Multiple traditions of narrativizing city-space through representative techniques developed specifically to counter or mediate the uniqueness of this urban experience. The everyday lived reality interwoven with the fictional narratives of city-space provide a glimpse into all the possibilities that a city-space enables and comprises in itself.
Embodying diverse range of epithets and appellation, the cities in history have come a long way. As fecund sites of yearning, desire and fantasy, the urban landscape thus opens up spaces that are crucial in bringing about significant political and creative transformations. This issue calls for the multifarious ways of representing the city space in literary and cultural narratives. Not necessarily limiting cities to a descriptive category but also studying the urban phenomenon as an analytical tool for social and political understanding of people and spaces. An indicative list of potential topics may include:
- City and affects
- City and migration
- City and refugees
- City and culture of dissent
- City in subversive arts.
- The flâneur and the city
- City and spectrality
- Cities of the Empire or cities as colonial/postcolonial spaces in literature
- City in travel literature.
- The art of the marketplace and the streets
- Cities of Global Modernism
- City and Crime
- City and the everyday
- City and Spatiality
- City and suburb
Contributors are welcome to consider the following topics without being limited to them. Prospective papers addressing the issue should be sent to email@example.com by October 15, 2016. The papers should be between 5000 and 7000 words in length including notes and references, sent along with an abstract not exceeding 200 words and five or six keywords. For further information on style and guidelines on the journal web-site
PhD Candidate, University of Warwick
CV4 7AL, Coventry, UK
Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org