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Conference--Tuscan Territories: Rural-Urban Dynamics

Monash University Prato Centre Via Pugliesi 26, Prato, Italy

Tuscany is often recognized as a prime example of a terrain symbolizing harmony between humans and their natural environment, as the embodiment of a millennial synthesis between nature and culture. This idealized vision however does not account for socio-economic and political tensions between the urban and the rural, nor does it acknowledge the effects of the built environment, industrialization or agriculture, nor the shifts in demographics, both past and present. The Tuscan landscape undoubtedly incorporates characteristics linked to its specific geography, history and socio-cultural identity—from medieval fortresses to cypress trees and olive groves, and from famed museums and monuments to the hills of ‘Chiantishire’—but at the same time the region is faced with many of the rural-urban interactions that characterize a globalized society. This interdisciplinary conference will explore the interplay between the rural and urban spheres in the Tuscan context, in a variety of fields and across the centuries. The conference seeks to examine how Tuscan cities and the region’s countryside are represented in diverse disciplines, including Literature, Cinema, Geography, History, Sociology, Hodoeporics and Tourism Studies, Art History, Politics, Architecture, among others, and ranging from the Middle Ages to the present.We welcome a broad range of approaches (e.g. text-based; aesthetic; historical; sociopolitical; economic; environmental; linguistic; ecocritical/ecofeminist etc.) that examine one of the above topics, or areas related to the conference theme. The conference will provide a forum within which to advance a developing interdisciplinary, international network on ‘Tuscan Studies.’ An edited publication of selected essays on the conference topic is anticipated. Organizers: Dr Silvia Ross (University College Cork) and Prof Claire Honess (Leeds University). Please send 300-word abstracts, contact details & a brief bio by Monday, 20 January 2014 to s.ross@ucc.ie

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from 19 to 20 June 2014



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