[URBANTH-L] CFP: IUAES International Symposium on Cities of the Mediterranean

Angela Jancius acjancius at ysu.edu
Tue Nov 15 18:25:06 EST 2005

The IUAES Commission on Urban Anthropology is pleased to announce the:
 1st Call for Papers

International Symposium on
Cities of the Mediterranean:
Old World Modernities in the New Millennium

Cadiz, 30th May-2nd June, 2006

During the last years of the millennium a new world and city era has been
heralded. A new cycle prompted by the information technology revolution is
transforming in dramatic ways our understanding of cities. Urbanization has
gained a new and different kind of centrality and has become a reinvigorated
source of anxieties, moral tales and great expectations. The cycle we have
entered seems to be dominated by paradoxical forces. On the one hand, the
rate of urbanization in former industrial communities is declining; on the
other hand, it is accelerating in most underdeveloped countries. It is
widely agreed that such transformations are having two consequences: first,
our concern has shifted from the problems generated by World overpopulation
to the problems posed by the emergence of new and allegedly different urban
milieux; second, this accelerated evolution seems to be constituting a
universal city, or Ecumenopolis, composed of hierarchically ordered urban
forms and urban societies.
            Cities are shaped by the world economy. It is widely believed
that the nation-state is being replaced by the city as the principal domain
of citizenship, whereby the city appears to be a reinvigorated and
transformed citizenship-moulding arena. The city has gained an unexpected
role in the configuration of bounded identities upon specific urban spaces.
            There are also moral narratives of the city. Whereas in many
instances the 'Urban Boom' in the 'South' is portrayed as a risk to
sustainable development, the city of the 'North' is challenged by its new
configuration and future. An in-depth understanding of these new challenges
must take into account cities multiplicities, as ways of life composed of
thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions of independent decisions, which
make common sense to people's daily lives, routines, modes of production and
survival strategies that shape, and are shaped by, the cities and make them
not only complex mirrors of modern life, but also densely populated
socio-spatial realms of human interaction.
            Anthropological insight into urban life helps us to understand
these urban processes and, particularly, brings out the fact that the ways
in which scholars, mass-media, and politicians are representing the city has
largely ignored citizens' and urban residents' conceptions about their daily

            The main aim of the Symposium, 'Cities of the Mediterranean' is
to address such issues from the perspective of citizens and urban residents.
Drawing on comparative analysis, the symposium seeks to achieve an
understanding of the city in a key area of the world, the Mediterranean. The
Mediterranean Sea, once portrayed as the cradle of civilization, is a social
and cultural space the brings together interrelated case-studies that
deserve careful anthropological attention. The Symposium is aware of the
encompassing nature, south to north and north to south, of urban experience
along the shores of the Mediterranean, of the gateway and node functions of
its urban settings, now composed of littoral societies and new communities.
Some of these new communities are conglomerations of 'invisible' immigrants
from Northern Europe, who are generally regarded as tourists or retired
foreigners. Others are made up by what the media have portrayed as menacing
immigrants from Africa. The Northern and Southern shores of the
Mediterranean are both symbolical and lived dimensions of the area. They are
spotted with cities that have undergone interrelated and individually
different processes of modernization. 'Cities of the Mediterranean' will
focus on the multiple nature of the current Mediterranean cities: its varied
modernities, the reach and specific features of cosmopolitanism as well as
the impact of economic neoliberalism, millennial capitalism, religious
belief. It will look at the social and cultural dimensions of the
Mediterranean cities understood as ways of life, devices of social
stratification, economic redistribution and political control, as well as
cityscapes of hybridity, conflict and human creation.

Areas of Interest
The Symposium will pay special attention to:
Sociolinguistics of the Mediterranean Cities
Intercultural Issues
New Urban Waterfronts

The convenors warmly encourage session proposals and individual paper
proposals related to the aims of the Symposium. Those interested in
organizing a session would also be required to send a brief draft of their
proposal, a short bio and an estimate number of participants (a list of
perspective participants would be welcomed). PLEASE NOTE, THE INTERNATIONAL

Sociolinguistics of the Mediterranean Cities
The session devoted to 'Sociolinguistics of the Mediterranean Cities' is
convened and organized by the Institute of Islamic and Near East Studies
(University of Zaragoza, Spanish Council for Scientific Research, CSIC,
Parliament of Aragon, Spain). There is no doubt that the steep increase in
migration movements has brought about a more intense linguistic exchange
among different peoples. Such phenomenon, directly related to the increased
human contact, has generated new linguistic dimensions that should be
addressed. Mediterranean cities are undoubtedly among the privileged spaces
of language interaction.

Those interested in proposing a paper in the Sociolinguistic session should
contact:  Dra. Ángeles Vicente mavicen at unizar.es

The Symposium is hosted and organized by the University of Cadiz, All the
activities will be held in Cadiz. The city of Cadiz and its University are
ideally located for an event of this magnitude.

More information, including deadlines for session proposals, paper
proposals, travel and accommodation arrangements, and particulars on the
Institutions involved in this event will be posted in due time. A web page
will be announced as soon as possible.

Those interested in receiving information regarding this Symposium should
contact Dr Fernando Monge, fmonge at ih.csic.es

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