DATES: Shanghai conference March 12-14, 2009, at East China Normal
University (ECNU)

Hosted by New York University in Shanghai program at ECNU's Zhongshan North
Road Campus

Note: We are not looking for presenters, but welcome audience
participation. The conference hall has ample seating room.

Queries about conference attendance go to Andrew Field:

Sponsored by
ECNU-Cornell Cross-Culture Study Center
New York University Shanghai Program
Northwestern University
Sophia University Institute of Comparative Culture

GENERAL CONFERENCE THEMES: How do exemplary cities of the twenty-first
century represent themselves and their histories, and how do such
representations influence city development and promotion? Following two
general Urban Representations Conferences held at Northwestern University in
Chicago, the third Urban Representations Conference will be held in
Shanghai, where Shanghai­based scholars and specialists on urban culture in
other cities will meet to discuss ³urban representations² with a focus on
Shanghai. Papers need not focus on Shanghai but should present some
comparative analysis so that we may find a common ground.

The concept of ³urban representations² suggests at least three sets of
puzzles, all of which raise particular problems in the context of Shanghai:

(1) How is ³the urban² represented? In what way have cinema, television,
print (including literature) and digital media represented the city and
urban publics? To what extent is the city, and its varied publics,
constructed through media technologies and exhibition spaces? How are
social identities of ethnicity, sexuality, gender and class represented, and
do different genres represent cities differently? In the case of Shanghai
and the Shanghainese, how is the city and its publics constructed against
the larger context of China and influenced by the Chinese state and Chinese
state-owned media organizations? A particularly important example will be
the 2010 Shanghai World Expo as a massive political project of urban

(2) How do individual cities and groups of cities represent themselves? How
do architectural and landscape statements, tourist attractions and public
relations, work as attempts at urban self-fashioning? What is the
relationship between internal and external audiences, locals and tourists,
for such representations? In Shanghai we have the question of ³postcolonial
nostalgia² and the problematic of representing the ³cosmopolitan² quality of
the city¹s culture, including the relationship of the current city¹s global
aspirations to its semi-colonial past and the role of the city¹s past and
current foreign resident populations in the production of the city¹s
distinctive culture.

(3) How has ³representation² itself become a post-Fordist urban product?
What makes some cities succeed in selling design, representation itself, as
a commodity? How does the consumer culture of the city relate to the larger
historical and geographic context of the production of the urban culture? In
the context of Shanghai we can think here of the production of global
cuisine, nightlife cultures, and other forms of consumer culture that
construct Shanghai as a ³global city² with a central role as a regional
service and creative center.

East China Normal University Shanghai, Yifu Building, Room 431

The conference room is in the Yifu Building on ECNU campus. To get there,
you must go thru the ECNU main gate (most cab drivers will know how to get
there) and walk down the main road, passing over one canal (Waterlily
River). There is a cluster of buildings on the left side and the Yifu
Building is among them. If you pass over the second canal, you know you've
gone too far.

Zhao Zhaojian, Director, ECNU Center for Global Education
Shi Mingzheng, Director, NYU Shanghai
Andrew Field, Academic Director, CIEE Shanghai
Wendy Griswold, Northwestern University, Chicago
James Farrer, Institute of Comparative Culture, Sophia University, Tokyo

Lori Delale-OŒConnor, Sociology, Northwestern University
Guoli Dong, Sociology, Shanghai University
Jin Jiang, History, East China Normal University
Brendan Kredell, Sociology, Northwestern University
Hanlong Lu, Sociology, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences
Anne Rademacher, Sociology, NYU
Xuefei Ren, Sociology, Michigan State University
Shaoyi Sun, Film Studies, Shanghai University
Jeffrey Wasserstrom, History, University of California, Irvine
Bin Xu, Sociology, Northwestern University
Angela Yiu, Literature, Sophia University
Hai Yu, Sociology, Fudan University
Sharon Zukin, Sociology, CUNY Graduate Center


Thursday March 12

Graduate student roundtable 3 - 4:30 p.m.
Lori Delale-O¹Connor, ³Of Smokestacks and Shikumen: (Re)presenting the past
in Pittsburgh and Shanghai. ²
Brendan Kredell, ³Cinema-going in Contemporary Shanghai.²
Bin Xu, ³Tradition in Small Publics: Han Clothing, Anachronism, and Shanghai
Urban Culture.²

Welcome Session and Dinner 5:00 ­ 7:30 p.m. (for conference presenters only)
Andrew Field, ³Dancing Shanghai² 5-6 p.m.

Friday March 13
9:00 - 10:00
Jishun Zhang, Welcome remarks
Mingzheng Shi, Welcome address
Wendy Griswold, ³The idea of urban representations²

10:30 ­ 12:00
Jeffrey Wasserstrom, ³Imagining Shanghai¹s Future, 1850-2010 and Beyond²
Jin Jiang, "Stage Sisters: Women and the City in Visual Narratives of
China¹s Recent Past."

1:30 - 3:00
Sharon Zukin, ³Conflicting Images of Authenticity: Has the City ŒLost Its
Hai Yu, ³Building Chinese cosmopolitan place beyond state/society
confrontation: Case study of Tianzifang.²

3:30 ­ 5:30
James Farrer, ³New Shanghailanders or New Shanghainese? Representations of
the immigrant experience in Shanghai²
Hanlong Lu, "What is being represented by 'city name cards' in China?"
Guoli Dong, "ŒStirring glue¹ as Cultural Strategy and Social Behavior in

Saturday March 14
9:00 ­ 10:30
Ren Xuefei, ³Metropolitanization of the State: Scalar Transformations and
Mega-Project Development in Shanghai and Mumbai²
Anne Rademacher, ³When is Housing an Environmental Problem? Reforming
Informality in Kathmandu²

11:00 ­ 12:30
Angela Yiu, ³Modernism and Spatial Configuration in Interwar Japanese
Shaoyi Sun, ³Trial by Space: The Cinematic City and the Construction of the
Nation- State²