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CfP “Urban Cultures in the Baltics (from the Middle Ages to the 20th Century)”

Urban Cultures in the Baltics (from the Middle Ages to the 20th century)
The 3rd conference on Baltic Urban History
Klaipėda, April 18–20, 2018

Call for Papers

The third conference on Baltic urban history invites presenters from different disciplines to discuss urban cultures. During recent decades, a significant change occurred in our understanding of the multicultural character of Baltic cities. Even in the Baltics, the concept of a city as a space for interaction of cultural diversities can hardly cause surprise today. Still, there is a question as to whether the notion of that multiculturalism may be useful explaining the very phenomenon of an urban space, urbanity, and urbanisation. Contributing to the problematisation of these concepts, the conference organizers have deliberately chosen a no less ambiguous term of “urban cultures” (often identified with “urbanity”) whose different definitions were developed by archaeologists, sociologists, cultural anthropologists, historians, and researchers on architecture and urbanism. By combining the variety of perspectives on the same phenomenon into a single topic of the conference, we hope to encourage some points of contact between the different disciplines. Therefore, the third conference on the history of Baltic cities welcomes the submission of proposals which represent diverse approaches to the concept of “urban cultures”. Some key issues for potential papers representing the above-mentioned diversity include::

  • Urban lifestyles, approached through the research into material artifacts, technologies, and infrastructures;
  • The often overlapping and sometimes conflicting relations between social groups with distinctive behavioral patterns inside the city, and the social relations between the urban centre and suburban, rural, and/or exurban areas;
  • The systems of meanings circulating in urban communication, their expression in ideas, ways of thinking, symbols, practices, and behavioral patterns; the interaction of these systems of meanings;
  • The activities of urban communities in strengthening their political, legal, and/or economic position; various issues of communal (self)organisation associated with this position;
  • The impact of design, aesthetics, space planning, and functional relations between different objects in urban space on urban lifestyle.

The chronological limits of the conference are restricted to the period from the 13th to the 20th centuries.

By inviting representatives of different disciplines with diverse approaches, we hope that the conference will turn into a forum for discussion of Baltic cities that will provide a common ground for the understanding of urban cultures.

Deadline for submitting applications: May 31, 2017.

Please follow the links for details: in English; in German.

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