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FW: Papers sought for AAA panel: Center, Symbol, Site: Reexamining Downtown

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    ... From: urbanth-l-bounces@lists.ysu.edu [mailto:urbanth-l-bounces@lists.ysu.edu] On Behalf Of Marina Peterson Sent: Wednesday, February 02, 2005 7:55 PM To:
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 3, 2005
      -----Original Message-----
      From: urbanth-l-bounces@...
      [mailto:urbanth-l-bounces@...] On Behalf Of Marina Peterson
      Sent: Wednesday, February 02, 2005 7:55 PM
      To: urbanth-l@...
      Subject: [URBANTH-L] Papers sought for AAA panel: Center, Symbol, Site:
      Reexamining Downtown

      We're looking for additional panelists for a AAA panel on "downtown"
      (abstract is below). Geographic area is open.
      Please send us abstracts by February 20 so we can submit to SUNTA by the
      March 1 invited sessions deadline.

      Thank you,
      Marina Peterson (mlpeters@...)
      Sareeta Amrute (sbamrute@...)


      Center, Symbol, Site: Reexamining Downtown

      This panel will focus on one aspect of the city - the downtown or city
      center - in the context of translocal social and capital flows. As a
      concept that seems to belong to an older idea of the urban landscape the
      downtown demands reexamination in light of over a decade of research on how
      global, transnational processes become localized in cities. We invite
      participants to utilize the downtown as a point of departure from which to
      rethink the place of existing urban geographic labels, reassess the
      stability of such categories and places in a translocal context, and reflect
      on their role in the production of contemporary global or mega-cities.

      Does the term downtown as a geographic descriptor of urban space apply to
      cities that are growing exponentially and to cities whose parts may be
      unevenly linked to transnational networks? How does the recent emphasis,
      through planning, development, and marketing, on urban downtowns help
      constitute the global or mega-city? Do these developments mark a departure
      in the nature of the downtown and the urban? By reexamining the downtown,
      this panel seeks to explore how the city center participates in the
      mediation between
      built spaces and social practices. We suggest that one key
      process taking place in global cities is the reappropriation and
      redeployment of sedimented terms and established spaces, such as the
      downtown, in new contexts, practices, and situations. Some topics panelists
      might consider are the downtown as a site for architectural presentation, as
      a hub in a tourist economy, as a heritage site, or as a stage for
      multicultural arts performances.
      Panelists may also want to consider other frames of reference that
      participants in cities are using to describe the city center, as well as the
      significance of anxieties about the decay, disappearance, or even renewal of
      the same. We especially welcome contributions that reflect on the ways we
      as researchers can incorporate creative imaginings and uses of the city
      center in an ethnographic project than aspires to an understanding of
      translocal cities.

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