The Language of Flânerie: Forging Power, Identity, and Relationships on the City Streets

Marylaura Papalas's picture
Call for Papers
June 1, 2019
Georgia, United States
Subject Fields: 
Literature, Urban History / Studies, Film and Film History, Humanities, Cultural History / Studies


NEW DATES November 15-17 Westin Peachtree PlazaAtlanta, Georgia 

Regular Panel: Flânerie in Literature and Popular Culture


The Language of Flânerie: 

Forging Power, Identity, and Relationships on the City Streets 


Co- Chairs: 

Dr. Kelly Comfort, Georgia Institute of Technology

Dr. Marylaura Papalas, East Carolina University


Celebrating its fifth consecutive year at SAMLA, this regular session on flânerie continues to explore the topic of urban walking in literature, art, and popular culture. As a concept that emerged in 19th-century accounts of the modern European metropolis, flânerie is a practice rooted in the effort to enjoy, better understand, and improve the city experience. Walking and moving through urban spaces are also techniques that facilitate self-knowledge, reflection, and awareness. This panel seeks papers that examine how flânerie intersects with one or more of the SAMLA 2019 conference themes—language, power, identity, and relationships. Possible questions to address are:



  • What is the particular language of flânerie?
  • How is flânerie narrated or captured in words and texts?  
  • What is the relationship between walking and words? 


  • How is flânerie an exercise in power?
  • What is the power-relation between the flâneur/flâneuse and the city?
  • What is the power-relation between the flâneur/flâneuse and the crowd?


  • How does the flâneur/flâneuse figure define his/her identity vis-à-vis the city, the crowd, commodity culture, etc.?
  • What is the flâneur/flâneuse´s identity in terms of gender, class, age, nationality, sexual orientation, political orientation, etc.
  • When and how is flânerie an act of self-creation, self-erasure, or self-transformation?


  • How do alternative forms of flânerie (running, cycling, locomotion, driving) produce different kinds of relationships between the flâneur/flâneuse and the city or the crowd?
  • What forms of art (literature, graphic, digital, media, dance, fashion) express flânerie as a means of transforming the world, on a global or local level? 
  • What is the relationship between the flâneur/flâneuse and the marketplace? Does flânerie require a productive or consumptive relationship to the marketplace or the multitude?


DEADLINE JUNE 1, 2019. By this date, please send abstracts of 250-500 words along with AV requests and a short bio to Kelly Comfort, Georgia Tech, kcomfort@gatech.eduand Marylaura Papalas, East Carolina University,

Contact Info: 

Marylaura Papalas

Section Head & Associate Professor of French

Department of Foreign Languages & Literatures

East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina

Book review editor for Studies in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Literature (STTCL)

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