Conference 2017

Urban Space and the Body

An International Conference of the “Cross-Disciplinary Urban Space” Network
9-10 June 2017
University College Cork
Organizers: Silvia Ross (UCC) and Giulio Giovannoni (Università degli Studi di Firenze)

Download Call for Paper (Pdf)

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;
  • ruins, wounded cities and sick bodies;
  • in and out of place—gender and sexuality in the city;
  • architectures of affect and emotion;
  • mobility and immobility in the city;
  • disability and the urban sphere;
  • industrialization, the environment and the body;
  • invisible subjects and hidden spaces;
  • the migrant body in the urban sphere;
  • streetwalking and flânerie;
  • post-human approaches to urban studies;
  • sensing the city;
  • bodies, borders and abject spaces;
  • urban spaces of childhood;
  • public assemblies and urban spaces;
  • danger zones and bodily safety;
  • policing the body in the city;
  • cyborgs and virtual worlds;
  • systems of urban circulation;
  • public festivals, bodies, and ideologies;
  • urban space, bodies, and the affirmation of collective and individual identities

GOALS AND OUTCOMES 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

UCC Conference web site:

Facebook page:

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