New York

Sponsored by

Study Center,
·New York University
Shanghai Program,
·Sophia University
Institute of
Comparative Culture
TITLE OF THE CONFERENCE: Urban Representations Conference 3: Shanghai
March 12-14, 2009
At New York University in Shanghai



GENERAL CONFERENCE THEMES: How do exemplary cities of the twenty-first century represent themselves and their histories, and how do such representations influence city development and promotion?  Following two general Urban Representations Conferences held at Northwestern University in Chicago, the third Urban Representations Conference will be held in Shanghai, where Shanghai based scholars and specialists on urban culture in other cities will meet to discuss gurban representationsh with a focus on Shanghai. Papers need not focus on Shanghai but should present some comparative analysis so that we may find a common ground.

The concept of gurban representationsh suggests at least three sets of puzzles, all of which raise particular problems in the context of Shanghai:

(1) How is gthe urbanh represented?  In what way have cinema, television, print (including literature) and digital media represented the city and urban publics? To what extent is the city, and its varied publics, constructed through media technologies and exhibition spaces?  How are social identities of ethnicity, sexuality, gender and class represented, and do different genres represent cities differently?  In the case of Shanghai and the Shanghainese, how is the city and its publics constructed against the larger context of China and influenced by the Chinese state and Chinese state-owned media organizations? A particularly important example will be the 2010 Shanghai World Expo as a massive political project of urban representation.

(2) How do individual cities and groups of cities represent themselves? How do architectural and landscape statements, tourist attractions and public relations, work as attempts at urban self-fashioning?  What is the relationship between internal and external audiences, locals and tourists, for such representations? In Shanghai we have the question of gpostcolonial nostalgiah and the problematic of representing the gcosmopolitanh quality of the cityfs culture, including the relationship of the current cityfs global aspirations to its semi-colonial past and the role of the cityfs past and current foreign resident populations in the production of the cityfs distinctive culture.

(3) How has grepresentationh itself become a post-Fordist urban product?  What makes some cities succeed in selling design, representation itself, as a commodity? How does the consumer culture of the city relate to the larger historical and geographic context of the production of the urban culture? In the context of Shanghai we can think here of the production of global cuisine, nightlife cultures, and other forms of consumer culture that construct Shanghai as a gglobal cityh with a central role as a regional service and creative center.

LOCATION: East China Normal University Shanghai, Yifu Building, Room 431

The conference room and hotel is the Yifu Building marked by the arrow on the left side of the map.  To get there, you must go thru the ECNU main gate (most cab drivers will know how to get there) and walk down the main road, passing over one canal (Waterlily River).  There is a cluster of buildings on the left side and the Yifu Building is among them.  If you pass over the second canal, you know you've gone too far.

Zhao Zhaojian, Director, ECNU Center for Global Education, Shanghai
Shi Mingzheng, Director, NYU Shanghai
Andrew Field, Academic Director, CIEE Shanghai
Wendy Griswold, Northwestern University, Chicago
James Farrer, Institute of Comparative Culture, Sophia University, Tokyo

Lori Delale|OeConnor, Sociology, Northwestern University
Guoli Dong, Sociology, Shanghai University
Jin Jiang, History, East China Normal University
Brendan Kredell, Sociology, Northwestern University
Hanlong Lu, Sociology, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences
Anne Rademacher, Social and Cultural Analysis, NYU
Xuefei Ren, Sociology, Michigan State University
Shaoyi Sun, Film Studies, Shanghai University
Jeffrey Wasserstrom, History, University of California, Irvine
Bin Xu, Sociology, Northwestern University
Angela Yiu, Literature, Sophia University
Hai Yu, Sociology, Fudan University
Sharon Zukin, Sociology, CUNY Graduate Center


Thursday, March 12: Graduate student roundtable

3 - 4:30 p.m.

Lori Delale|OfConnor, gOf Smokestacks and Shikumen: (Re)presenting the past in Pittsburgh and Shanghai. h
Brendan Kredell,  gCinema-going in Contemporary Shanghai.h
Bin Xu, gTradition in Small Publics: Han Clothing, Anachronism, and Shanghai Urban Culture.h

5:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Welcome Session and Dinner (for conference presenters only)

Andrew Field, gDancing Shanghaih 5-6 p.m.

Friday, March 13

9:00 - 10:00
Jishun Zhang, Welcome remarks
Mingzheng Shi, Welcome address
Wendy Griswold, gThe idea of urban representationsh

10:30 - 12:00
Jeffrey Wasserstrom, gImagining Shanghaifs Future, 1850-2010 and Beyondh
Jin Jiang, "Stage Sisters: Women and the City in Visual Narratives of Chinafs Recent Past."

1:30 - 3:00
Sharon Zukin, gConflicting Images of Authenticity: Has the City eLost Its Soul?fh
Hai Yu, gBuilding Chinese cosmopolitan place beyond state/society confrontation: Case study of Tianzifang.h

3:30- 5:30
Hanlong Lu, "What is being represented by 'city name cards' in China?"
Guoli Dong, "eStirring gluef as Cultural Strategy and Social Behavior in Shanghaih
James Farrer, gCosmopolitan food culture as urban soft power: Shanghai as a culinary global cityh

Saturday, March 14

9:00 - 10:30
Ren Xuefei, gMetropolitanization of the State: Scalar Transformations and Mega-Project Development in Shanghai and Mumbaih
Anne Rademacher, gWhen is Housing an Environmental Problem? Reforming Informality in Kathmanduh

11:00 - 12:30
Angela Yiu, gModernism and Spatial Configuration in Interwar Japanese Fictionh
Shaoyi Sun, gTrial by Space: The Cinematic City and the Construction of the Nation- Stateh

1:00- 2:00 Lunch

2:00 - 5:00 Tour of city by local historian Peter Hibbard

Sophia University Institute of Comparative Culture (Tokyo, Japan):

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