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The University of Palermo calls for abstract submissions for the international conference “Cinema and the City: Interdisciplinary Perspectives”


The conference will be held at the University of Palermo, Department of Architecture, viale delle Scienze Room 1.3 and 1.4, Main Building on November 29-30, 2019.

Abstracts are due on November 6, 2019.


The conference aims to explore the relationships established between cinema and urban areas. We want to stress the connections woven between cities and cinema, films, fiction and documentaries – important unconventional sources for the understanding of social and cultural contexts. We intend to focus on the modalities used in films to tell stories – through images and speech – concerning cities, territories, and places, residents’ lives in relation to spaces, to buildings, to landscapes, as well as to its urban culture as a whole. The perspective we have chosen for this conference is interdisciplinary and cinema will be considered as a medium to be understood and interpreted in several, possibly comparative, ways. Actually, cinema, as a specific cultural artefact, expresses both individual and collective viewpoints mirroring cultures and hybridizations that can be explored by various disciplines and comparative perspectives. This complexity, possible reflection of the contemporary world, is perhaps more tangible in cinema than in other expressive forms, making it accessible to many people and at the same time a medium in which several genres and contents meet and can be analysed and compared. We are particularly interested in comparative perspectives and interdisciplinary viewpoints. As a result, the conference aims to engage researchers from different countries and various fields of study in order to explore the multiple ways through which cinema is able to contain and manifest crucial aspects of cities and urban spaces. Anthropologists, architects, urban planners, geographers, sociologists, film critics, semioticians, scholars of aesthetics, of images, of cultural studies, as well as film directors, documentary filmmakers and designers are invited to share their experiences and their ideas. We intend to collect the articles and publish them in a collective volume.

The Committee welcomes papers on any related topic. Suggested topics may include:

  • Cultural and social exchanges and/or conflicts between cultures, people and places
  • Cultural hybridizations
  • Urban spaces: the concrete building
  • Urban spaces: the symbolic building
  • Urban spaces: beauty
  • Urban spaces: transformation
  • Urban spaces: relationships between people
  • Living, moving, dwelling
  • Urban economy and the real estate market
  • Urban rituals
  • Visual imaginaries
  • Cities and comics
  • Film photography and urban spaces
  • Food and cities
  • Politics, cinema and cities
  • Ghettoes and cities as “prisons”
  • Urban distress and marginalization, inclusion and exclusion
  • Transforming urban spaces
  • Centres, suburbs, gentrification
  • Cities and dreams
  • Urban biographies: telling the city
  • Everyday life and urban infrastructures
  • Domestic spaces and cities
  • Identity and urban configurations
  • Old and new methodologies of analysis
  • Imaginary horizons and cities
  • Perception, interaction and urban spaces
  • Urban Resilience/Resistance


Proposals and information should be sent to Flavia Schiavo ( and Stefano Montes (

Proposal abstract and title: max 250 words

Time for speech: 20 minutes

Languages used in the conferences: Italian, English, French and Spanish.



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