Literary London Conference

July 6-7 2023

Northeastern University London

Call for Papers

‘Fashioning London: Streets, Styles and Storytelling’

Annual Lecture: Professor Shahidha Bari

This year we invite participants to considerLondon as a city of fashion and self-fashioning–an abundant dressing up box where people, spaces and things are made and unmade. The annual Literary London conference is returning to explore London’s role in the material production and circulation of fashions, styles and (sub)cultures. What stories do London’s fashions and the fashionings of London tell and how do they relate to concepts, images and performances of gender, ethnicity, class and singular and collective identity? What are the relationships between stories of fashion and literary narratives? How do literary narratives interact with fabricated designs, plans and models of the city? How can we think through the ways cities are knitted together through urban materials, bodies, technologies and more-than-human networks?

We welcome proposals for 20-minute papers, comprised panels, and roundtable sessions, which consider any period or genre of literature about, set in, inspired by, or alluding to central and suburban London and its environs, from the city’s roots in pre-Roman times to its imagined futures. While the main focus of the conference will be on literary texts, we actively encourage interdisciplinary contributions relating to the arts, culture, fashion, and film. Papers from postgraduate students are particularly welcome for consideration. We offer three travel bursaries of £100 each for postgraduate students attending the conference, and a prize of £100 for the best
postgraduate paper.

Themes for consideration may include (but are not limited to):

  • Dress, dressing-up and modelling city styles
  • Refashioning and reimagining the city
  • Narratives of making and sustaining urban fashions: clothes, design, interiors etc.
  • Linguistic modes: styles, subcultures, and slang
  • Co-constructing city narratives: models, spoken word, games etc.
  • Infrastructures, technologies and more-than-human networks in/of the city
  • Literary fashions, genres, markets and print cultures
  • Material cities: things, fabrics, substances, buildings and street furniture
  • Aesthetics, beauty, ugliness and the abject
  • Fashion as resistance and/or protection
  • Decolonizing fashion

Please send proposals of no more than 250 words, with a brief bio (no more than 50 words) to [email protected] by the deadline of Monday 3rd April. Please include your surname in your proposal filename, and indicate in your correspondence whether you would like to be considered for a postgraduate travel bursary. Please note that all speakers must be current members of Literary London Society (click here to join).

This conference was originally planned for 2020, but was postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The original conference was organised by Eliza Cubitt, Hadas Elber-Aviram, Lucie Glasheen, and Nicolas Tredell. The current conference organisers are Peter TA Jones, Flora Lisica, and Alistair Robinson.