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The City and its Margins: New Perspectives on the Urban (NeMLA)

Baltimore, MD
Organization: Northeast Modern Language Association
Event: NeMLA
Categories: Postcolonial, Graduate Conference, Hispanic & Latino, Comparative, World Literatures, African & African Diasporas, Asian & Asian Diasporas, Australian Literature, Canadian Literature, Caribbean & Caribbean Diasporas, Indian Subcontinent, Eastern European, Mediterranean, Middle East, Native American, Scandinavian, Pacific Literature, Miscellaneous
Event Date: 2022-03-10 to 2022-03-13 Abstract Due: 2021-09-30

This panel asks a follow-up question to the so-called "urban turn" in the humanities and social sciences in recent years: what lies beyond or at the margins of the urban. The city itself has evolved into something that transgresses the traditional formations of the urban/rural, the fictional/material, the state/institutional, and the resistant/popular. By seeking to address the interrelation between the notions of the center and the peripheral within media urbanisms across the world, the panel aims to go beyond the binary of the center and the margin well as the urban and the non-urban, and in doing so, rethinks urban marginality as well as the processes that create it. It is interested in the theoretical questions of what is urban marginality and what are the ways in which in can be understood in relation to urban society and space. Finally, the panel strives to recognize if there are ways in which texts can offer stability to precarious categories like the center and the margin.

We invite papers seeking to address the interrelation between city centers and developing peripheral areas of cities within cinematic urbanisms. In doing so, we will explore the persistent--and often conflicting--binary notions of center and margin as well as urban and non-urban and investigate the complex web of structures that produce urban marginality on the various scales. 

Some of the questions we are interested in include but are not limited to the following:
 - How we might reimagine definitions for categories like urban and the non-urban?
- How do the center and periphery influence each other?
- Can we—and if so, how—demarcate between these categories from one another?
- How do we engage with the theoretical question of what is urban marginality?
- What does marginality mean in urban society and space?
- How does the film form offer stability to precarious categories like the center and the margin? 

Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words to rudrani.g@rutgers.edu by 30 September 2021. You can also submit through the NeMLA portal. 



Rudrani Gangopadhyay