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IU Northwest announces keynote speakers for Drawing the Lines conference

November event will look at the possibility of urban renewal through the arts for Chicagoland, northern Indiana

Indiana University Northwest is proud to announce the keynote speakers for the innovative conference Drawing the Lines: International Perspectives on Urban Renewal through the Arts, which the Gary campus will host Nov. 2 through Nov. 4. The first event of its kind for the northern Indiana and Chicagoland areas, this conference is designed to promote conversation about urban renewal on an international scale while also focusing on more local applications for area communities.

Confirmed speakers include:

Franco Bianchini -- Reader in Cultural Planning and Policy and Director of the Cultural Planning Research Unit, De Monfort University, Leicester (England); author of Planning for the Intercultural City; The creative city; Cultural Policy and Urban Regeneration: The West European Experience.

Richard Economakis - Associate Professor, School of Architecture, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN; Board member of International Making Cities Livable; co-editor of Building Cities: Towards a Civil Society and Sustainable Environment (with Crowe and Lykoudis) and editor of Visions for the Future and Building Classical: A Vision of Europe and America.

Malcolm Miles - Reader in Cultural Theory at the University of Plymouth, UK, where he convenes the Critical Spaces Research Group and co-ordinates research methods courses in the Faculty of Arts. He is author of Urban Avant-Gardes (2004) and Art Space & the City (1997), co-author of Consuming Cities (2004, with Steven Miles), and co-editor of the City Cultures Reader (2nd edition 2003, with Tim Hall and Iain Borden). His next authored book will be Cities & Cultures (2007) in the Routledge series, Critical Introductions to Urbanism, of which he is series co-editor, with John Rennie Short. He has contributed to Space & Culture, Urban Studies, and Parallax, among other journals. He is currently researching utopian theory and the built and social architectures of alternative settlements for a further book, Building Hope. He continues to work in a field triangulated by contemporary art, critical theory, and aspects of the social sciences.

Sharon Zukin - Brokelundian Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology, Brooklyn College, New York, NY; author of The Culture of Cities and Landscapes of Power: From Detroit to Disney World.

Joseba Zulaika - Director of Center for Basque Studies, Reno, NV; author of Crónica de una seducción: el Museo Guggenheim Bilbao and editor of Learning from the Bilbao Guggenheim.

These speakers will discuss such topics as how creativity and culture influence community change; what role the arts and culture play in urban renewal; and what factors need to be considered on a local level when advancing urban renewal initiatives. Drawing the Lines will bring together these invited international experts on arts and urban renewal with local policymakers and legislators, artists, social and cultural entrepreneurs, city planners, economic development officials, art and humanities councils, and civic leaders.

“We believe that these speakers and the conference as a whole will develop a dialog about how integral arts and humanities are to urban life in the 21st century, and how the particular communities in northern Indiana and Chicagoland can shape their own transformations,” said Robin Hass Birky, associate professor of English at IU Northwest and co-organizer of the event.

“Attendees will find that the topics discussed by the keynote speakers will relate to existing initiatives for revitalizing the area’s urban communities,” said co-organizer Eva Mendieta, associate professor of Spanish at IU Northwest. “Through this conference, Indiana University Northwest remains committed to contributing to the Hoosier culture.”

In addition to the keynote speaker presentations, the conference schedule includes roundtable discussions, public forums, and an urban poetry panel, among other events. Conference participants also are invited to attend Theater Northwest’s Nov. 3 opening-night production of Permanent Collection, a play that focuses on issues of race, art and urban environments, at a reduced ticket price.

Cost of the conference is $260 for all three days, including lunch. Single-day registration costs $80 per day on Nov. 2 and 3, and $40 for Nov. 4, including lunch. After Oct. 26, multi-day registration costs $295. College students and Gary, Ind. residents may attend the conference for free; however, lunch for those who’re admitted for free will cost an additional $8 per day.

For more information about Drawing the Lines: International Perspectives on Urban Renewal through the Arts, visit



Media Contact:

Christopher Sheid

Michelle Searer
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