Friday, July 31, 2015

We Tact! Urban Imagineering and the Construction of Cool Cities workshop in Budapest!

CEU Workshop, September 30 - October 1, 2015

Image is everything. The way people, companies, causes and places are presented is increasingly deemed to be a key to success. City and neighborhood branding has become an urban policy tool; culture, history, aesthetics are consciously and creatively deployed in urban redevelopment projects. Many activities and places which had been considered uninteresting and better to hide have become ‘cool’ and sell well (street food, street art, slum tourism, red-light and entertainment districts, ruin pubs, lofts).
Image is everything. Or, perhaps not?

The Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology* in cooperation with the TACT network (International Research on Art and the City) is running a one-day workshop to critically engage with the discussion of urban imagineering—the process through which professional and non-professional urban actors actively generate specific images, narratives and symbols of the city and strategically use them in redevelopment,—the role of urban imagination in the construction of ‘cool’ cities, and its relationship with politics and economy.

* supported by the CEU Event Fund

Thursday, July 30, 2015

CFP : The City as Commons: Reconceiving Urban Space, Common Goods and Urban Governance

6-7 November, Bologna, Italy
Deadline: 10 August 2015 

This conference will introduce participants to the rapidly growing field of study on the urban commons, stressing the importance of an 'urban narrative for the commons' for urban assets or resources such as urban infrastructure, urban services and urban real estate. The conference also aims to bridge the gap between research and practice as it will bring together thought leaders who study or work on cities from different perspectives and disciplines (urban design, service design, law, urban economics, political studies, commons studies) to build a common language and cultivate a community for the study and practice of urban commons. The conference is organised by LabGov - LABoratory for the GOVernance of commons, a joint partnership between LUISS Guido Carli ICEED and Fordham University Urban Law Center, with the support of the City of Bologna and Fondazione del Monte di Ravenna en Bologna. 

PhD Studentship

The University of Manchester Department of Geography is pleased to announce a PhD studentship on the ESRC-DFID Poverty Alleviation project: "Turning Livelihoods to Rubbish? Assessing the impacts of formalisation and technologisation of waste management on the urban poor" (Empirical work in South Africa). The supervisor s Dr Erik Swyngedouw, known for his work in urban political ecology and analysis of the post-political condition. The deadline for applications is 20 August 2015. 
For full details and the application process, please email


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Symposium - Urban Activism: A dialogue - East and West, North and South

The Symposium

We would like to bring in researchers from different disciplines and locality of origin who shared a common belief “in the potential for radical change of non-institutionalised urban political action” (Pickvance, 2003:104). We have also relaxed the term “urban (social) movement” and prefer the term “activism” to incorporate actions that are seemingly unconnected or be politically too sensitive to call themselves “movement”. Yet the actions we are interested should be symbolically or materially embedded in the political process but are not associated explicitly with established political processes or institutions.

There are also no limitations to the theoretical premises or type of empirical 

cases. What we intend to examine are:
  • New cultural meaning that enables local movements to increase the capacity to intervene in civic society.
  • The specific social, economic and political context that help to advance our understanding of urban activism
  • New issues, new perspectives to activism that has the potential in bringing social change
The symposium will be held on 20-21 March 2016 in City University of Hong Kong. Support on travelling and lodging for invited participants from outside Hong Kong will be provided. Yet participants who are able to fund their journey to Hong Kong are also welcome and lodging will be offered.

Submission of Abstracts

Abstracts are invited for the symposium. Such abstracts should be around 300 words and be sent via the following link before 30 September 2015. Notification of acceptance will be sent out before 1 November 2015. We are expecting an advanced version of the draft paper, at around 5000 words, be sent out for discussion on the symposium before 1 March 2016.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

If you are in Berlin ....Gütermarkt

3 May - 11 Oct 2015
Sundays from 12 until 19
Gütermarkt, a hybrid between craftsmen, DIY and flea market, looks for the imaginary and newly possible socio-economical models on the local scale. It involves diverse site-specific services, providing space for various ways of exchange and allow experimentation, social critic and productive discussions about current ‘urban development’ and transformation of Moabit. 
Beyond trading with ‘goods’, Gütermarkt promotes alternative ways of knowledge exchange, with an aim to serve as a local platform for critical urban pedagogy and community development. 
In this season, 2015 the Gütermarkt is build on 6 different conceptual islands to blur the official borders between the ZK/U Center for Arts and Urbanistic and the city park in order to create an inclusive space for unexpected social relationships. Additionally is the Gütermarkt inspired by a variety of different topics namely “holidays”, “education” or “communication”.
This is what you can do:
• Rent a market stand and sell your favourit things
• Craftsman offer their specific skills to repair and up-cycle
• Hello Kids! Bring your blankets, exchange and finally trade your Pokémon-Cards and Lilifee-Horses!
• Ideas, yes please! You want to offer a workshop or present your skills … Call us!
• Learn secret-skills of the local Boule-master and become Güterchampion in the Boulodrom!
No passion for forced - participation! Then your right here. Simply enjoy becoming a happy consumer of live music, culinary specialities from the neigh bourhood or let your pants, toaster and bike get fixed on spot.

CONF: Re-framing Identities: Architecture's Turn to History

ETH Zurich, Switzerland, September 10 - 12, 2015
Registration deadline: Aug 31, 2015

East West Central 03: Re-framing Identities: Architecture's Turn to
History, 1970-1990

The years between 1970 and 1990 were characterized by the rise of
postmodernism in architecture in Western and Eastern Europe. During
this period, the 1980s in particular, several socialist countries also
witnessed processes of liberalization and economic reforms, and the
overthrow of state leaderships in 1989/90, which would mark the end of
Europe's political division. Architecture, in these processes, became a
means through which to reframe identities, reconsider relationships to
history, and thus call into question not only the modern project but
also its wider political promises. The aim of this two-day
international conference is to revisit this historic period, and to
analyse and compare parallel developments in architecture and urban
design on both sides of the Cold War divide against the backdrop of
unfolding geopolitical transformations.

While postmodernism’s impact could be felt across different
disciplines, its origins can be traced most strongly in architecture
and urban design. After all, the term and concept postmodernism first
emerged in these disciplines. Since the mid-1960s, an increasingly
critical attitude toward functionalist modernism developed within
architecture that led to a spread of revisionist thinking and a growing
concern for historicism, symbolism and meaning. This change was
paralleled and sustained by a proliferation of architectural theory,
influenced in particular by phenomenology and semiotics. During the
1970s and 1980s, the recognition of architecture’s capacity to reflect
and ground identity reignited the search for ways to represent local,
national and regional traditions through built form.

The conference will address, among others, questions concerning:
- the chronology of the turn to history in architecture and urban
design in different European countries.
- how terms and concepts such as modernism and postmodernism were
discussed by architects and theorists in East and West.
- the relationship between postmodern discourse and mainstream
architectural culture during the 1970s and 1980s, asking how elements
of critique and opposition manifested themselves.
- role played by questions of heritage and identity in architectural
practice, and the specific forms this took in various countries in
- the impact of historicism and postmodernism on the development of
cities in Eastern and Western Europe.
- the mechanisms of international exchange and transfer that allowed
postmodernism to become a global phenomenon.

In recent years, postmodernism received growing attention though both
scholarship and popular exhibitions such as "Postmodernism – Style and
Subversion 1970—1990" at the V&A and the Landesmuseum Zürich (2012).
However, the focus of academic research and public shows tended to be
on Western Europe and North America, where postmodernism's conceptual
basis was developed and where, arguably, its impact could be felt most
strongly. Thus far, parallel developments and exchanges with Eastern
Europe have played a marginal role. A complex comparative analysis of
these developments that accounts for their heterogeneous nature is
missing. The question whether and to what extent the term and concept
postmodernism can be usefully applied to the Eastern European context
remains insufficiently addressed.

Our objective is to examine the historical turn in architecture in
Eastern and Western Europe during the 1970s and 1980s as a common
cultural legacy, situated in relation to fundamental and far-reaching
socio-economic and political changes – the erosion of communist
regimes, their eventual disintegration and the triumph of global
neoliberal capitalism. We propose a framework that treats
contemporaneous architectural phenomena in Western and Eastern Europe
on equal terms and side by side, thus asking for mechanisms of
interconnection, mutual exchange, transfer, and translation across the
political divide.

The conference will bring together an international group of
established and younger academics and practitioners, including a number
of former protagonists. Keynote lectures by Ákos Moravánszky,
Stanislaus von Moos, Joan Ockman, and Karin Šerman.

Attendance of the conference is free of charge. We kindly ask you to
register your interest by sending an email to

Chair for Theory of Architecture
Prof. Dr. Ákos Moravánszky
Institute for the History and Theory of Architecture (gta)
ETH Zurich
Stefano-Franscini-Platz 5
8093 Zurich

Monday, July 20, 2015

CFP: Into the Wild. Art and Architecture in a global Context

17th Colloquium for Young Researchers of Art History in Switzerland
Institute of Art History, University of Zurich
Deadline: 4 September 2015

Although the concept “global turn” (Casid / D’Souza 2014) was coined in
the 21st century, it can be used to trace processes of transnational,
transcultural, transregional interaction of all historic periods. Art
and architecture have always been places of exchange, conflict and
migration. People, objects, materials and knowledge moved and still
move between cultures – marked as political, religious or social. Thus,
art history claims a key role, because it has always dealt with these
processes and their materialization. Nonetheless James Elkins (2007)
asked if and how art history can be global. This colloquium is aiming
at positioning itself critically to and offering insight into the
latest art historical research. Following Elkins we would like to focus
especially on methodological approaches as means of globalizing art

We understand this colloquium as a platform for current art historical
writing.  It is not about presenting completed research, but about
discussing methodological and topical challenges. Thus, we focus on
problem-oriented contributions.

Contributions could deal with the following areas:
•    (inter)disciplinary boundaries of art history
•    Exhibition spaces and collections
•    Constructions of culture and history
•    Borders and contact zones
•    Nationalisms and regionalisms

This two-day colloquium offers the opportunity to present and discuss
your work in front of a wider audience of young as well as established
researchers. As we would like to enhance the exchange between
participants, we will combine the presentations with workshops dealing
with methodological and theoretical questions.
This call for papers welcomes submissions from MA students, PhD
candidates and post-doctoral researchers from all Swiss universities
and Federal Institutes (ETHs). We welcome contributions for
presentations of 20 minutes as well as concepts for workshops or
alternative formats. The languages are German, English, French or

We look forward to submissions (max. 1 page) together with a short CV
submitted via e-mail by 4 September 2015 to

At this year’s Colloquium for Young Researchers the Association of
Swiss Art Historians (VKKS) will award the “Förderpreis
Kunstwissenschaft 2015”.