City and Nation Symposium
G113, 21 Woodland Road, Bristol, BS8 1TE
The relationship between city and nation has been subject to change in recent decades, following devolution of powers world-wide and the growing freedom of cities to build, brand and promote themselves, independent of the nation-state. Scholarship in the field of urban studies has focused primarily on the political, social and economic implications of the changing relationship between city and nation. It has also emphasised the potential of ‘world cities’ to displace the hegemony of the nation-state in the context of an increasingly globalised political order (Massey, 2007; Curtis 2014; Clark and Moonen 2016). Rather less attention has been paid to sub-national inflections of the changing relationship between city and nation and to the role played by cultural practice and production in articulating, negotiating and reshaping understandings of both city and nation.
This symposium brings together scholars working in the fields of urban studies and cultural studies (broadly conceived) to explore how cultural factors, practices and productions influence or are affected by the changing relationship between city and nation. It seeks to extend the scholarship on city, nation and culture beyond cities traditionally aligned with the nation-state by encouraging papers on cites often excluded from discourses relating to national culture. It further asks how cultural practices and production shape understandings of the relationship between city and nation; how national identities and discourses play out in the context of distinct urban contexts – how they are negotiated, refracted, challenged or made concrete in the microcosm of the city, its cultural practices and its cultural representation; how practices of identity-building and the branding of cities relate to wider national identities and cultural imaginaries; and what the changing relationship between city and nation reveals about the nation-state, its workings and its discourses. Theoretical tools for understanding emerging relations between city and nation and new methodologies for the study of the same are particularly welcome. These will be complemented by case studies dedicated to distinct city-nation contexts.
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