CFP – Towards the Metropolis?

CFP – Towards the Metropolis?

Leeds Centre for Victorian Studies, Leeds Trinity University College 6th Annual Joint Colloquium with the Centre de recherche sur les identités comparées des sociétés occidentales contemporaines, University of Cergy-Pontoise

11-12 April, 2013 At Leeds Trinity University College

This colloquium will explore the relationship between centres of population and power and their contexts in the long nineteenth century.  The aim will be to use a wide range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to understand the impact of the emergence of the big cities, and to explore how they affected and were affected by their contexts.  The term ‘metropolis’ will be interpreted very broadly indeed, to mean important urban conurbations which act as the centre, hub, and dominating influence in a province, region, country or empire.  The significance of the contexts in shaping the metropolis – as much as the metropolis in influencing its contexts – will be the theme of the colloquium, and in particular we hope to understand the experience of moving between the two.

Invited are proposals for papers considering but not limited to the following topics:

–          The relationship of town and country, city and province, metropolis and peripheries/colonies

–          The history and literary and visual representation of suburbia and urban hinterlands and their inhabitants.

–          The development and demarcation of geographical, symbolic, and social spaces within the metropolis (such as commercial zones, architectural divisions, ghettos, sacred spaces, public squares, residential areas) and transactions between them.

–          The development of transport links between urban centres and their contexts, and the experience and representation of travelling towards the metropolis on foot, by train, bus, boat and other means

–          Economic dimensions of the relationship between centre and contexts, eg droving, market gardens, migration.

–          Political and cultural debates about the relationship of town and country and reconceptualisations of this relationship eg the garden city, and perceptions by urban dwellers of the country and rural communities, and vice versa

–          The development and promotion of regional, provincial, and colonial identities in relation to the metropolis, and the social experiences and representations of provincial visitors to the metropolis, and of urban visitors to the provinces.

Please send proposals (c. 300 words max.) to Dr Rosemary Mitchell ( by 31 December 2012.  The colloquium fee will be £40 for waged, £20 for unwaged participants (day rates: £20/£10).  Refreshments and a light lunch will be provided, but no accommodation.

Postgraduate bursaries will be available – details to follow.


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