Like a piece of architecture, the city is a construction in space, but one of vast scale, a thing perceived only in the course of long spans of time. City design is therefore a temporal art, but it can rarely use the controlled and limited sequences of other temporal arts like music. On different occasions and for different people, the sequences are reversed, interrupted, abandoned, cut across. It is seen in all lights and all weathers. (Lynch, 1960)
Throughout the centuries cities have expanded intensely resulting in numerous challenges to their features and distinctiveness. A whole new sense of community has developed and the urban space can now be seen both as legacy and future heritage. The trends and challenges that cities encompass pose a new awareness for researchers, the way they are represented, felt, interpreted, all promote different visions of the space we all (once) inhabit(ed).
The Street and The City is the first of a series of multidisciplinary conferences with special emphasis on the city and the life that has evolved around it throughout more than three hundred years. English studies play a vital role in this conference both from the cultural and the geographical points of view.
The First International Conference The Street and the City – Awakenings will take place at the School of Arts and Humanities, University of Lisbon, and Estoril Higher Institute for Tourism and Hotel Studies on the 14th and 15th April 2016. The organisation of this scientific meeting was born from the will to promote an interdisciplinary debate within the English studies and is intended to be a productive space to disseminate the most recent academic researches alongside the cultural and social studies with a special emphasis on the period between the 18th and the 21st century.
While encouraging an international scientific debate, the Conference will provide an opportunity of interchange between researchers regarding urban spaces, its representations and cultural dynamics. Of special interest to this conference are presentations which scrutinise the potential of the streets and the cities as space, i.e., the circulation of people, their commercial trades and businesses, the street and its hub and the different perspectives that can be offered from different areas of studies.
As Halbwachs puts it:
I arrive for the first time in London and take walks with different companions. An architect directs my attention to the character and arrangement of city buildings. A historian tells me why a certain street, house, or other spot is historically noteworthy. A painter alerts me to the colours in the parks, the lines of the palaces and churches, and the play of light and shadow on the walls and façades of Westminster and on the Thames. A businessman takes me into the public thoroughfares, to the shops, bookstores, and department stores. (1980:23)
Assuming that the potential of space and time which cities comprise mostly definitely acts as an enabler for multidisciplinary dialogue, the aim of this series of conferences is to bring together a truly interdisciplinary group of scholars from literature, cultural studies, anthropology, history, politics, the social sciences and other related disciplines.
As such, topics and themes of interest include, but are not restricted to, the following:
1. Cities and Visual Culture
2. Moving Elements in the City
3. Tourism and the City
4. Gendered Urban Spaces
5. Urban Cultural Heritage
6. Trends in the Streets
7. Commercial Trades in the Cities
8. Senses and the Streets
9. Mobility in the City and Urban Flows
10. Cities and Hospitality
11. (Collective) Memories in the City
12. Utopian Cities
13. Urban Art
14. Literature and the City
15. Cinema and the City
16. Moments of the City