Registration now open: Breaking the Network: Infrastructure and Community (Fractures) in the Long Nineteenth Century


University College Cork, Thursday 2nd – Friday 3rd September 2021

Keynotes: Prof. Claire Connolly (U niversity C ollege C ork ), Dr Nicola Kirkby (Royal Holloway) , Prof. Ruth Livesey (Royal Holloway), Dr Nitin Sinha ( Leibniz – Zentrum Moderner Orient)

Recent studies in nineteenth-century culture have investigated the connectedness of individuals, places, nations and markets, shaped by uneven development and asymmetric power relations. The rapid but asymmetric development of infrastructure in the nineteenth century laid the foundations for such far-reaching networks, and continue to affect individuals’ social experiences and spatial practices to this day. For example, the inaccessibility of most of London’s Victorian underground railway network for wheelchair users draws attention to infrastructure’s double potential to enable and to restrict social and spatial connections. Meanwhile, urban studies concepts, such as “splintering urbanism” (Graham and Marvin, 2001), direct our attention to the fragmentation of social groups and experiences both within and across spaces.

This two-day symposium asks how we can reconcile the coexistence of such fragmentation with shared economies, communities, and spaces.