Literary London Conference: Keynote

London College of Fashion
09 July 9:00 am - 10 July 6:00 pm

 Literary London 9–10 July 2020

‘Fashioning London: Streets, Styles and Storytelling’

Annual Lecture:  Professor Shahidha Bari

This year we invite participants to consider London as a city of fashion and as a fashioned city. Cities are often understood as spaces of self-fashioning, where people make themselves, but also as fashioned spaces made for people. We take inspiration from this year’s venue, London College of Fashion, to draw attention to London’s role in the material production and circulation of fashions, styles and (sub)cultures, and to London as a fashioned space. 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 fashioning and literary narratives? How do literary narratives interact with designs, plans and models of the city? How can we think through urban materials, materialities and more-than-human networks of construction? Last but not least, we hope to think about the ways in which literature and storytelling fashion and refashion the city, offering alternative narratives or imagining urban environments where better modes of being and living might be possible.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 film, TV, games, architecture, geography, theories of urban space etc. Papers from postgraduate students are particularly welcome for consideration. We offer three travel bursaries of £100 each year for postgraduate students, and a prize of £100 for the best postgraduate paper.Themes for consideration may include (but are not limited to):


  • Dress and dressing-up in the city.
  • Refashioning the city, alternative urban presents and futures.
  • Narratives of making and sustaining urban fashions: clothes, design, interiors etc.
  • Styles, subcultures, slang and stories.
  • Urban bodies and embodied experiences of the urban.
  • 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 and city materialities: things, fabrics, substances.
  • Aesthetics, beauty, ugliness and the abject.
  • Fashion as resistance; decolonizing fashion.

Submission deadline: 30 March 2020

Please send proposals of no more than 400 words, with a brief bio (no more than 50 words) to literarylondonconference@gmail.com by the deadline of Monday 30 March. 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).

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