Veiled Cities – Flanders and the Urban Imaginary around 1900 Research Symposium

a painting of a house by a canal
Conference / Exhibition

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Friday 07 October 2022

09:30 AM - 05:00 PM



Event details

This one-day international symposium is co-organized by Prof Juliet Simpson (CAMC-Coventry University) and Prof. David Hopkin (University of Oxford), supported by the John Fell Fund (Oxford). It brings together scholars in art history, visual and material cultures, cultural memory studies, literatures, languages and music to consider the particularities of Flemish cities around the turn of the twentieth century: cities as they were imagined by artists and writers, and as they were shaped by architects and designers.

The imagined Flemish city was the antithesis of the teeming metropolis of modernist invention. Instead, we visit a world of enclosed gardens, silent squares and still waters, where nameless figures disappeared through secret doors: a world of reflections and glimpses that concealed as much as they revealed. This was also an uncanny world, offering portals to the miraculous, to dreamscapes and the city of the dead.  Here social realist concern for the lives of the poor combined with the spiritual yearning of the fin-de-siècle. We shed light on how this vision of the city inspired artists and writers, but also its influence on urban planners and social campaigners, who looked forward by looking back to craft guilds, enclosed communities and to a future urban autonomy.

Speakers and Chairs include Dominique Bauer (Leuven), Marnix Beyen (Antwerp), Maria Golovteeva (St Andrews), David Hopkin (Oxford), Joanna Meredith (CAMC-Coventry); Claire Moran (Belfast), Stijn Paredis (Leuven), Juliet Simpson (Coventry), and Hans Vandevoorde (Brussels).  

Please email Professor Juliet Simpson to book a free place by 3 October 2022.