‘Disrupting’ the City: Urban Cris(e)s in Contemporary British Literature and Art – Conférence annuelle de la SEAC

SEAC Conference: ‘Disrupting’ the City: Urban Cris(e)s in Contemporary British Literature and Art

Avignon Université, 14-15 October 2021

Salle 0E32 – Campus Centre ville

Convened by Elsa Cavalié& Justine Gonneaud (ICTT)




Morning Session

9am     Welcome


9.15 – 9.30     Conference Opening


9.30-10.30      Plenary session #1: Nick Bentley (Keele University)

Working-class City Spaces: Deindustrialisation, Displacement, and Gentrification in Contemporary British Fiction

Chairs: Elsa Cavalié & Justine Gonneaud


Coffee break


11 – 12.30      Panel 1:  Centre & Margins

Chair: Nick Bentley (Keele University)


  • Writing Urban Crisis from the Centre or the Periphery of the Capitalist World-System: Comparative Perspectives on John Lanchester’s Capital– Marianne HILLION (Sorbonne Université – Warwick University)                       
  • Flight, Flânerie and Focalization in James Kelman’s How Late it Was, How Late – James DALRYMPLE (Université de Grenoble )
  • Digging Deep: Iain Sinclair’s LondonOverground/Underground– Catherine LANONE (Université Paris Sorbonne)




Afternoon session

2.30 – 3.30     Plenary session #2: Lauren Elkin

Paying attention in the 21st century city

Chair: Catherine Lanone (Université Paris Sorbonne)


Coffee break


4 – 5.30           Panel 2: Divided Geographies

Chair: Vanessa Guignery (ENS Lyon)


  • Bare Life in Nikesh Shukla’s Run, Riot(2018) and Guy Gunaratne’s In Our Mad and Furious City(2018) – Rebecca BLANCHARD (Université de Tours)
  • Crisis of the ‘Event’, Guy Gunaratne’s In Our Mad and Furious City (2018) – Georges LETISSIER (Université de Nantes)
  • Speaking the City, Disrupting the City: How immigrant-descent Spoken Word poets reclaim Britain’s postcolonial multicultural cities by enacting their disruption(s). – John SANNAEE (Université Paris 8 )         



 FRIDAY 15 OCTOBER                                              

Morning session

Chair: Catherine Bernard (Université de Paris)


9.30-10.30      Plenary session #3  Charlotte Gould (Université de Paris Nanterre)

The Inclusions and Exclusions of British Public Art: creating art for the successful city or for the just city?


Coffee break


11 – 12             Panel 3: Art & disruption


  • Banksy’s Disruption of London : a reappropriation of the city through art – Youssef FERDJANI (Université de Toulon)
  • Disruption by Opportunity and by Design: The London squat party scene, 1993-2021 – Stéphane SADOUX (Grenoble School of Architecture (ENSAG)          


Afternoon session


2 – 4.30               Panel 4: Historicizing Disruption: Past & Future

Chair: Laurent Mellet (Université de Toulouse)


  • Interrupted Trains of Thoughts – Public Transports in Modernist Fiction of the early 20th century Great Britain : An Aesthetics of Disruption – Maud DE LUGET (Université Paris 3)
  • Spatialising Character in The Crimson Petal and the White: The Figure of the Prostitute in the Neo-Victorian Urban Space – Lilia LOUATI MEZGHANI (Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès)    


Coffee break


  • Cohabitation, Crisis, and Commonality at the Other End of the Universe – Disrupting the Urban Space in China Miéville’s Embassytown– Deborah BRIDLE – (Université Côte d’Azur, CTEL)
  • Ruins of the Future: Decaying Urban Landscapes in Richard Jefferies, J.G Ballard and Angela Carter’s Speculative Fiction (After London, The Drowned World and The Passion of the New Eve)”- Quitterie De BEAUREGARD – (Sorbonne Université)