Call for Chapters – “Dead Cities” Throughout Time and Space

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Call for Chapters for an Edited Volume and Symposium

From Glory… to Grave?: “Dead Cities” throughout Time and Space.

Deadline for Submission of Abstracts: September 15, 2024

Ismael Biyashev (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor);
Vyta Pivo (University of Miami)

Contact Email:

Dead cities, ghost towns, zombie neighborhoods—death has structured how we relate to and understand historic and contemporary urban environments across cultural contexts. Deployed readily across disciplines and discursive traditions since at least the middle of the 19th century, the condition of urban deadness has resonated widely. What constitutes the “death” of “urban” spaces and the “urbanity” of “dead” spaces? How is this death recorded, represented, and experienced by urban residents? In what ways do dead cities continue to live in physical ruins, memories, and stories in a variety of media, and continue to shape urban environments today? How do dead cities matter for the development of new and future cities? 

This collection seeks to pursue echoes and murmurs between dead cities throughout time and space to develop a theory of “urban deadness” widely construed, by bringing together a group of interested scholars across disciplines.  

Contributors are invited to submit proposals engaging with a variety of themes, including but not limited to:

  • The phenomenon of “dead cities” in deep historical time
  • Cultural landscapes of death
  • Eco-catastrophe and dead cities
  • Representation of dead cities in popular culture and literature
  • Urban metaphors from a historical perspective
  • Memory and materiality of urban change
  • Ghost cities and empty megacities
  • Obsolescence
  • Urban renewal policies
  • Capitalism and urban death
  • Political conflict and war
  • Spaces and architectures of death
  • Dead cities and posthumanism
  • Social resistance and ruination and urban space

Please submit abstracts (500 words) and a short bio by September 15, 2024, to

Contributors will be notified by December 15, 2024.

Symposium date May 2025.

Feature Image: “Khara-khoto” by Fandorine1959 is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.
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Ismael Biyashev

I am a historian of empire, and a specialist in Russian Imperial and Early Soviet History.

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