Invitation to speak at Nottingham Trent University, June 21 2012

I have been invited to speak at the Nottingham Trent University research conference Culture and Place: Past, Present and Future on June 21st 2012.

The abstract for my paper is a follows:

plastiCities (from the French plasticien / arts plastiques – but also plasticity: the capacity to be shaped or moulded; the adaptability of an organism to changes in its environment or differences between its various habitats) is an interdisciplinary, practice-led project involving students and academics from the University of Sheffield, creative practitioners and local communities. Emerging from occursus, a loose collective of artists, writers, architects, academics and students which coheres primarily around a weekly reading group and online through a blog (occursus.wordpress.com), plastiCities seeks to engage voices from the arts in the discourses that shape our city. Through a series of curated projects (including exhibitions and workshops) and the development of innovative hyperlocal media, plastiCities connects a variety of disciplines through an ongoing engagement with the ways in which we inhabit, imagine, represent and practise our city. As the director of plastiCities, in this paper I will present the development of the project since 2010, its conceptual rootedness in recent urban theory and its ethos as a community-based creative practice.


Issues relating to culture and place have always defined who we are. But today, more than ever, they assume policy relevance. Policy makers across a range of areas must be fully informed about the cultural, linguistic and ethnic diversity of the communities they serve. Papers are welcome in any area which contributes to this broad theme with an emphasis on, for example, what do diverse communities, families and individuals value? How have these values been shaped by experience, changed and been communicated over time? How are perceptions of rights and responsibilities changing? And what are the implications for the future development of communities? How does historical knowledge, through, for example, media narratives, literature, linguistic analysis and experience, inform us about how communities survived, thrived and changed? What can we learn from past communities that could inform future communities? How can we better exploit the potential of the past as a lens for looking to the future? How can narratives, images and representations of the past, present and future better inform current ideological, ethical and moral debates? How do educational approaches, cultural and religious perspectives and beliefs, utopian and dystopian visions, frame debates about the future? How can the creative potential of the arts and humanities be harnessed to imagine and envision alternative futures?  CFP, Nottingham Trent University

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About PlastiCités
Amanda Crawley Jackson lectures in French at the University of Sheffield (UK). She specialises in existentialist philosophy, urban spatialities and contemporary visual arts from France and the French-speaking world.

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