Programme

The IAFOR International Conference on the City 2017 (CITY2017) is an interdisciplinary conference held alongside The IAFOR International Conference on Global Studies 2017 (Global2017). Keynote, Featured and Spotlight Speakers will provide a variety of perspectives from different academic and professional backgrounds. Registration for either conference will allow participants to attend sessions in both.

This page provides details of presentations and other programming. For more information about presenters, please visit the Speakers page.


  • Memory and the Modern City
    Memory and the Modern City
    Keynote Presentation: Dr Simon Sleight
  • Intersectional Realities, Law and Belonging. Not?
    Intersectional Realities, Law and Belonging. Not?
    Keynote Presentation: Professor Adrien Katherine Wing
  • Breaking Point: The War for Democracy in Ukraine
    Breaking Point: The War for Democracy in Ukraine
    Featured Film Screening & Featured Presentation: Professor Mark Jonathan Harris
  • My Barcelona – The City as Answer to a Personal Question
    My Barcelona – The City as Answer to a Personal Question
    Featured Presentation: Gloria Montero
  • My Moscow
    My Moscow
    Featured Presentation: Professor Svetlana Ter-Minasova
  • Refuge: Refugee: Moonlight and Precarious Love
    Refuge: Refugee: Moonlight and Precarious Love
    Featured Presentation: Professor Baden Offord
  • The Challenges of Doing Cultural Studies Today
    The Challenges of Doing Cultural Studies Today
    Featured Panel Presentation: Professor Donald E. Hall, Professor Baden Offord, Professor Emerita Sue Ballyn, Professor Svetlana Ter-Minasova
  • Gastronomy for a Healthy Ageing World
    Gastronomy for a Healthy Ageing World
    Featured Presentation: Dr Elena Urdaneta, Basque Culinary Center, Spain & Iñigo Cojo, Basque Culinary Center, Spain
  • Daily Life: What a Precarious State We Live In
    Daily Life: What a Precarious State We Live In
    Featured Panel Presentation: John Rochlin, Dr Francesc Llauradó & Peter Sotirakis
  • Urban Monsters: The Edgy Japanese Folkloric Fiction of Yukimi Ogawa
    Urban Monsters: The Edgy Japanese Folkloric Fiction of Yukimi Ogawa
    Spotlight Presentation: Dr Richard Donovan
  • The Place of Artistic Innovation: Local Area Characteristics and Arts Growth in Arles
    The Place of Artistic Innovation: Local Area Characteristics and Arts Growth in Arles
    Spotlight Presentation: Dr Elena Raevskikh
  • IAFOR Silk Road Initiative Information Session
    IAFOR Silk Road Initiative Information Session
    Professor Georges Depeyrot, Dr Ljiljana Markovic & Dr Joseph Haldane
Memory and the Modern City
Keynote Presentation: Dr Simon Sleight

Densely populated, cities are also thickly inhabited by memories. This lecture explores the processes by which some aspects of the past are physically or emotionally inscribed into the built landscape, while others are overlooked or forgotten. It seeks to determine who gets to influence acts of concerted remembering, considers the actions of those who contest or adapt “official” versions of historical memory, and assesses the place of intangible cultural heritage and personal memory amidst ever-evolving city settings.

Taking a comparative and international view, the lecture addresses the past as it lives and dies in the modern city. Ranging from Japan via Australia and on to Europe, South Africa and the United States, the analysis takes in street names, archaeological digs, sites of memory including graveyards and Ground Zero, and fleeting moments of play and courtship. Surveying a diverse urban scene, the lecture offers some methodological pointers for engaging with memory and the city, ponders the contributions of significant scholars including Halbwachs, Hayden and Huyssen, and evaluates the first-hand experiences of walking city streets to bear witness to the past residing in the present.

Read presenter biographies on the Speakers page.

Intersectional Realities, Law and Belonging. Not?
Keynote Presentation: Professor Adrien Katherine Wing

In this presentation, I focus on the legal status of women of colour around the world under national and international law. Such women face an intersectional reality where their various identities, including race, gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation, cause them to face precarious conditions both literally and figuratively. I will use critical legal networks jurisprudence to illustrate how a state of belonging can be achieved formally and informally wherever they may be located as part of a coalitional approach to transcendence.

Read presenter biographies on the Speakers page.

Breaking Point: The War for Democracy in Ukraine
Featured Film Screening & Featured Presentation: Professor Mark Jonathan Harris

Featured Film Screening: Breaking Point – The War for Democracy in Ukraine

Breaking Point: The War for Democracy in Ukraine is an intimate look at the war and revolution in Ukraine through the eyes of ordinary people who risked their lives to create a more democratic, equitable, and independent country.

Our principal characters are a children’s theatre director, a doctor, a rabbi, a TV journalist, an investigative reporter, and a lawyer turned medic and her soldier husband. Their lives were transformed by the tumultuous, three-month revolution on the Maidan, which ended in the death of 123 protestors and the flight of corrupt President Viktor Yanukovych. When Russia retaliated by annexing Crimea and invading eastern Ukraine, our subjects went to war to defend and remake their country. Our film depicts this intense and on-going struggle, which has so far killed 10,000 Ukrainians and displaced 1.9 million refugees. Breaking Point is the dramatic and inspiring portrait of people willing to give up their private, normal lives to unite in a collective effort to bring the rule of law and democracy to their country. Their battle to wrest power from the autocrats and plutocrats who control their governments is a struggle that is being waged around the world, from the Mideast to America. The outcome affects not only the future of Ukraine, but the future of democracy throughout the world.


Featured Presentation: Breaking Point – Ukraine in the Era of Trump

Foreign empires, beginning with Genghis Khan, have been invading Ukraine for centuries, drawn by fertile soil and oceans of wheat. Three years ago, Russian strongman Vladimir Putin did the same in response to the Euromaidan Revolution. What started off as a peaceful protest against Putin protégé Victor Yanukovych’s corrupt government, turned deadly when Yanukovych’s police fired on unarmed protesters, and ended with Yanukovych fleeing to Russia. Putin responded by annexing Crimea and staging a covert invasion of Eastern Ukraine, triggering a war which has killed more than 10,000 and created two million refugees. New U.S. President Donald Trump’s bizarre admiration for Vladimir Putin is paired with a deep lack of knowledge about the annexation of Crimea, Russia’s invasion, or prior U.S. commitments to Ukraine. Trump’s election campaign and rise to the presidency have shown that one of the common strategies he shares with Putin is his use of disinformation and lies to deflect and confuse his opposition. The film presentation will explore some of the propaganda and disinformation techniques Russia is using to create disunity and destabilise Western governments, at a time when democracies everywhere, even in the U.S., are facing extremist and demagogic threats to Western values and institutions. I will also explore my realisation that while I started out making a film about the war for democracy in Ukraine, I ended up making a film about a battle in a global war for democracy, one that Europe and America now find themselves fighting as well.

Read presenter biographies on the Speakers page.

My Barcelona – The City as Answer to a Personal Question
Featured Presentation: Gloria Montero

Italo Calvino says that the delight you take in a city is not through the wonders it offers but in the answer it gives to a personal question. I remember the moment when I first said aloud “This is where I want to live.” Barcelona became an ultimate destination right from that first visit. Eventually, I was able to make my home here and have lived for years now in the Raval, Jean Genet's Barrio Chino, right in the heart of the old city, with its diverse and dense immigrant population. Only now, as I look back on my work as a writer, do I begin to glimpse the question Barcelona must have answered for me. A sociologist, an architect or urban planner, looking at the city from when the Romans settled it as Barcino, through its political and commercial development in the Middle Ages, to the rich texture left by Modernism, might analyse the city's magnetic attraction for tourists today. For me, Barcelona has become overlaid by memories of people and events so that certain corners now speak in my own voice. Gaudí, Picasso and Lorca have become personal experiences here but so has “the grandmother of Barcelona”, who for 6,000 years lay under three metres of soil until she was unearthed under the parking lot of the Boquería, the city's central market, right next to my home some 4 or 5 years ago. This Neolithic overtone to modern Barcelona has taken its place alongside the mad escapade of Columbus finally being able to show off his “New World treasures” to the Catholic Kings right here in the square outside the Tinell, the terrible consequence of the liquidation of the Jewish Call in the Gothic quarter, the ravages of Spain's Civil War, the long dictatorship and Barcelona's solidarity today with refugees. In this paper, I show how inadvertently through my work I have explored the question Barcelona put to me, answering a need to understand myself and all of us as part of an evolution that will continue even after we are no longer here to see it.

Read presenter biographies on the Speakers page.

My Moscow
Featured Presentation: Professor Svetlana Ter-Minasova

I had neither the luck nor the chance to choose my place on Earth for its beautiful views, good air, pleasant climate, etc. I just happened to have been born into it – sort of, accidentally.

My poor parents were much more unlucky both timewise and placewise. Indeed, timewise, both of them were born at the beginning of the twentieth century and, consequently, had to go through a revolution, a civil war, two world wars and the period of Stalin’s repressions. Placewise, they began their lives at godforsaken spots on the outskirts of the Russian Empire: a small town in Nagorny Karabakh, which has been an apple of discord between Armenians and Turks since time immemorial, was my father’s birthplace, and a tiny little town by the Caspian sea was my mother’s. When the “Red Revolution” came both big families (seven children in my father’s and eight in my mother’s) lost their fathers and fled to Baku, the biggest and the richest (though oil-rich) city in the area. By pure chance, my parents met at a training college at approximately the age of 20 (I say approximately as my father was officially 20, but actually 18, as he added two years at the age of 12 so as to be able to start working). At college they fell in love (again – approximately – as it was mostly my father, as far as I know) and got married.

Two years later, by extraordinary chance, they moved to Moscow, the place where I was born ten years later; my birth was a kind of accident for my mother who hated the idea of having a second child after eleven years’ interval. However, she had to obey Stalin’s decree prohibiting abortions, and thus, to some extent, I owe my life to Joseph Stalin, and my birthplace to a long chain of accidents.

Unlike my parents I have been lucky from the very start of my life, and that is how I have felt for all of my seventy-odd years. I was born in a very big city, more than eight hundred years old, the capital of a great country with a wonderful variety of everything, beginning with the weather: hot, generous summers; cold, snow-white winters; joyful springs; and romantically beautiful autumns. A city with palaces and slums, beautiful parks and dusty backyards, historical and ultra-modern buildings (including Corbusier’s) – all this has been mine.

It is my Moscow.

Read presenter biographies on the Speakers page.

Refuge: Refugee: Moonlight and Precarious Love
Featured Presentation: Professor Baden Offord

In this presentation, I focus on the human condition in relation to people’s suffering around their sexuality. Catalysed by Michel Foucault’s observation that “People’s suffering must never be allowed to remain the silent residue of politics”, my intention is to explore those cultural spaces available, beyond the silent residue, where suffering is transformed into refuge, where recognition flourishes in surprising ways. Speaking of queer folk in this time of precarious love where death, derangement and denial mark their struggle for human rights, my purpose will be to understand how being a queer refugee is represented and articulated through recent media and cultural texts, including the recent film Moonlight.

Read presenter biographies on the Speakers page.

The Challenges of Doing Cultural Studies Today
Featured Panel Presentation: Professor Donald E. Hall, Professor Baden Offord, Professor Emerita Sue Ballyn, Professor Svetlana Ter-Minasova

Given the rise of anti-globalisation, nationalisms and cultural isolationism, 2017 and beyond will prove particularly challenging times for those of us working in cultural studies. Our four panellists will each speak for five minutes about emerging geo-political constraints on their work, as well as their respective national and institutional contexts. This will be followed by a general discussion with the audience about collective experiences and strategies for individual and collective response to the challenges that we face.

Read presenter biographies on the Speakers page.

Gastronomy for a Healthy Ageing World
Featured Presentation: Dr Elena Urdaneta, Basque Culinary Center, Spain & Iñigo Cojo, Basque Culinary Center, Spain

In this presentation, we analyse the role of gastronomy and nutrition using the healthy ageing approach used in Western countries. Also we propose methods and recommendations to be included into public policies to use gastronomy in an intergenerational way. In this global context, there is a food revolution and cooking could play a role within society and elderly communities. The reasons for dedicating time to cooking and care are explored and studied in depth. Also some reasons and consequences will be addressed.

Read presenter biographies on the Speakers page.

Daily Life: What a Precarious State We Live In
Featured Panel Presentation: John Rochlin, Dr Francesc Llauradó & Peter Sotirakis

Panellists: John Rochlin, Francesc Llauradó & Peter Sotirakis
Moderator: Sue Ballyn

This multi-faceted presentation will look at the fragile state of labour relations, how to feed the world and the precarious aspects of tourist travel. It will address the rise of the self-employed and those individuals who, because of the parlous state of the labour market, are being forced into Darwinian competitiveness and self-marketing in order to survive. The increasing lack of trade union coverage and protection, in general, of the individual worker will be discussed and the emergence of the “desperation economy”, more euphemistically referred to as the “collaborative economy”, will be analysed. The ever-increasing precarious nature of feeding the world will be looked at. The delicate nature of the food chain will be considered and suggestions made on how to reduce the threat of starvation in the world. Food wastage and environmental factors will also be considered and the relationship between the vagaries of weather and food production and their impact on the final consumer will be analysed. Another focus will be on the situation of tourists and the sometimes precarious state in which they find themselves when abroad. In particular, the plight of the tourist in Catalonia will be looked at from a consular perspective. Consideration will be given to the way in which consular assistance is offered to a tourist who is in a precarious and troubled state due to robbery, ill-health, criminal accusations or death of a partner or travelling companion.

Read presenter biographies on the Speakers page.

Urban Monsters: The Edgy Japanese Folkloric Fiction of Yukimi Ogawa
Spotlight Presentation: Dr Richard Donovan

Author Yukimi Ogawa can be seen as a companion artist to Yūko Shimizu, who visually reinterprets Sekien Toriyama’s beloved woodblock prints of yōkai — Japanese monsters and spirits — for a new, city-dwelling generation. The fact that Ogawa now writes exclusively in her second language of English suggests how she positions herself as a cosmopolitan interpreter of folkloric Japan. In online-published short stories such as “Town’s End”, Ogawa follows her monsters across the liminal spaces, both geographic and societal, that cohere in huge, heterogeneous entities like the Tokyo megalopolis, observing how her otherworldly subjects both resist and adapt to the forces of modernisation and globalisation in ways analogous to, and reflective of, its human residents.

In this paper, I examine some of the fresh territory that Ogawa is carving out as a new writer in a still-evolving online medium, and how she wields her sometimes-unfamiliar adopted language to express the voice of a new Japan through updated versions of the eerily engaging denizens of folk Japan.

Image | In Her Head by Yukimi Ogawa

Read presenter biographies on the Speakers page.

The Place of Artistic Innovation: Local Area Characteristics and Arts Growth in Arles
Spotlight Presentation: Dr Elena Raevskikh

Located in the south of France, the city of Arles has a rich and diverse history: the impressive Roman monuments get along with the Medieval heritage, the Van Gogh painting prototypes and the Camargue natural scenery. However, after several economic crises during the 1980s–2000s, Arles is currently one of the poorest French agglomerations, with an important unemployment rate and a low-income household. Since 2010, the Swiss-born art patron Maja Hoffman has bet to enhance the economic development of Arles by transforming the city as the new place of artistic innovation. The LUMA Foundation designed by Frank Ghery will be opened in 2018 in the old industrial district of Arles and will become one of the most ambitious arts and artistic innovation hubs in France. The new iconic structure is called to create a “Bibao effect” by attracting in Arles the international economic resources, human capital and new investments. This paper brings together ethnographical, cartographical and statistical methodologies to analyze the ways that the LUMA Foundation impacts the Arles urban area. How does the dynamic interplay between economic and political context, institutional arrangements, and social networks affect the urban transformations? How do the new cultural policies impact the territorial attractivity? What factors favor or create obstacles for the social assimilation of artistic innovations by the target population?

Image | Café Terrace at Night. Oil painting by Vincent van Gogh, Arles, France, 1888.

Read presenter biographies on the Speakers page.

IAFOR Silk Road Initiative Information Session
Professor Georges Depeyrot, Dr Ljiljana Markovic & Dr Joseph Haldane

As an organization, IAFOR’s mission is to promote international exchange, facilitate intercultural awareness, encourage interdisciplinary discussion, and generate and share new knowledge. In 2018, we are excited to launch a major new and ambitious international, intercultural and interdisciplinary research initiative which uses the silk road trade routes as a lens through which to study some of the world’s largest historical and contemporary geopolitical trends, shifts and exchanges.

IAFOR is headquartered in Japan, and the 2018 inauguration of this project aligns with the 150th Anniversary of the Meiji Restoration of 1868, when Japan opened its doors to the trade and ideas that would precipitate its rapid modernization and its emergence as a global power. At a time when global trends can seem unpredictable, and futures fearful, this Silk Road Initiative gives the opportunity to revisit the question of the impact of international relations from a long-term perspective.

This ambitious initiative will encourage individuals and institutions working across the world to encourage research centering on the contact between countries and regions in Europe and Asia, from Gibraltar to Japan, and the maritime routes that went beyond into the South-East Continent and the Philippines, and later out into the Pacific Islands and the United States. The Silk Road Initiative will concern all aspects of this contact, and examine both material and intellectual traces, as well as consequences.

Read presenter biographies on the Speakers page.