25 and 26 November 2010 – Call for papers
Institute of Historical Research, University of London
CFP – Deadline 14 May 2010
For centuries congestion has constituted a significant part of the travelling experience of peoples within and between cities, regions and nations. Meanwhile, for governments and planners, congestion has emerged as both a technical and cultural construct, influencing the interaction and circulation of populations and the ways in which transport and related infrastructures have developed. Societies have devised new methods and ways of dealing with mobility and congestion, ranging from discouraging the use of motorcars in central areas (such as the congestion charge in London) to the construction of state-of-the-art infrastructures and sophisticated mapping and forecast models.
The aim of the conference is to examine the ways in which congestion has been, and continues to be, a problem as well as an inherent characteristic of the historical development of cities and regions worldwide, particularly in their relationship with commercial, financial, industrial, tourist and other networks. Our purpose is also to promote an exchange across disciplines and engage with current policy debates.
We welcome proposals relating to any historical period and geographical area examining congestion in its broadest sense and/or focusing on one of its multiple dimensions. Themes that might be explored include: the importance of structure and agency in the conception, planning and execution of transport infrastructures such as roads, waterways, canals, railways and airways; the use of mechanical, medical and anthropomorphic metaphors describing the circulation of information, capital, goods, waste and people and its relationship with cities and regions; the cultural, political and social reception of new transport technologies and policies; the responses to and interpretations of environmental issues; the ways in which traffic and congestion have been depicted in films and literary and other works. Papers adopting a comparative perspective are especially encouraged. Abstracts of 300 words and a brief statement outlining the institutional affiliation of the participants should be sent by 14th May 2010 to the conference organisers:
Carlos López Galviz: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dhan Zunino Singh: email@example.com