CfP: Cities in Conflict: Urban Space and Violence

Call for papers, deadline 1 February 2019

Cities in Conflict: Urban Space and Violence

An International Conference of the Cross-Disciplinary Urban Space Network
17-18 June 2019
University College Cork
Organizers: Silvia Ross (UCC) and Giulio Giovannoni (Università degli Studi di Firenze)

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.


The ‘Cities in Conflict’ conference has four major goals:

  1. to advance the debate on urban space and conflict from different disciplinary perspectives, taking into account their mutual influence;
  2. to explore theoretical perspectives, as well as theoretically-informed case studies on conflict in urban space in a comparative context;
  3. to enhance critical awareness about the complex and problematic (political, social, economic, cultural etc.) effects of architecture and urban design with respect to conflict, whether manifest or systemic;
  4. to extend the network of scholars interested in investigating urban space from different disciplinary perspectives already initiated with the seminar “Crossdisciplinary Perspectives on Urban Space” held in the Department of Architecture of the University of Florence in the 2014 spring semester and the annual conferences organized in Florence  (2016; 2018) and Cork ( 2017).

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