Call for Papers
Student Conference: Urban Metamorphoses: Landscapes of Power and Memory
Department of Political Science, University of Bucharest
May 17-18, 2013
The relationship between the political and the urban form has been under much scrutiny as the last two decades witnessed significant changes in both the political and urban arenas: totalitarian regimes in Central and Eastern Europe and the Middle East have fallen, as conflicts ravaged cities from Mostar to Baghdad, while social inequality has risen on a global scale. The city has morphed in connection with political transformations, its metamorphoses being charged with diverse power plays and discourses on justice, coming to terms with the past and engagements with memory. From the debates on the demolition of the Berlin Socialist-era Palace of the Republic in order to rebuild a Prussian Royal Palace to the reconstruction of the center of Beirut, the building of the new polity and the processes of coming to terms with the past have had a great influence on city-making. This multidisciplinary student conference seeks to further the analysis of recent urban metamorphoses by means of a double interrogation.
First, it will consider urban space as an indicator of the relationship with the past. It aims to investigate the transformations of places into sites of memory and how architectural projects, memorials, or museums narrate, fabricate or silence the past.
Second, it will explore urban sites and projects as a means by which different aspects of the *statu quo* are being expressed or contested. We aim to engage with the dramatic changes that cities witnessed / are witnessing in different political contexts and regimes (socialist/ postsocialist, colonial / postcolonial, conflict/post-conflict etc). We call for explorations of resistance and resilience, contestations, as well as critical examinations of the intricate relations between various actors involved in the planning process. This includes forms of urban contestation of the current political and socio-economic *statu quo*,including forms of environmental and social injustice.
Therefore, we welcome theoretical or empirical papers addressing the following or related topics:
·Urban Architecture, Objects and Memories
·Political Projects (and Utopias) of the Built Environment
·Post-conflict Cities and Multiple Narratives about the Past
·Governance, Urban Politics/ Policies and Social Change
·The Street / Market as a Space of Politics and Sociality
·Political Activism (Environmental, etc.) and the Urban Space
·Urban Neighborhoods and Ethnic Relations
·The City as a Space of Separation/ Segregation
·“Lieux de mémoire”, Museums and Contested Heritage
The conference is open to both undergraduate (final years) and postgraduate students from different fields of social sciences and the humanities: Political Science, Architecture, Urban Planning, Anthropology, History, Sociology, Economics, Art History, etc.
The conference will take place at the Political Science Department, University of Bucharest: 8, Spiru Haret Street, 010175, Bucharest (District 1), Romania.
Applications, in English or French, consisting of a paper abstract of 250 words and a short bio (one paragraph) should be submitted by April 29th, to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please mention if funding of accommodation costs is needed (currently available funding is very limited). We also welcome research posters fitting with the conference theme.
The selected papers should be submitted by May 10th (cca. 20, 000 – 25, 000 characters). All presentations will be in either French or English; passive knowledge of both languages is assumed, but the final paper can be written in Romanian, English, or French.
The conference is part of the activities taking place within the framework of the project “La rue comme lieu d’expression du politique”, conducted by University of Bucharest, Political Science Department; Sciences Po Paris, Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches Internationales; Institut Français d’Etudes Anatoliennes (IFEA), Istanbul; Nouvelle Université Bulgare, Sofia and Université Dokuz Eylül, Izmir: http://rue.ifea-istanbul.net