A friend from Kingsborough Community College’s English department sends the following:

brooklyn_all.gifThe Dreamland Pavilion: Brooklyn and Development
October 2-3, 2009, Kingsborough Community College, CUNY


How has Brooklyn become what it is–a place of nostalgia, imagination, or
fantasy as much as a territorial space, an “outer borough” of New York
City? Isn’t it time to assess critically the rapid changes in the
borough over the last decade? With tremendous growth comes certain
costs, but how do we evaluate the present moment, poised between Brooklyn

past and Brooklyn future? How is “development” defined differently by
different groups in different contexts? Finally, how do Brooklyn’s
diverse localities and populations reflect or even shape the future of
New York, a global metropolis? This conference aims to be a space within
which these and other questions will be addressed, discussed, even
answered. The two-day gathering will combine moderated panels (in both
traditional academic and roundtable formats), guided visits to local
sites, artistic performances and discussion.

We welcome proposals from all relevant academic disciplines, including history, literary studies, political science, geography, and sociology.
We are equally interested in proposals from those outside academia,
including architects, artists, journalists, activists, urban planners and
others concerned with Brooklyn in particular and urban space in general.

The primary areas we will focus on in the conference are:

  • The Arts and Cultural Practices: the borough’s relationship to film, literature, and the performing arts.
  • Development Projects: the conflicts and controversies surrounding Brooklyn’s most important contemporary development projects.
  • Demographics and Diversity: the broader forces that have reshaped Brooklynites’ lives in past and present, including migration, education,
    housing and urban politics.

Possible topics for panelists to address within these areas could


  • Renters and homeowners
  • Decision-making processes
  • Relationship of arts and culture to neighborhood geography
  • Case studies of particular neighborhoods
  • The Atlantic Yards project or Coney Island redevelopment
  • Dynamics of race and/or ethnicity
  • Environmental impact of development
  • Access to local institutions
  • Privatization and public space

Proposals should be submitted by February 1, 2009 and should include:

  • A one-page description of your topic
  • Contact information: Name, position and affiliation, telephone numbers
    (home and cellphone), mail address and e-mail.

Please email completed proposals to Dr. Rick Armstrong, Department of

English, Kingsborough Community College, City University of New York,

at: stephen.armstrong@kingsborough.edu.

For more information, contact:

Dr. Eben Wood, Department of English

Kingsborough Community College, City University of New York

2001 Oriental Blvd.

Brooklyn, NY 11235

(718) 368-5229



Dr. Libby Garland, Department of History, Philosophy, and Political


Kingsborough Community College, City University of New York

2001 Oriental Blvd.

Brooklyn, NY 11235

(718) 368-5624


Please also visit the conference website.