Beyond the Global City: Visual, Verbal and Virtual Experiences

Event Date: 20 & 21 May 2011
Centre for Creative Collaboration
16 Acton Street
London, WC1X 9NG


Royal Holloway School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures

Beyond the Global City: Visual, Verbal and Virtual Experiences

This is the third in a series of major colloquia organized by the interdisciplinary ‘Global Cities and Visual Culture’ research group established in 2008 in Paris. The group brings together scholars from Architecture, Fine Art, Urban Planning, English, French, Geography, Film Studies and other areas who share interests in globalization, urban experience and visual culture. The May 2011 London colloquium grows out of the research questions identified during those held in Amsterdam (Globalization, Cities and Visual Culture, 1-2 October 2009) and Edinburgh (Refiguring the Global City 23-4 April 2010).

These events, which are informal and collaborative, involve the presentation of cutting-edge research and the collective pursuit of new questions which help to set the future contours of what is a rapidly evolving field. The aim of the current colloquium is to broaden our sphere of inquiry beyond the configuration and representation of particular cities, and to raise broader issues around interpretations of globalization, conceptualizations of its processes and effects, and lesser-studied aspects of its temporal and spatial reach. We particularly wish to draw in new voices from colleagues in architecture and geography and to create a stimulating hub for postgraduate debate.

The colloquium will be launched with two interlinked round-table events, open to the public, on the evening of 20 May: ‘Unsettling Global Cities’, and ‘New Approaches: Postgraduate Forum’. It is intended that these will set the tone and tease-out the contours of the debates which will be further pursed throughout the following day. The events will also provide a framework for postgraduates researching on any aspect of globalization and urban and visual cultures; postgraduates will be invited to take ownership of the second of these events. On 21 May there will be a series of linked papers by senior academics in Fine Art, Architecture, Geography and Visual Culture followed by open discussions in which postgraduate contributions will be particularly important. The day will conclude with a creative thinking session, consolidating the colloquium’s findings and determining the emerging questions which will inform the next interdisciplinary event to be held as part of the new Cities Project in Amsterdam in 2012 (for this project see

Co-organizers: Dr Ruth Cruickshank (French, RHUL) and Dr Shirley Jordan (French, QMUL)


Friday 20 May 2011

Roundtable Discussion: Unsettling Global Cities

The event is open to the public and to postgraduates working on globalization, visual culture and urban environments.

Join in discussion of issues including:

    • the relationships between the notion of the global city and peri-urban and non-urban spaces and communities
    • modes of representing cities and their margins beyond dominant (audio)visual aesthetics associated with globalization
    • the effects of qualifying cities as a ‘global’ on life in cities, perceptions of them and the experience of what goes on beyond cities
    • the relationship of the word ‘globalization’ with other descriptors such as ‘mondialisation’ and ‘globalism’, and with descriptors of the global North and South, the developed and developing world
    • the relationships between the notion of the global city and virtual spaces
    • experiences, flows and representations within and beyond urban spaces which unsettle the notion of the global city.


    • Dr Ruth Cruickshank (RHUL);
    • Professor Jonathan Harris (University of Southampton);
    • Dr Shirley Jordan (QMUL)
    • Professor Christoph Linder (University of Amsterdam).


Saturday 21 May 2011

[By YouTube] Richard J. WilliamsGlobalization’s Uncanny Ruins

Christoph LindnerBetween Global Cities: Dutch-American Urban Photography

James C. KentStaging Havana: the Buena Vista Social Club Project

Jonathan HarrisEast Jerusalem, Ramallah: Global Alienations and Concrete Determinations

Gladys Pak Lei Chong Nostalgia in the Making: New Beijing, Old Qianmen

Amanda Crawley-JacksonRuins in Contemporary Art from France: Exploring the Post-Urban

An informal session for discussing future directions, research questions, publications and events. Postgraduate contributions are particularly welcome

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