Sie sind hier: FRIAS Veranstaltungen Tagungen & Workshops Conference “Gentrification …

Conference “Gentrification Imaginaries: Stories of Urban Transformations and Displacement”

Maria Sulimma
North American Studies
University of Freiburg

Wann 12.06.2024 um 18:15 bis
14.06.2024 um 17:00
Wo FRIAS Seminar Room
Termin übernehmen vCal

Conference “Gentrification Imaginaries:

Stories of Urban Transformations and Displacement”

12-14 June 2024

FRIAS Freiburg, Albertstraße 19

To register for the conference, please contact:


The international conference “Gentrification Imaginaries: Stories of Urban Transformations and Displacement” brings together scholars from literary studies, media studies, cultural studies, political science, sociology, and geography who, in their respective research areas, have begun to explore the implications of understanding gentrification as not only a socioeconomic phenomenon but also dependent on questions of storytelling and cultural imagination. We aim to address questions such as, how do we define this complex phenomenon, and how do narratives about it shape our understanding of gentrification? In what ways do intersectional factors such as class, race, gender, and age impact our understanding of this process? What stylistic elements define stories of gentrification, and how do they vary across different media and genres? Can we consider gentrification itself as a genre? The conference seeks to help establish a growing network of literary and cultural gentrification studies by fostering the interdisciplinary dialog necessary to study processes of gentrification.


Wednesday 12 June 2024


Roundtable “Gentrification Debates across Disciplines: Definitions, Methods, Practices” with

Japonica Brown-Saracino (Boston University)

Thomas Heise (Pennsylvania State U/Abington):

Hanna Henryson (Stockholm/Linnaeus)

Andrej Holm (HU Berlin)

Panel Chair: Maria Sulimma (Freiburg)

main campus, KGI HS 1221


Thursday 13 June 2024


Conference Registration (with coffee)


Welcome and Conference Opening


Panel I: Beginning Gentrification: Chronologies and Temporalities

Panel Chair: Eva von Contzen (Freiburg)

  • Hanna Henryson (Stockholm/Linnaeus): “When this neighborhood belonged to the workers”: Elements of Gentrification in Recent Stockholm Novels
  • Ece Ergin (Freiburg): Indigenous Mobility and Urban Identity in Michelle Good’s Five Little Indians: Tracing Indigenous Displacement and Early Signs of Gentrification in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside
  • Lieven Ameel (Tampere): Before Gentrification: Changing Neighborhoods in New York and New Jersey in the works of Paule Marshall, Philip Roth, Jonathan Lethem, and Colson Whitehead


Coffee Break


Panel II: Destructive Agents of Gentrification: Embodying the Gentrifier

Panel Chair: Annika Mattissek (Freiburg)

  • James Peacock (Keele): “You gentrified gentrification”: Affect, Authenticity and Authorship in Jonathan Lethem’s Brooklyn Crime Novel (2023)
  • Heike Steinhoff (Bochum): Flipping Houses on American Reality TV: Gentrification, Self-Entrepreneurship, and the (Un)Making of Homes
  • Kübra Aksay (Freiburg): Swallowing the City – Donut County and Stories of Gentrification in Video Games


Lunch Break


Panel III: The Local and the Global: Gentrification and Scale

Panel Chair: Manuela Boatcă (Freiburg)

  • Andrej Holm (HU Berlin): Berlin’s Gentrification Mainstream and the Trap of Localization
  • Boris Vormann (Bard College Berlin): Does the Global City Still Exist? Making Sense of Urbanization after Neoliberalism
  • Julia Roth (Bielefeld): “Plymouth Rock Landed on Us”: Hip Hop as Critique of Gentrification and Local and Global Racialized Inequalities


Coffee Break


Panel IV: Archives of Gentrification: Memory and History

Panel Chair: Valerie Caillet (Freiburg)

  • Thomas Heise (Pennsylvania State U/Abington): “Down River”: Pennsylvania’s “Steel Country,” LaToya Ruby Frazier, and the Making of American Memory
  • Hollis Griffin (University of Michigan): Television & the Subway: NYC, Summer/Fall 1990
  • Lena Mattheis (Surrey): Transplacement: Gentrification, Gender and Vampires in Dead Collections (2022)

18:30 -19:45

Poetry Reading and Discussion with Poet Donna Stonecipher: The Ruins of Nostalgia (2023), moderated by Davy Knittle in FRIAS Lecture Hall/Pathologie Hörsaal


Conference Reception @ FRIAS Balcony or Lounge



Friday 14 June 2024


Panel V: Gentrification on the Page and Screen – Tracking Stories of Urban Change

Panel Chair: Jennifer Howard (Freiburg)

  • Adam Hollstein (Freiburg): Upholding Conflict Spaces, Creating Contact Zones: Shop Owners in Fictional Gentrifying Communities
  • Kieu Jenny Vi (Freiburg): Cooking Up Change –Food and Gentrification in The Bear
  • Julius Paul (Freiburg/Lübeck): From General Store to Rose Apothecary: Rural Gentrification in Schitt’s Creek



Coffee Break


Panel VI: Communities against Gentrification

Panel Chair: Klara Machata (Freiburg)

  • Davy Knittle (University of Delaware): “Service to the Avian Public”: Multispecies Resistance to Gentrification in The Thirty Names of Night
  • Alexa Weik von Mossner (Klagenfurt/Freiburg): Unintentional Communities: Narratives of Climate (De)gentrification
  • Japonica Brown-Saracino (Boston University): A Mass for the Triple Decker


Lunch Break


Panel VII: Gentrification and/through Leisure

Panel Chair: Kristina Seefeldt (Freiburg)

  • Stefan Höhne (KWI Essen): Gold Rush in Needle Park – Histories of Drug-led Gentrification
  • Maria Sulimma (Freiburg): Puppies, Babies, and Gentrifiers: Canine-Human Consumerism, Care, and Cohabitation in Urban Storytelling


Farewell: Next Steps in Gentrification Studies


Coffee Break and Goodbyes



For Abstracts and Bios click here!