Centre for URBan research (CURB) symposium
It has been forty years since the publication of Concrete Island, J.G. Ballard’s analytically rich portrait of British urbanism in the Post-War period. We are pleased to announce a one day seminar devoted to new readings of the novel, organised between CURB, the Department of Sociology at the University of York, and the Department of Humanities, York St John University. The seminar will gather together papers from academics located across the humanities and social sciences, and will explore the continuing relevance of the novel to our understandings of the inscription of mundane technologies on contemporary bodies, material cultures and city space.
Jeannette Baxter, Anglia Ruskin University: 'Sounding the Surrealist Archive: Listening to Concrete Island'
Chris Beckett, British Library: ‘The Elaborate Signalling of Concrete Island: Some Observations from the J. G. Ballard Archive’
Richard Brown, University of Leeds: 'Ballard and Balladur: Between Kafka and Crusoe'
Laura Joyce, York St John University: 'Concrete and Plastic: Infinite Disposability in Ballard's Man-Made Environments'
Jarrad Keyes, Independent Researcher: 'From a "Metallised Elysum" to the "Wavefront of the Future": Ballard's Reappraisal of Space'
James Kneale, UCL: 'Islands and Roads: Literary Geographies of Transformation in Ballard's Concrete Island and M John Harrison’s The Committed Men’
Craig Martin, University of Edinburgh: 'Ad Hoc Material Practices: Making Do and Getting by on the Island'
Simon Parker, University of York: ‘A Savage Modernity: Affecting Landscapes and Landscapes of Affect in J.G. Ballard's Concrete Island’
Sue Robertson, University of Brighton: ‘An Expanding Field: Sensing the Unmapped’