Actual and Virtual Cities (Intertextuality and Intermediality) Imatra, Finland. June 8-9, 2009 http: (Actual and Virtual C)

Venue: International Semiotics Institute at Imatra (Finland)

Location: Imatra, Finland

Event Date/Time: Jun 08, 2009 End Date/Time: Jun 09, 2009
Early Registration Date: Feb 15, 2009
Abstract Submission Date: Feb 15, 2009
Paper Submission Date: May 30, 2009
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Actual and Virtual Cities (Intertextuality and Intermediality)
Directors: Asunción López-Varela (Madrid) and Mariana Neţ (Bucharest)
Imatra, Finland. June 8-9, 2009

The conference will focus on various semiotic frameworks that account for cultural representation of cities, as the city has been a preeminent place where we can examine the effect that modernity and modernisation have on human communities.
The history of culture and civilization has shown that the way in which cityscapes are perceived and represented is closely connected with people’s individual and collective identities. Being more than just a physical structure, cityscapes are, among other things, patterns of attitudes and ritualized behaviour, networks of human connections, of customs and traditions inscribed in certain practices and discourses. Thus, in recent years urban sociology has turned its attention to the artistic representations of cities and cityscapes in order to understand its social problems and develop normative theories and ameliorative plans.
On the other hand, in a world of increasing online commerce and tele-work we're being challenged to reinvent public places and re-knit our social fabric for the information age. In territorial terms, those countries affected by the Internet revolution are experiencing a shift from communities based on small-group-like villages and neighbourhoods and towards flexible partial communities based on networked individualism where people have multiple and shifting sets of glocalized ties. This is owing to the fact that people bear in increasing number multiple locations of residence and citizenships and thus multiple cultural allegiances. But it is also that the public/private distinction which prevailed before the extension of private control in modern capitalist societies is disappearing. Hence the argument that intermediality is helping public discourse to colonize the confined spaces of the home where individuals gain access to the public sphere through the internet. With more and more companies offering their workers tele-work options, the household unit becomes a primary cell of modern public relations. In this context, the generalized interactivity of the internet, along with the ability of anyone with access to put forward their own views in any of a range of forums poses a threat to the distinction between public information – epitomized in the notion of journalistic objectivity – and personal opinion, a distinction central to the formation of the imagined community of the democratic nation-state. Nor surprisingly, geographic and family ties, local neighbourhood, city and nation are yielding new ways of “imagining” (Anderson 1983) cityscapes and national spaces, with individuals becoming dependent on media and the hyperspace to acquire a sense of belonging and attachment to others.

The papers should focus on one of the aspects outlined above.
We invite you to submit abstracts of 500 words. Please send them to: and
Deadline for announcing your intention to participate: January 10.
Deadline for submitting abstracts: February 15, 2009.
Final programme will be sent to all participants by March 15.
Conference languages: English and French.
Every participant has 20 minutes to deliver the paper and 10 minutes for discussion.
A selection of papers will be published.
There is no conference fee and there will be no charge for publication, but every participant has to pay for all expenses involved (trip, accommodation, board).