Wednesday, July 23, 2014

CFP: Urban Fragmentation(s)

GWZ Berlin 
16.03.2015-19.03.2015, Berlin
Deadline: 12.09.2014 

The Centers for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (GWZ) will jointly host the 3rd Borders & Identity conference (BIC) from March 16th to 19th, 2015, at the Humboldt University in Berlin (Germany). BIC2015 provides a meeting place for researchers interested in interdisciplinary approaches to exploring Urban Fragmentation(s) from linguistic, literary, sociological, and historical points of view, or a combination thereof. The conference will be organized in three parallel strands, each chaired by a corresponding GWZ-center (ZAS, Center for General Linguistics; ZfL, Center for Literary and Cultural Research; ZMO, Center for Modern Oriental Studies). 
There will be three plenary talks (speakers to be announced) - organized by the respective centers. 
-- Literature & Translation (ZfL) 
-- Language & Linguistic Creativity (ZAS) 
-- Society & Governance (ZMO) 
We invite abstracts for presentations and posters on topics including, but not limited to, the following areas listed below. Interdisciplinary submissions are highly welcome.

1. Literature & Translation (ZfL) 
Writing the city 
-- Urban soundscapes: Fragments, collages, remixes 
-- Literary interventions in urban society: Cutting across town 
-- Multilingual literatures in pluricultural cities 
-- Plural topographies in urban literatures and cultures

"The 'translation' is the message" 
-- Translating the self: Writers in exile and migration 
-- Translating the other: Appropriating foreign forms of cultural expression 
-- The role and function of cultural mediators (artists, publishers, teachers, etc.) 
-- New subjectivities 
-- Suburban subjectivities: Figurations of the self in recent post-socialist literature 
-- (Urban) cultures of affect: Fragmented memories, distorted belongings, violent riots 

2. Language & Linguistic Creativity (ZAS) 
Linguistic diversity in the city 
-- Multilingualism in the classroom 
-- Multilingual cities as loci of language contact and change
-- Migration patterns and linguistic fragmentation 

-- Linguistic creativity / Multiethnolects 
-- Language change / Language decay 
-- Language variation and social networks 

Language attitudes / Linguistic stereotypes 
-- Perceptual ethnolectology 
-- Language ideologies 
-- Linguistic expressions of style 

3. Society & Governance (ZMO) 
Negotiating diversities 
-- Cultural, ethnic, and religious fragmentation in the city 
-- Governance of plurality 
-- Spaces of interaction, spaces of fragmentation 

Contesting visions
-- Splintering urbanism in networked cities 
-- Urban contestations and violence 
-- Unifying and fragmenting visions of urbanism 
-- Fragmented authenticity of urban heritage 

Rethinking Marginalities 
-- Urban centrality and marginality: Concepts and terminologies 
-- Urban centrality and marginality: Case studies

Friday, July 18, 2014

SpaceHacking: 3 DAYS LEFT TO APPLY

  • SpaceHacking International Summer School
    Brno, Czech Republic
    4 – 9 August 2014
    Deadline for application: 20 July 2014 at
    International interdisciplinary Summer School on city and contemporary technology aims to bring together students from different study fields for a one week intensive work tutored by professionals with the background in architecture, urban planning, urban design, art, scripting and new media.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

CfP: Popular geopolitics in Russia and Post-Soviet Eastern Europe, 19–20 February 2015

Understandings of the world held by ordinary citizens affect political dynamics both between and within states. In Ukraine, the popular appeal of a ‘European’ future and antipathy towards the Moscow-oriented alternative helped to draw thousands onto the streets during the ‘EuroMaidan’ protests of 2013–14. In Russia, popular mistrust of the West has persisted since the end of the Cold War and has lately been exploited and encouraged by the authorities to justify domestic and foreign policy decisions. Western and non-Western states alike engage in public diplomacy with the aim of enhancing their image in the eyes of foreign populations and thereby increasing support for their international agendas. Yet popular perceptions of foreign ‘others’ and their relationship to the national ‘self’ tend to have deep roots in a complex nexus of influences, including education, personal experience, popular culture and the mass media.

This workshop is intended to advance research into the societal or ‘popular’ dimension of geopolitics in Russia and post-Soviet Eastern Europe. Participants are invited to tackle the following interrelated questions:
- How do citizens (‘the public’) in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and other post-Soviet states perceive ‘the West’ and its constituent parts (the European Union, the USA and other individual countries), their regional neighborhood and their place on the geopolitical map?
- How are geopolitical narratives sustained and/or challenged by domestic and transnational media, popular culture, government policies (including education and public diplomacy) and processes outside state control (such as travel and increasing internet use)?
- How do public attitudes reflect, contradict and/or shape official geopolitical rhetoric and policy choices?
- How might theoretical approaches and evidence from different disciplines and geographical areas be combined to further our understanding of such issues?

Contributions are invited from all relevant disciplines, particularly Political Science and International Relations, Geography, Anthropology, Sociology, Education and Media/Communication/Cultural Studies. Although the workshop’s empirical focus is post-Soviet Eastern Europe, papers which tackle methodological and theoretical questions would be most welcome, as would relevant comparative studies incorporating other parts of the world. Papers will be circulated to all participants a month in advance in order to generate thorough and thoughtful feedback. It is expected that papers presented at the workshop will be published as an edited volume.

The workshop is being organized under the auspices of the UCL Mellon Programme 2013–15: Communities, Globalisation and Cultural Exchange, with financial support from the UCL Centre for Humanities Interdisciplinary Research Projects and the UCL European Institute. Some funding is available to assist with travel and accommodation costs, although applicants are strongly advised to seek alternative sources of funds as well.

In order to apply, please send an abstract of 250–300 words to the workshop convener, Dr Joanna Szostek, at Please indicate your name, title, institutional affiliation, research interests and the level of financial assistance you would require to attend (if any).

The deadline for abstract submission is Friday 17 October 2014.

Notifications on decision will be sent out by Friday 7 November 2014.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Conference "Aesthetic Energy of the City"

The 1st International Conference "Aesthetic Energy of the City" organized by University of Lodz [Department of Ethics, Institute of Philosophy] & Urban Forms Foundation will be held on 25th, 26th and 27th September 2014 in Lodz, Poland.

Organizers welcome proposals for individual papers from all fields related to art in the public sphere. This International Conference covers a wide range of intellectual and practice-based disciplines and empirically oriented or applied theoretical research. These include aesthetics, philosophy of culture, history of art, urban planning, anthropology, arts and design. The Conference has a potential to become a platform for the exchange of best practices and good experiences in organizing and designing urban space. It also allows us to grow our body of knowledge in all aspects of aesthetic experience and creative expression of street art.

The conference language is English and all presentations should be in English.

For the aims and topics of the Conference see /

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Call for Paper: "Loss and (re)Construction of Public Space in Post-Soviet Cities"!

Please find below our Call for Papers which is focused on the "Loss and (re)Construction of Public Space in Post-Soviet Cities"!  We invite full papers that address one of the topics outlined below. The peer-reviewed papers will be publsihed in a special issue of the International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy. The deadline for paper submission is 1 October 2014.

Please send your paper to and ! And please do not hesitate to contact us for further information!

We are looking forward to your interesting contributions which enrich the project, supported by the ira.urban network (!

With best regards,
Lela and Carola

Call for Paper:

Loss and (re)Construction of Public Space in Post-Soviet Cities
Editors: Lela Rekhviashvili, Carola Neugebauer              

The importance of public space as a site for power and resistance, facilitator of social exchange or a stage for art and performance has been long acknowledged in the academic literature. We understand public space as “all areas that are open and accessible to all members of the public in a society, in principle, though not necessarily in practice” (Orum & Neal, 2010). The purpose of this call for papers is to critically analyse the applicability and the importance of the term in a post-Soviet context. As public spaces host and reflect social and political cleavages, observing transformation of public spaces can be particularly helpful for understanding multiple and protracted transformation processes in post-Soviet societies. So far, however, changes in the meaning, design, use and negotiation of public space in post-Soviet cities remains to be terraincognita – besides notable exceptions such as the edited volume on ‘Urban Spaces after Socialism’ (Darieva & Kaschuba, 2011)). This special issue aims to fill this gap in the literature through exploring the tension between the loss and (re)construction of urban public space in post-Soviet cities, focusing on the agents of change, their practices and institutional settings that shaped loss and (re)construction of  public space.
Acknowledging considerable differences in urban experiences during socialism and deepened divergence after the collapse of Soviet Union, the peculiarity of post-Soviet transformation and urban public spaces originates – from our point of view - from two ambivalent developments: the new liberating opportunities to reconstruct the public space after 1990 as well as – at the same time - the loss of publicness due to new exclusive hierarchies (Darieva & Kaschuba, 2011).
Even though the role of the public/private dichotomy in Soviet Union is still debated, there is a considerable consensus suggesting that public spaces were of limited use due to extensive political control and surveillance, making the ideal of ‘everyone’s space’ effectively into ‘no-one’s space’ throughout the Soviet period (Zhelnina, 2013). Against this experience, the increased global openness of post-Soviet cities, the political and institutional reforms, processes of privatization and socio-cultural diversification could possibly be a liberating experience to use and appropriate urban public space. Thus, with the collapse of Soviet Union, citizens gained an opportunity to reconstruct the public space, transform it through daily practices and enjoy freedom of expression.
At the same time the transformation of public space has been taking place in unstable institutional settings resulting in loss or decay of public space. Looking at diverse trajectories of privatization, we observe that security of private property is not guaranteed and management of public property is not transparent. The institutional instability increased the vulnerability of post-Soviet cities against ‘new urban disorder’ (Lemon, 2011), illegal occupation and privatization of urban land, dominance of the interests of new business elites and consequently led to shrinkage and erosion of public space. Hence, post-Soviet cities have been exposed to un-regulated and un-negotiated privatisation, redesign and loss of public space.
The specific aim of this issue is to understand the tension and controversy surrounding the constraints and opportunities, (re)construction         and loss of public space in Post-Soviet cities. Loss of public space can be related to privatization of previously public land, or to limitations on accessibility of public space, while (re)construction of public space can be seen as physical recovery and redesign of streets, squares plazas ,etc. More importantly (re)construction is related to increasing ‘publicness’ of the space through transformation of the meaning of the public space and inclusion of different segments of society, and their daily practices into the public space. Depending on the position of an observer or participant of the change, the same development could be interpreted as a loss or a gain. Mushrooming informal petty trade could be seen as a reduction of public space or as a transformation of previously strictly controlled space into a lively and vibrant city life, where even marginalised citizens can access and enjoy the public space. Governmental and municipal efforts of revitalising inner city neighbourhoods to make the city attractive and safe for tourists and citizens could be seen as saving the historical centres from decay and destruction, or as gentrification. Removal of Soviet symbols and monuments from buildings and squares could be assuring the identity of some parts of society while threatening others. The spread of shopping malls, outdoor cafes and restaurants could be seen as a construction of new spaces where citizens exchange political views or as an encroachment of private sector interests on public space.
We propose to understand these contested understandings and differential experiences of public space through a focus on agents of change, their practices and institutional settings that play on the loss and (re)construction of public space.
1.       Who are the collective and individual actors that participate in loss and (re)construction of public space? What are their interests, agendas and visions concerning design, accessibility and use of public space?
2.       What are the practices that different actors rely on? (E.g. How are the decisions made concerning the privatization of public space? How do governments communicate modernisation agendas with the citizens? What is the repertoire of contesting specific changes in public space? What types of negotiation (if any) are held among different stakeholders? What are the daily practices of the marginalised groups that transform the meaning and shape of public space? )
3.       What are the formal and informal institutions which regulate the privatization of public space? Which institutions granted the citizens’ access to the public space as well as rights to contest undesired changes? How did institutional changes affect the negotiation of opposing interests in public spaces?
We encourage empirical and/or theoretical contributions from different disciplines to enhance a fruitful dialogue concerning urban processes in general and transformation of public spaces in particular. We welcome single as well as multiple/comparative case studies questioning the meaning and transformation of urban space and emerging distinction between public and private, emphasising overtime continuities and discontinuities and cross case similarities and dissimilarities.

Friday, July 4, 2014

New Moscow - Exhibition in Berlin

New Moscow – Новая Москва
Urban Development by International Competitions 2012-2014
Exhibition at Aedes, Berlin

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Critical Urban Studies : CALL FOR ACADEMIC YEAR 2014/2015 DEADLINE 11.07.2014.

Critical Urban Studies at the European Humanities University

Bilingual (Russian/English) MA track Critical Urban Studies at the EHU provides knowledge of: 
- social theories and methodologies of sociological research
- the most pressing issues of urban life, and the theories used to address them
- tools for coding and visualizing key tendencies in urban environments
- methodologies of historical urban anthropology in Central and Eastern Europe
- skills of territorial branding and marketing
- typologies of architectural forms
- guidelines for analyzing and reprogramming the urban environment through ‘soft’ instruments of spatial planning
- media theories and tools of video production

More Information: