Architecture, Festival and the City

14th AHRA International Conference

School of Architecture and Design, Birmingham City University, UK

November 16 2017 - November 18 2017

What is ritual in today’s rationalistic, post-symbolic age?
What forms of collective participation can the civic realm sustain in the twenty-first century?
Can there be any meaningful form of collective representation in our predominantly individualistic and globalised society?
Are urban festivals, carnivals and rituals fundamentally inclusive or exclusive?

These questions, amongst others, will serve as points of reference for this conference which examines past and present urban festivals and their settings in relation to the idea of ‘the good city’.

Papers for this conference could look at any form of civic, religious, musical, theatrical, commercial or political festival and establish what relationship it has, if any, to its urban setting. This may involve critical evaluations of historical as well as contemporary settings and their relationships to the community they support. Delegates may also consider the Janus-faced nature of many festivals; in the way they incorporate both orderly (authoritative) and disorderly (subversive) components. At the same time, utilising different approaches fostered by different disciplines (including performance, film, drawing and music as well as written papers), papers can investigate this rich landscape of civic phenomena in order to ask how, where and when (if at all) festivals offer significant and meaningful forms of public engagement.

A full call for papers is available on the conference website. The FINAL deadline for abstract submissions is 17th April 2017.