Regular Panel: Flânerie in Literature and Popular Culture at SAMLA 91: 'Languages: Power, Identity, Relationships'

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?

Co- Chairs:  Dr. Kelly Comfort, Georgia Institute of Technology; and Dr. Marylaura Papalas, East Carolina University

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, [email protected] and Marylaura Papalas, East Carolina University, [email protected].