International Conference: London – City of Paradox, 3-5 April 2012

London – City of Paradox
An international conference at the University of East London
Docklands Campus, London E16 2RD. 3-5 April 2012


The 2012 Olympic Games have focused attention on London. Official representations of the Games stress the city’s inclusiveness and its history of bringing together the peoples and cultures of the world.

Although these themes are important, last year’s riots remind us that London is a city of exclusion as well as inclusion. How do we evaluate these different accounts? How to understand the city in all its complexity?

This conference examines London as a city which has both encouraged and discouraged migration and settlement – which has stimulated cultural heterogeneity and homogeneity. It considers how powerful institutions have shaped discourses of nation and empire as well as of internationalism and diversity. It examines the multiple contradictions associated with the past and the present – London, City of Paradox.

Presentations are organised around six themes:

Contending histories  

London and the world 
Race, racism and the city
East London 
Imaging and performing       
City and spectacle

Contributions to the conference will draw on academic perspectives from the humanities and social sciences, and on the work of community activists and cultural practitioners. There will be plenary sessions, discussion groups, parallel panels and workshops. There will also be opportunities to meet local NGOs, to participate in guided walks in East London and to engage with the work of local artists and activists. Speakers include:

Claire Alexander, Floya Anthias, Rob Berkeley, Penny Bernstock, Haim Bresheeth, Charlotte Brunsdon, Craig Calhoun, Matt Cook, Sukhwant Daliwal, Cigden Eisen, Gillian Evans, David Feldman, Alexander Geppert, Ben Gidley, Paul Gilroy, Don Georgiou, Vassil Girginov, David Glover, Aletha Holborough, David Howe, Keith Khan-Harris, Michael Keith, Roshini Kempadoo, Yosefa Loshitzky, Philip Marfleet, John Marriott, Mica Nava, Ann Phoenix, Gavin Poynter, Nirmal Puwar, Mike Raco, Laura Rascaroli, Michael Rustin, Nicola Samson, Saskia Sassen, Ashwani Sharma, Sanjay Sharma, Debra Shaw, Corinne Squire, Helen Taylor, Ansar Ahmed Ulla, Judith Walkowitz, Vron Ware, Georgie Wemyss, Andrew Whitehead, Jerry White, Sarah Wise, Jane Wills, Nira Yuval-Davis

Regular conference fee £60; concessions (unwaged, students, seniors) £30. Daily rate £25
(available only on the day); concessions £12. Enquiries to Dr Masi Fathi:

Register at:

UEL Docklands Campus is adjacent to Cyprus Station, Docklands Light Railway:

Organised by CMRB: in co-operation with Runnymede Trust, Iniva – Institute of International Visual Arts, London East Research Institute, Raphael Samuel History Centre, Centre for Cultural Studies Research, Centre for Narrative Research, Matrix East Research Lab, and the Centre for Performance Studies


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