CfP: The "Purified" City - RC21 (Urbino, Aug 2015)

Giovanni Picker Giovanni Picker Picker Giovanni

The Making and Unmaking of Urban Closures: Scrutinizing the ‘Purified’ City

Deadline for abstract submission: January 31, 2015

Organiser: Giovanni Picker (Central European University, HU); Silvia Pasquetti (University of Cambridge, UK).


While challenged or obfuscated by perspectives such as multiculturalism and hybridity, the ‘ideal’ city often evokes hygenized and purified urban spaces, which are divided along class, race, and nationality. Mary Douglas and Julia Kristeva, among others, have highlighted the role of ideas of purity and pollution in structuring social relations and subjectivities. Studies on sex and gender urban divisions, sanitation, and, more broadly, ‘technological networks’ within cities have deployed the concepts of purity and pollution as meta-phenomena relating to certain symbolic meanings, but not as broader ideals actively shaping social relations.
This session aims to address how the paired concepts of purity and pollution shape urban policy, public discourses, everyday practices, and their related negotiations, critiques and resistances. In particular, we will address the making and unmaking of urban closures, which are intended as both splitted spatial configurations and mental and symbolic processes of purified partitioning.
We seek papers focusing on:
  • the (de)formation of purified urban localities,
  • the production and working of hygenized mental maps,
  • the role of ideals of purity within cities.
We are equally interested in papers looking at how purified urban configurations are lived through, negotiated, and transgressed. In examining these questions, the sessions invites papers that explore specific historical or contemporary case studies, engage in broader theoretical reflections, as well as papers that approach the making and unmaking of urban closures from a comparative and global perspective.



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