Wednesday, May 28, 2014

TACT Workshop on Urban Imagineering - Sankt Petersburg

CISR and Urban City Lab invited May 26 at 18:00 to an open seminar «Urban imagineering»

TACT in Moscow

We TACTed in Moscow in cooperation with the Poletayev Institute for Historical and Theoretical Studies in Humanities National Research University Higher School of Economics
HistoriCity: Urban Space and Changing Historical Culture
Moscow, May 23-24, 2014

The conference focused on the changing historicity of urban environment and the formation of modern city historical culture. Acceleration of historical time, incessant modernization of urban environment render the status of the Historical in modern city space problematic, change its meaning, and suggest different modes of historicity. Heritage becomes a subject of various kinds of conflicts, such as those between monuments and functional needs of city development, between different concepts of authenticity, or between different modes of urban historical experience. A relativization of historical consciousness deprives historical heritage of internal homogeneity and provokes clashes of different interpretations of objects’ value and authenticity, of city communities’ identities as well as clashes of history and memory.

The mobility of modern society provides the crucial context in which the existence of urban historical heritage today is to be analyzed. The development of tourism industry, with destinations competing for visitors, is among the key factors of urban environment transformation. It drives the designing of city images, the search and mobilization of cultural resources and the activity of other cultural industries. Massification of tourism generates new models of heritage consumption and development. It becomes an important factor of effective management within the experience economy and, at the same time, it propels the search of authentic, uncorrupted, individualized heritage experience.
The conference provided an opportunity for an interdisciplinary discussion of historicity issues in modern cities within the context of various forms of urban development, musealization and tourism industry.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Seeking postgraduate and early career researchers to review books

The Urban Geography Research Group (UGRG) of the RGS-IBG is seeking postgraduate and early career researchers to review books to be published on its website ( If your research interests are connected to any of the themes suggested by the following titles and you would be interested in writing a review of approximately 1,200 words would you please reply by email to Anna Plyushteva ( by Friday, 16 May, including one or two sentences on why you are a suitable reviewer and your postal address. Please note, due to the volume of replies we receive we cannot reply to unsuccessful requests.

1. Author(s): Vassilena Parashkevova
Year: 2013
Title: Salman Rushdie's Cities: Reconfigurational Politics and the Contemporary Urban Imagination
Publisher: Bloomsbury

2. Author(s): Richard Bohannon
Year: 2013
Title: Public Religion and the Urban Environment: Constructing a River Town
Publisher: Bloomsbury

3. Author(s): Martin Dines, Timotheus Vermeulen, (eds.)
Year: 2013
Title: New Suburban Stories
Publisher: Bloomsbury

4. Author(s): Bradley Garrett
Year: 2013
Title: Explore Everything: Place-Hacking the City
Publisher: Verso

5. Author(s): Colin McFarlane (ed.)
Year: 2012
Title: Urban Informalities: Reflections on the Formal and Informal
Publisher: Ashgate

6. Author(s): Tim Dixon, Malcolm Eames, Miriam Hunt, Sion Lannon (eds.)
Year: 2014
Title: Urban Retrofitting for Sustainability: Mapping the Transition to 2050
Publisher: Taylor and Francis

7. Author(s): Jason Pomeroy
Year: 2014
Title: The Skycourt and Skygarden: Greening the Urban Habitat
Publisher: Taylor and Francis

8. Author(s): Ali Madanipour, Sabine Knierbein, AglaƩe Degros (eds.)
Year: 2014
Title: Public Space and the Challenges of Urban Transformation in Europe
Publisher: Taylor and Francis

9. Author(s): Elizabeth Engebretsen
Year: 2014
Title: Queer Women in Urban China: An Ethnography
Publisher: Taylor and Francis

10. Author(s): Alison Young
Year: 2014
Title: Street Art, Public City: Law, Crime and the Urban Imagination
Publisher: Taylor and Francis

11. Author(s): Christiane Brosius
Year: 2014
Title: India’s Middle Class: New Forms of Urban Leisure, Consumption and Prosperity
Publisher: Taylor and Francis

12. Author(s): Paul Jenkins
Year: 2013
Title: Urbanization, Urbanism, and Urbanity in an African City: Home Spaces and House Cultures Publisher: Palgrave

13. Author(s): Catalina Neculai
Year: 2014
Title: Urban Space and Late Twentieth-Century New York Literature: Reformed Geographies Publisher: Palgrave

14. Author(s): Aksel Tjora and Graham Scambler, eds.
Year: 2013
Title: Cafe Society
Publisher: Palgrave

15. Author(s): Mark Davidson, Deborah Martin
Year: 2012
Title: Urban Politics: Critical Approaches
Publisher: SAGE

16. Author(s): Benjamin Barber
Year: 2013
Title: If Mayors Ruled the World: Dysfunctional Nations, Rising Cities
Publisher: Yale University Press​

Monday, May 12, 2014

Summer School of the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz - Max-Planck-Institut 8 - 15 September 2014

Deadline: May 25, 2014
L'Aquila - The Future of the Historical Center: A Challenge for Art History
Concept and organization: Carmen Belmonte, Elisabetta Scirocco and Gerhard Wolf

The devastating earthquake that struck L'Aquila on 6 April 2009 created a major rupture in the social and cultural history of the city. After dealing with the immediate aftermath of the natural disaster through the construction of the so-called "New Towns," the necessity of securing the city's buildings has paralyzed the historical center. Today, ongoing restorations are accompanied by a lively debate, requiring the expertise of specialists from various disciplines. It is crucial that art historians participate in the discussions on the complex issues of reconstruction, restoration, and preservation, that are deciding how to return the city to its citizens and to ensure the survival of its monumental heritage.
The KHI summer school invites young art historians and scholars from neighboring disciplines to discuss the future of historic centers, focusing particularly on the critical as well as the ethical roles of Art History. The case of L'Aquila provides an opportunity to reflect broadly upon the effect of natural disasters on civic life and cultural heritage and its management.
Located on site, the summer school will take a diachronic approach to the study of the city of L'Aquila, both inside and outside the walls, beginning with its medieval foundation as a free 'civitas' disputed by popes and emperors, through Spanish rule, up to the urban transformations of the Fascist period. Located in a strategic position on the 'Via degli Abruzzi', L'Aquila has long been a market town; its main raw materials, wool and saffron, reached the markets of northern Italy and beyond the Alps. The city of L'Aquila serves as a shrine that houses the bodies of Pope Celestine V and Bernardino of Siena. 
Throughout its history, the city has therefore been a place of exchange, a center of culture and artistic patronage, and an important pilgrimage site beginning with the institution of the plenary indulgence in 1294 at Collemaggio.
The close study of the historical city, its urban structure, its works of art, and its dispersed and decontextualized collections, together with an awareness of the dynamics of destruction and reconstruction of  its cultural heritage, will call attention to the future of L'Aquila  and to the methodological questions related to the preservation of its past.
What techniques and methodologies allow mediation between aesthetic and   historical values? Is it possible to find a balance between the protection of heritage and the needs of the citizens of L'Aquila; between the desire for change and the impulse to return to the forms of the past? Issues such as reconstruction, integration, and authenticity versus fake are central topics to be addressed.

The KHI summer school welcomes applications from the fields of Art   History, History, Architectural History, Urban History, Conservation and Restoration, from graduate students, doctoral candidates, and scholars who are embarking on post-doctoral research. The number of participants is restricted to 15. Each participant is expected to contribute to the success of the course not only with a presentation, but also by actively engaging in the discussions, which will be held primarily in English.

Applications should include: a letter of interest comprising a research  statement, a one-page CV, and a presentation proposal (300 words).
These materials can be written in English, German, or Italian. It is not necessary for proposals to deal with all the questions introduced above. Presentations will be held in English and can address an object, a monument, or a topic regarding L'Aquila, its collections, or its surroundings (including sites such as Rosciolo, Bominaco, Fossa, Sulmona), as well as issues of conservation and restoration.
Accommodation will be offered by the Institute, which will also reimburse participants for half of their travel costs and provide a per diem.
Applications should be sent by May 25, 2014 to:, and

Call for Papers: Monuments, Site-Specific Sculpture and Urban Space: A symposium honoring the jubilee of Dani Karavan’s Monument to the Negev Brigade

Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Be'er Sheva, December 18, 2014
Deadline: Jun 30, 2014
Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Department of the Arts

In honor of the fiftieth jubilee of the Monument to the Negev Brigade, and in honor of its creator, Dani Karavan, the Ben-Gurion university and its Department of the Arts is holding a symposium that seeks to shed new light on the monument and upon related art historical issues. The Monument to the Negev Brigade, or by its full name, The Negev Brigade Independence War Memorial, was created in the outskirts of Be’er Sheva, Israel, upon a hill overlooking the city. Built between 1963-1968, it was a pioneering work of art in twentieth-century large-scale site-specific sculpture. It was one of Karavan’s first projects, one that anticipated his future artistic development as a sculptor engaged with site-specific sculpture internationally. Made entirely of exposed concrete and negotiating volume, space, light and shadow, the monument challenges traditional boundaries between sculpture, environmental art and architecture. As a pioneering manifestation of modern art in Be’er-Sheva, it has acquired a prominent place in its urban space, existing both within it and without, and connoting multiple levels of local and national meanings. With the monument as its point of departure, this symposium invites papers that open up new perspectives and propose new frameworks for approaching and analyzing monuments, memorials and site-specific sculpture, as well as their relationship to urban space. Papers may address issues of memory and commemoration, the materiality of concrete as a medium in sculpture and architecture, environmental artworks in light of changing environments and urban developments, and the discourse between site-specific sculpture and its publics. Fresh methodological approaches from a variety of disciplines, such as art and architectural history, urban studies and the nascent fields of geohumanities and memory studies are welcome.

We cordially invite you to propose papers by sending a title and an abstract (up to 300 words) in English, in MS Word format to by June 30, 2014. Please include your academic / professional affiliation, email and telephone number. For further inquiries please contact Dr. Inbal Ben-Asher Gitler,
The symposium will be held in conjunction with the events honoring the Monument to the Negev Brigade Jubilee, and the Monument to the Negev Brigade exhibition at the Negev Museum of Art, Be’er-Sheva

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Master's in Urban Studies

Master's in Urban Studies
Tallinn, Estonia
Faculty of Architecture at the Estonian Academy of Arts, Tallinn welcomes undergraduate students to apply for 2-year Master's program in Urban Studies, which is situated at the intersection of critical urban studies, urban planning, architecture theory, and urban ethnography. The program is fully in English and it has a strong international orientation. Assignments includes semester-long research studios, intensive workshops, lectures, seminars, and field trips. The education prepares students to engage with urban issues at different levels: design, planning, policy, and research.
Deadline for applications is May 15.
Please find more info about the program and how to apply here: