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Call for papers for the international Conference “Cities in Conflict: Urban Space and Violence”, organised by Silvia Ross (University College Cork) and Giulio Giovannoni (Università degli Studi di Firenze).


17th – 18th June, 2019
University College Cork, Ireland.


What happens to the urban fabric when conflict occurs? How does the built environment reflect, work against, or attempt to contain conflict? How are war and conflict in urban space represented? Can the literary or artistic representation of conflict in the urban sphere help us understand the dynamics of violence? Can we refer to urban spaces of trauma as ‘wounded cities’ (Till)? What role does symbolic violence play in spatial narratives and in urban policy-making? This conference aims to explore conflict, both manifest and systemic (Demmers) and its effects on the cityscape and the human and non-human subject. As part of the ‘Cross-disciplinary Approaches to Urban Space’ network, this international conference investigates the ways in which different disciplines engage with the question of conflict in urban space, in areas ranging from architecture, urban planning, literature, film studies, geography, history, linguistics, philosophy, art history, sociology, drama and theatre studies, anthropology, among others.
Topics of investigation could include:

  • walls, fences and borders
  • fortified urban spaces
  • gender, sexuality & conflict in urban space
  • architectures of peace
  • the ruins of war
  • safety versus danger zones
  • marginalized identities in urban space
  • wounded cities
  • terror and the city
  • cities and surveillance
  • urban stigma and symbolic violence
  • urban space and linguistic violence
  • urban redevelopment and social purification
  • practices of resistance in the urban sphere
  • social mobility and systemic conflict
  • race, ethnicity, and the (built) environment
  • public assemblies and urban spaces
  • uprisings, riots and the mob
  • trauma and regeneration in the urban sphere


The organizers invite submissions for 20-minute presentations to be delivered in English. Please send a 300-word abstract, contact details and a brief bio by Friday, 1 February 2019 to
For more information, please have a look at the conference website or at its Facebook page.
The organizers anticipate that a peer-reviewed collection of selected essays, to be published with an academic press, will result from the conference.

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