University of Bucharest Review invites papers on the theme of “representations of the city” from a variety of interpretative approaches.
As a product of the history of civilization, the city has always, and inextricably, been linked to social, economic, cultural and political factors which have either hampered or bolstered its gradual development. It was co-extensive with the emergence of what Stephen Kern (1983) called a burgeoning “culture of time and space” taken as an acute awareness of the contemporary at the dawn of modernity. Extended in space and time, such awareness has been highly sensitive to 19th-century massive industrialization, the rise of urban planning and the Fordist paradigm in the 20th century and, ultimately, to the birth of the postmodern metropolis.
Over the past two decades, scholars have shown a deep interest in “the spatial turn” (Edward Soja, 2000) prompted by a major shift in urban, sociological, anthropological and architectural studies. Heavily relying on an interdisciplinary approach, space has been tackled in close relationship with society and history, a triad able to remap the history of cityspace and to redefine key concepts like lieu, landscape, geography, region, location, habitat, etc. Sociologist Henri Lefebvre’s analysis of the perceived, conceived and lived space (1974) and Michel Foucault’s study on heterotopias (1986), i.e. counter-sites or “effectively enacted utopias” in which the real sites that are found in a culture are simultaneously represented, contested and inverted” are telling examples that question the traditional opposition empirical/mental space. Such a culturally-valued space has been the arena of conflicting attitudes towards social, cultural, national, ethnic and gender identity, transforming the city into the locus where urban performance unfolds itself at its best.
Playing a crucial role in the construction of cultural identity, literary representations of the city may be regarded as “archi-texts” which appropriate empirical topographies with the purpose of projecting and transforming them into utopian, eutopian or dystopian images of urban lived experience, imaginary lands and communities, pastoral or sublime landscapes of the mind, phantasmagoric visions, national myths, archetypal spaces, symbolic cities, sites of memory, individual and collective self-reflexivity, secluded, anonymous, alienated or invisible spaces, sexual idealizations of the self, colonial and postcolonial geographies, highly technologized cities of the future or posthuman cityscapes.
The aim of the volumes is to address issues related to how the city has been perceived, represented and imagined in literature and the arts, to the manner in which representations of the city have been shaped by various social, cultural, economic, historical and political contexts and, last but not least, to how literary and other cultural texts reflect and influence our perception of cityspace.
We invite papers addressing topics including (but by no means limited to) the following:
– the city as a sacred space and product of civilization;
– myths, legends and archetypes that forge the identity of the city;
– symbolic functions of the city: the city-state, the capital, the metropolis, the postmetropolis, the imperial city;
– the “Spatial Turn”: urban revolutions over time and their reflection in literature;
– the city as a space of performance;
– the city as a space of contestation;
– constructions of spatiality and temporality;
– relationships between the city and economic and industrial development (the rise of capitalism, the city’s response to technological change, etc.);
– the relationship between the city and its socio-cultural materiality (churches, schools, university, parks, monuments, clubs, pubs, the mass-media, etc.);
– the city as text/palimpsest; the semiotics of the city;
– myth-making and the city;
– flânerie or the practice of walking in the city;
– the countryside-town-city relationship;
– affections and the city (stations and airports as spaces of emotional good-byes; emotional intimacy and the destruction/recreation of the city);
– national/transnational/global accounts of the city;
– representations of migration, naturalization, hyphenated and diasporic identities;
– memory and the urban landscape (alienation, estrangement, detachment, nostalgia about vanished places);
– representations of heterotopias (the asylum, the prison, the hospital, the cemetery, etc.);
– (post)communist, (post)colonial representations of the city;
– youth culture and the city;
– production/consumption rituals and practices;
– the relationship between centre (the “inner city”) and periphery (the “outer city”), urban and sub-urban, centre and satellite cities;
– the city as a space of cultural production;
– representations of the Postfordist industrial metropolis, Cosmopolis (the globalized city-region), megacities, fractal cities, hyperral Simcities, invisible cities, posthuman cities.
We welcome interdisciplinary approaches, which explore all possible intersections of literary and cultural studies with the other disciplines in (and even beyond) the humanities.
Each of our issues publishes a collection of articles on a suggested topic together with a limited number of miscellaneous articles and reviews. Though we do not wish to exact size limits, we suggest a range of 7,000-7,500 words for the articles and 900-1500 words for reviews. All articles must be written in MLA Style English.
The deadline for MS submissions is 30 November 2016. Accepted articles will be returned for post-review revisions by 1 March 2017 and are expected back in their final version by 1 April.
UBR has been acknowledged as a top academic journal by Romania’s National Council for Higher Education Research (CNCS). A recipient of the B academic ranking, our journal makes it possible for all its hosted articles to receive full academic recognition in the Romanian evaluation system and be included in such international databases as SCOPUS, EBSCO and C.E.E.O.L. We are open to all research authors, whether established or junior (including Ph.D. candidates), affiliated or independent, domestic or international.
– Birth, Death and Rebirth
– Legends of Globalization
– Trama and Trauma – Stories of Cultural Distress
– Middler to Meddler – The Shifting Role of the Media in (Post)Modernity