CFP: The City as Modernist Ephemera, London, June 2017

The Call for Papers is now open for “The City as Modernist Ephemera”, a one-day colloquium to be held at London South Bank University on, suitably, 16 June 2017.

About the conference

The School of Arts and Creative Industries at London South Bank University (LSBU) will host a one-day interdisciplinary colloquium on Friday 16 June 2016, 9am – 6.30pm.

The modernist city emphatically encapsulates the dialectic of the ephemeral and the eternal. Its dynamic flows of goods, people, and commerce at once determine the city’s transitory nature while at the same time reinforce its status as an immutable seat of power and culture attested to by the very materiality built up within and around such dynamic flows.

Amid the fleeting and transient experience of the city, what is it that constitutes an abiding culture? Where is ‘culture’ and in what form does it appear or exist? What are the spaces, moments, events, and cultural artefacts that make up the ephemera that in turn (re)constitute the modernist city?

Prompted by such questions, this colloquium invites proposals that will explore the myriad city-borne arts, objects, practices, and movements that typify the ephemeral and eternal dialectic.

Confirmed speaker: Dr Nathan Waddell, Asst. Professor in Literary Modernism (Nottingham)

How to submit

Focusing on the city, and understanding ‘modernist’ in its broadest sense, papers or panels might consider the following:

  • Works (art, architectural, literary, poetic, etc.) that explore the tensions between the ephemeral and the eternal
  • Musical, literary, or theatrical performances or works that defined or established an abiding movement or moment
  • Spontaneous events, meetings, and performances (or ‘planned spontaneity’ in the mode of Dada).
  • Abiding legacies of the chance encounter
  • The ‘performance’ of societal acts such as conversations in cafes, restaurants, clubs, libraries, salons, theatres, etc
  • Ephemeral architecture, or spaces and places (re)designed for such acts
  • Politics of the street: protests, marches, pamphlets
  • Politics as performance: manifestos, speeches
  • The Archive
  • Statutes and Acts
  • Gardens
  • Desecration

Deadline for proposals: 25 February 2017.

Please send 250 word proposals for individual papers or panels of up to 4 speakers, including a short (50-word) biography with contact information, to the event organiser Dr Leon Betsworth on