Balzan Summer Seminar: Urban Change and Memory: New Perspectives on Europe and Beyond, 19-25 August 2019, University of Konstanz
Cities are crucial spaces for the negotiation of a contested past. This summer seminar explores the making of memory in European cities. It aims to: 1) discuss perspectives on methods of Memory Studies and Urban Studies; 2) examine some of the main threads of urban change in Europe and beyond, including post-industrial transformations, shrinking cities vs. rapid growth, migration and increasing diversities; central debates on memory politics and contested commemoration processes in urban spaces from a post-conflict perspective; symbolic representations and memory sites like memorials, monuments and museums, 3) delve into the heart of memorial controversies by focusing on dynamics in specific urban situations, including Lodz, Madrid, Paris, and Sarajevo; 4) highlight practices of invited curators, artists, and other professionals. Lectures and discussions will be conducted in English.
Students will be introduced to central concepts and methods of Memory and Urban Studies and their relationship to space in urban contexts. By pairing theoretical debates with case studies, we also aim to explore the emergence of memory practices ‘from below’ that reshape collective memory and identity, analyzing how they relate to official politics of the past.
The seminar discussions across disciplinary and geographic boundaries will serve to identify new emerging patterns of collective, cultural and social memory and its representations and traces in the city.
Central questions that might serve for our discussion include:
- What is the role of memory sites in processes of dealing with a conflictive past? Who are the central actors behind its creation?
- How does the urban representation of contested memory shape the historical narrative, and by extension identities, communities, and societies in urban European settings?
- M.A. students/ PhD students in their initial stage
- History, Memory Studies, Political Science, Anthropology, Sociology, Urban Studies, Geography, Architecture and Urban Planning
- The applicants should provide a one page CV and a letter of motivation (max. 500 words), that includes information on the applicant’s scholarly background, interests, and career goals. Optionally, please send a 300 words abstract of a proposed presentation of previous or current research.
- Fees: 200 euros, including tuition, room, and board. There will be a limited number of bursaries available to candidates. Please mention in the motivation letter why you would need such a bursary.
We look forward to assembling a group of emerging scholars who bring interdisciplinary commitments and concerns to their work, and who are interested in sharing their work with their peers internationally.