Thursday, June 18, 2015

New Call : “Actors of Urban Change”

“Actors of Urban Change” is a Europe-wide program by the Robert Bosch Stiftung in cooperation with MitOst e.V. It aims to achieve sustainable and participatory urban development through cultural activities. This is carried out by strengthening the competencies for cross-sector collaboration among actors from the cultural sphere, the administration, and the private sector who form teams of three committed to implementing a project in their city. Using culture as a tool and context, the projects might address a broad range of social, political and environmental challenges related to urban change.

On a local level, the teams receive support for the implementation of their joint projects through grants and individual coaching. On an international level, they benefit from further qualification through workshops, seminars, peer-learning sessions and field trips during meetings and shadowing internships with teams from different cities, allowing for Europe-wide exchange and networking.

Applications from all 47 member countries of the Council of Europe as well as Belarus and Kosovo can be submitted until September 13, 2015. 
A detailed description of the program and contact information, as well as access to the call, FAQs and the online application, are available on

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

CFP: Chronopolis: Time & Urban Space

2015 Graduate Student Conference
Germanic Languages and Literatures at the University of Michigan
October 30th-31st
Keynote Speaker: Bettina Stoetzer (MIT)
Presented in Conjunction with the Annual Grilk Lecture: Andreas Huyssen (Columbia)
Deadline Extension: 
Please send all abstracts (300 words max.) to umichgermanconf2015(at) by June 30th.

Although cities are generally understood as spatial phenomena, this conference suggests that urban space cannot be thought independent of its temporal dimensions. Layers from different times coexist in the built environment of the city—the high-speed ICE train pulls into the Cologne Station alongside the gothic Dom and its looming spires. Time actually imprints itself on the spaces of the city—the Berlin Boros Bunker displays its war scars and the Berliner Mauerweg courses throughout the German capital. But time is not only visible as a historical remnant; it also serves to organize and structure the rhythms of city life: train, tram, and bus schedules regulate the movement of bodies throughout the city, while the Munich Rathaus Glockenspiel charms tourists daily with its dancing Bavarian figures at 11:00 sharp. Thinking about the ways time intertwines with urban space illuminates the material and representative dimensions of the city as a dynamic space of experience and practice, systems and conflicts, culture and history.
Combining Reinhart Koselleck’s notion that time is conceived in spatial metaphors with Henri Lefebvre’s premise that space is socially produced, this conference invites papers that investigate how cities and time mutually determine and reflect each other. While the focus is on German-speaking cities, we also welcome approaches that connect time in the metropolis to international frameworks and consider the rise of global cities and global metropolitan networks. We invite transnational and interdisciplinary contributions from all fields, including urban planning, architecture, history, art history, geography, sociology, gender and queer studies, anthropology, comparative literature, film studies, visual culture, theater, and musicology.
The Annual Werner Grilk Lecture in German Studies, given by Andreas Huyssen, will precede the conference on Thursday evening, October 29. University of Michigan graduate students and conference attendees are also invited to participate in a reading group on the topic of Time and Urban Space in the fall semester of 2015. Professor Huyssen will conduct a workshop on Friday October 30 as the culminating session of this reading group.
Papers should not exceed 20 minutes.
Potential topics include, but are not limited to:
  • The rhythms and paces of life in the metropolis
  • The metonymy of cities that stand for historic eras: Vienna, Weimar, Bonn, etc.
  • The built environment as historical palimpsest
  • Museums, monuments, and urban memory cultures
  • Surveillance and subversion
  • Protest and policing
  • The (shifting) gender of urban spaces
  • Sexual spaces in urban modernity
  • Exhibitions in and of urban space
  • Nature in/and the city
  • City life and generic form
  • The temporality of cultural encounters within the city
  • The roles of science, technology, and industry in shaping and regulating city life
  • Urban space and time and globalism
  • Urban sprawl and megacities
  • City life and perception
  • Urban blight and decline
  • Planned cities and ghost towns
  • Architectural productions of temporality (renovations, re-inventions)
  • Aesthetic productions of future/past cities (Mussolini’s Rome and Hitler’s Germania)
  • Ungleichzeitigkeit of city-spaces
  • Urban chronotopes in literature and film

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

CALL FOR PAPERS: ISU Talks #3: Ruralism - The Future of Villages and Small Towns in an Urbanizing World

The Institute for Sustainable Urbanism invites proposals for papers for the third annual ISU Talks at Technische Universität Braunschweig on 18 November 2015. What role do villages and small towns have in a world in which the majority lives in cities?
Rural space is about to change: After mechanization and industrialization, rural space has experienced mass out-migration. It has received waste and unwanted or out-dated infra- structures from cities. It has fed the world’s population and served as the scenery for movie plots or as a recreational landscape for temporary guests. But in the near future, rural space will step out of the shadow of the cities and become appreciated as an important actor in sustainable development in its own right.
In the current city-centred discourse, rural spaces are often dismissed as declining or stagnating. However, rural spaces also play a critical role in sustainable development, as an inextricably linked counterpart, but also as a complement
to the growing city, as extraction sites, natural reservoirs or leisure spaces. Yet, the city and the countryside are evermore increasingly mutually reliant. A closer look at the countryside unveils a set of dynamics overlaying and changing rural space, beyond trends of depopulation and shutdown of public facilities. The once remote and quiet countryside is now traversed by global and regional flows of people, goods, waste, energy and information, interrelating it with the larger urban system, and perhaps even bringing it to the frontlines of regional transformation and sustainability. A new set of criteria for understanding and appreciating the rural is required.
The conference aims at the discussion of the above hypothesis and proposes the following questions: How and with what human consequences are rural spaces being urbanized to day? What are the existing and potential connections between urban and rural spaces? What new concepts for rural living are there? Do we need to formulate a (new) vision for ‘ruralism’? And what role can urban design play in preparing rural life and space for the future?
Researchers from all disciplines, including, but not limited to, urban and landscape planning, architecture, geography, arts, film, social and cultural sciences, are encouraged to submit paper proposals on the following topics:
– Rural planning (building, settlement and landscape structures, public and private uses, interconnected- ness, flows of goods and supplies, etc.)
– Productive potentials in rural space (food, renewable energies, technology, tourism, cultural production, nature and ecology, etc.)
– Village culture and rural life (building culture, landscape, aesthetic representations, identity, participation, lifestyles, etc.)
– Regional development concepts (International Building Exhibitions, Regionalen, Floriaden, National Parks, infrastructural strategies for connecting villages, ur- ban-rural collaborations, etc.)
– The urbanisation of rural space and the ruralisation of urban space
– or other topics dealing with current development tendencies in rural space.
The symposium rounds off the Institute for Sustainable Urbanism’s BMBF-funded Project Academy of Rural Space (2014- 15). The academy brings together students, city representatives and citizens in Lower Saxon small cities and villages to formulate ideas for the development of those places.
Conference proceedings will be published following the event.
Please submit your abstract (2000 characters), CV, professional affiliation, contact details and one page of images/figures before 15 July 2015 to:

Prof. Dr. Vanessa Miriam Carlow