Call for Papers: "Cities, Suburbs, and Countryside: Connecting the Spirit to the Environment"

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Posted by Lynne Yancy on May 25, 2101 at 03:56:52:


The Institute for Baha'i Studies will hold a colloquy on "Cities, Suburbs, and Countryside: Connecting the Spirit to the Environment" in late October or early November.

Abstract Deadline: June 25, 2001
Article Submission Deadline: September 11, 2001
Conference Date: To Be Announced

People and the places in which they live directly affect each other in many ways. The public spaces of a city frequently reflect the quality of a city's public life and constitute a major criterion for judging a city's "health." The public spaces in rural settings, however, may affect people in less direct ways, and those in the suburbs may take on new and different aspects. As our society's values shift under the relentless pressure of globalization, the role of "place" in defining and uplifting our lives requires re-evaluation.

Submissions that consider the ways in which globalization alters our conception of space, architectural design, and planning in urban, suburban, and rural areas are all welcome. Presentations may wish to consider the following or related questions:


The public spaces of a city ultimately reflect both the relationship of a citizenry to its government and individual citizens' relationships to each other. Today a city's public spaces are often experienced as fragmentary, with multiple public insisting on separate physical spaces, thus calling into question the idea of a universal public and a public space reflecting that concept. Some issues that could be explored include:


Suburbs as we know them are a relatively recent and hybrid kind of space. They take their identities from the city nearest them but typically offer more open and green space reminiscent of the country. Older towns have a "downtown " area and other features similar to those of cities, while the newer suburbs may have only shopping malls and no town center. The urban concept of "public space" has evolved (or devolved) along with suburban development over the last century.


The agrarian life is still, after thousands of years, at the center of people's dreams of an idyllic lifestyle. Now, with ever-increasing development pressures and the universal availability of products and services, the actual countryside is changing in never-before imagined ways. What humanity now chooses to do with the Earth's open spaces will forever alter our planet's landscape.

All of the above:

Papers presented at the colloquy may also be submitted for consideration as part of a special issue of World Order magazine on the topic.

The colloquy "Cities, Suburbs, and Countryside: Connecting the Spirit to the Environment" will be held in Wilmette, Illinois on a Saturday and Sunday in late October or early November (the date will be announced in a few weeks).

Those interested in making a presentation should submit an abstract or description of 250 to 500 words and a paragraph of biographical information to:

    Mrs. Lynne Yancy
    c/o Research Office
    Baha'i National Center
    1233 Central Street
    Evanston, IL 60201

    847-733-3548 (phone)
    847-733-3563 (fax) (e-mail)

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