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Literary London Conference


July 6-7 2023


Northeastern University London


Call for Papers


‘Fashioning London: Streets, Styles and Storytelling’


Annual Lecture: Professor Shahidha Bari


This year we invite participants to consider London as a city of fashion and self-fashioning–an abundant dressing up box where people, spaces and things are made and unmade. The annual Literary London conference is returning to explore London’s role in the material production and circulation of fashions, styles and (sub)cultures. What stories do London’s fashions and the fashionings of London tell and how do they relate to concepts, images and performances of gender, ethnicity, class and singular and collective identity? What are the relationships between stories of fashion and literary narratives? How do literary narratives interact with fabricated designs, plans and models of the city? How can we think through the ways cities are knitted together through urban materials, bodies, technologies and more-than-human networks?

We welcome proposals for 20-minute papers, comprised panels, and roundtable sessions, which consider any period or genre of literature about, set in, inspired by, or alluding to central and suburban London and its environs, from the city’s roots in pre-Roman times to its imagined futures. While the main focus of the conference will be on literary texts, we actively encourage interdisciplinary contributions relating to the arts, culture, fashion, and film. Papers from postgraduate students are particularly welcome for consideration. We offer three travel bursaries of £100 each for postgraduate students attending the conference, and a prize of £100 for the best postgraduate paper.

Themes for consideration may include (but are not limited to):

  • Dress, dressing-up and modelling city styles
  • Refashioning and reimagining the city
  • Narratives of making and sustaining urban fashions: clothes, design, interiors
  • Linguistic modes: styles, subcultures, and slang
  • Co-constructing city narratives: models, spoken word, games etc.
  • Infrastructures, technologies and more-than-human networks in/of the city
  • Literary fashions, genres, markets and print cultures
  • Material cities: things, fabrics, substances, buildings and street furniture
  • Aesthetics, beauty, ugliness and the abject
  • Fashion as resistance and/or protection
  • Decolonizing fashion

Please send proposals of no more than 250 words, with a brief bio (no more than 50 words) to by the deadline of Monday 3rd April. Please include your surname in your proposal filename, and indicate in your correspondence whether you would like to be considered for a postgraduate travel bursary. Please note that all speakers must be current members of Literary London Society (click here to join).

This conference was originally planned for 2020, but was postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The original conference was organised by Eliza Cubitt, Hadas Elber-Aviram, Lucie Glasheen, and Nicolas Tredell. The current conference organisers are Peter TA Jones, Flora Lisica, and Alistair Robinson.


The Literary London Society (LLS) was founded in July 2011 to ‘foster interdisciplinary and historically wide-ranging research into London literature in its historical, social, and cultural contexts, to include all periods and genres of writing and representation about, set in, inspired by, or alluding to central and suburban London and its environs, from the city’s roots in pre-Roman times to its imagined futures.’

The LLS grew from the long-standing Literary London annual conference and journal, both of which have been important forums for discussion of London literature since the start of the twenty-first century. The Society continues to publish the fully peer-reviewed open-access Literary London Journal, and organises an annual conference, normally hosted by the Institute of English Studies at the University of London.

We are committed to the encouragement and sharing of research into London’s literature and cultural representations, within universities and beyond, and welcome as members anyone with an interest in this field. Our membership includes academics and students from a variety of disciplines, independent scholars and creative practitioners. We particularly aim to support graduate students as part of our academic community.

Joining the society confers a number of benefits, including the opportunity to present a paper at the annual conference, and a newsletter with regular updates about relevant events and publications. Joining also helps us to ensure that the Literary London Journal remains freely available into the future, and to develop our other activities, including our popular regular reading group.

Join the Society

© The Literary London Society, 2011-2019