Urban Space and the Body

An International Conference of the "Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives on Urban Space” Network

9-10 June 2017

University College Cork

ORGANIZERS: Silvia Ross (UCC) and Giulio Giovannoni (Università degli Studi di Firenze)


KEYNOTE SPEAKERS: Gillian Rose, Professor of Cultural Geography, The Open University and

Serenella Lovino, Professor of Comparative Literature, University of Turin



Cities consist of much more than the built environment and the physical space they occupy: they are experienced by and through the body. As humans, we inhabit, traverse and construct our urban space, shaping the city, as it, in turn, shapes us. This interdisciplinary, international conference seeks to explore the many ways in which the city is perceived by the body and how urban space influences the corporeality of those who pass through or abide within it. As part of the ‘Cross-disciplinary Approaches to Urban Space’ network, this conference aims to investigate the ways in which different disciplines engage with the body and urban issues, 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:

  • the performance of place; 
  • invisible subjects and hidden spaces; 
  • ruins, wounded cities and sick bodies; 
  • the migrant body in the urban sphere; 
  • in and out of place—gender and sexuality in the city; 
  • streetwalking and flânerie
  • architectures of affect and emotion; 
  • post-human approaches to urban studies; 
  • mobility and immobility in the city; 
  • sensing the city; 
  • disability and the urban sphere; 
  • bodies, borders and abject spaces; 
  • industrialization, the environment and the body; 
  • urban spaces of childhood; 
  • public assemblies and urban spaces; 

The ‘Urban Space and the Body’ Conference  is conceived as an intensive workshop, meaning that sessions will be plenary and presenters will be expected to attend and participate throughout the duration of the conference. The Conference has four major goals:

  1. To advance the debate on urban space and the body from different disciplinary perspectives, taking into account their mutual influence;
  2. To explore theoretical perspectives, as well as theoretically-informed case studies on the corporeal and 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 on the body;
  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 conference organized in Florence on 27-28 June 2016.



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 Wednesday, 1 February 2017 to the conference email address conference@crossdisciplinaryurbanspace.com


Conference web site: http://www.ucc.ie/en/italian/conferences/urbanspaceandthebody/  

Cross-disciplinary Approaches to Urban Space Network: Conference web site: http://crossdisciplinaryurbanspace.com


Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/crossdisciplinaryurbanspace/


The organizers anticipate that a peer-reviewed collection of selected essays, to be published with an academic press, will result from the conference.


SPONSORED BY:  The Centre for Advanced Studies in Languages and Cultures UCC; Society for Italian Studies; Department of Italian UCC; Dipartimento di Architettura, Università degli Studi di Firenze


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