International Conference on Civic Space (I) 2010

A Joint Conference of University of British Columbia and Universitas Indonesia

Conference Theme:

Space, Culture and Power:

Identity and Civility in the Post-Authoritarian Urban Asia

Time: 3-5 August 2010

Venue: Universitas Indonesia, Depok

Website: www.jccsinfo.org

It is quite possible that future historians may well look upon our time as a turning point in the region's political history. They may identify an anxious cultural movement across the Asian world to make sense of what could be problematically called post-Authoritarian Asia. This transnational continental awareness confirms only the fact that urban life has a history, traceable in our shifting mode of perceptions, our different patterns of usage and the break in our sense of the city. In the background of such change is the recognition that our contemporary urban life has been linked to the new set of social relations, at once economic, political and cultural.

Yet, how do we account for new political forms, such as the post-authoritarian Asia, with which the city has been articulated? What tensions can be traced in the production of new civic space with consolidation of certain political forms and cultural arrangements? More concretely, how do artists, activists, architects, planners, developers, city government, writers, workers, city dwellers and the urban poor shape and challenge new political forms of capitalism and emerging cultural strategies of the state? How does the city, as the "pivot of change," give rise to the formation of both ideas and practices of civic consciousness, socio-political engagement and collective action?

This conference seeks to bring together scholars working on these questions from the wide range of perspectives and geographical areas of research. By casting the net widely, critical comparisons between nations across Asia become possible, both on the level of theoretical and historical processes. By focusing on urban cultures in relation to formations of civil society, the state cultural strategies, and forces of capitalism, the conference is kept sharp and concentrated. By bringing in comparative histories and comparative geographies, the conference invites exploration of theoretical frameworks through which specific case studies may be articulated.

At the centre of this conference lies the need to expand the historical and theoretical contexts in which to engage critically new formations and new knowledge of Asian cities.

Thematically, the conference has its dual focus of

1) exploring civic engagements in and through the physical, mental and virtual spaces of the city as they are represented in the textures of urban cultures and social movements, among others; and

2) in relation to the first, examining the city as a site for societal creative engagements and political

consciousness in ways that place Asian cities in the world historical currents of ideas and practices.

This thematic framework would allow participants to examine rich empirical possibilities and suggest new theoretical frameworks.


Some panel suggestions (with physical, mental and virtual space in mind) may include:

-"Urban landscape and social space" studies the emergence of class-based "urban cultures" in the context of neoliberal "creative cities" and post-authoritarian democratic governments.

-"Gentrification and evictions" studies urban transformation and the formation of new norm and form which have led to exclusionary discourses and practices.

-"Intellectual discourses and consumer cultures" studies the relationship between arts, popular cultures and mass media in re-imagining the city.

-"Social movement and political consciousness" studies issues around the emerging discourses of the rights to the city and collective action against violence and injustices.

-"Counter hegemony and urban insurgency" studies issues around the exclusionary side of citizenship and the (imposed and genuine) resistances to it in both symbolic and expressive forms.

-"Class and politics of identities" studies working class and sub-cultural terrains that disrupt and complement the upper-middle class everyday sphere.

-"The city and the nation" explores questions of nationalism and cosmopolitanism within the market

environment of city branding.

-"Religions, ethnic and regional identities" studies the potentials and limits of multiculturalism.

-"Imported and exported urbanism" studies issues around legacies of colonialism, neo-imperialism and western hegemony.

-"Urban Memories" studies how memories of places, subjects, events are kept alive, reproduced and circulated to form collective identification of citizens.


A) Individual papers

Those wishing to present papers at the conference are invited to fill out the abstract form below and send it to: iccs@ui.ac.id by February 28, 2010.

B) Panel

We welcome any proposal to organize a panel on a particular topic relevant to the conference theme. The panel coordinator should submit the panel registration form below (which includes the names of panel members and their abstracts, a discussant (if needed) by February 28, 2010.

C) Poster

Those wishing to exhibit poster on research and projects (including creative, innovative projects) related to the general theme and panel topics are encouraged to fill out poster registration form. (No papers and presentation are required). Posters should be printed on A1 papers. We will provide exhibition panels, space for exhibition and exhibition sessions. During the exhibition sessions, poster artists should be available near their posters to provide explanation to the conference participants.


Successful applicants for individual papers, panels and posters will be notified by March 31, 2010.

Paper submission

Paper in English or Bahasa Indonesia is to be submitted by June 24, 2010. Those writing in Bahasa Indonesia should provide power-point presentation in English. Submit the paper in the form of softcopy (Adobe PDF document), for the committee will make a proceeding in the form of a CD.

Conference Convenor:

The conference is hosted by The University of British Columbia and The University of Indonesia, and organized by the Institute of Asian Research (UBC), the Department of Architecture (FTUI), and Department of Literary Studies (FIBUI)

Conference Convenors:

Abidin Kusno (University of British Columbia)

Gunawan Tjahjono (University of Indonesia)

Melani Budianta (University of Indonesia)

Scientific Committee:

Stephen Cairns (University of Edinburgh)

Michael Leaf (University of British Columbia)

Abidin Kusno (University of British Columbia)

Hasan-Uddin Khan (Roger William University)

Lai Chee Kien (National University of Singapore)

Chua Beng Huat (National University of Singapore)

Steering Committee:

Bambang Sugiarto (Dean Faculty of Engineering)

Bambang Wibawarta (Dean Faculty of Humanities)

Kemas Ridwan, Dept. of Architecture

Titik Pujiastuti, Dept. of Literary Studies

Magdalia Alfian, PPKB (Research Centre for Culture Sciences)

Organizing Committee & Secretariat:

Yulia Lukito (co chair) and Lilawati Kurnia (co chair), Lily Tjahjandari,

Maria Regina W., Melati Sosrowidjojo, Evelyn Widjaja.

For further information, please contact:

Maria or Melati or Eve: iccs@ui.ac.id

Secretariat of the International Conference on Civic Place (I) 2010


Department of Architecture Department of Literary Studies

Faculty of Engineering Universitas Indonesia Faculty of Humanities Universitas Indonesia

Gedung Arsitektur FTUI Gedung III Lt.1

Depok 16424, Indonesia Depok 16424, Indonesia

Phone: 62-21-7863512 Fax: 62-21-7863514 Phone/Fax: 62-21-7270038

Email: iccs@ui.ac.id

Website: www.jccsinfo.org 

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