A twice-told story: Europeanization, citymaking and the reshaping of urban infrastructure

A twice-told story: Europeanization, citymaking and the reshaping of urban infrastructure

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Jens Adam

Humboldt-University, Berlin

September 19, 2018 / 4.00 pm

Library, Center for Urban History

How are current dynamics of citymaking and processes of Europeanization interconnected? In his paper Jens Adam would like to elaborate on this nexus in a twofold way:

Firstly, he’ll propose to examine the effects, which are evoked by references to European ressources, regulations, networks or narratives in the sociomaterial shape of urban space or in debates about the future development of a city as expressions of ongoing processes of Europeanization. In line with current anthropological debates "Europeanization" is understood hereby not as a purposeful, logical and linear implementation of a clear-cut blueprint, but rather as an open-ended and polyphonic, often contradictory and selective process, whose very relevance arises from translocal translations and locally situated fields of practice.

Secondly, he would like to discuss how our understanding of "Europeanization" can shift once we put a city like Lviv in the center of our inquiry: What do we learn about the selective or hierarchichal character of these processes? Which alternative European histories and relational geographies come into view? And which knowledge can we gain hereby about the shape and the modes of production of contemporary Europe?

As a way to examine this nexus between "Europeanization" and "citymaking" an ethnographic focus on current infrastructural projects reshaping urban space as well as enabling new forms of urban mobility/connectivity will be proposed. Such a perspective on the emergences of new urban infrastructures should offer analytical insights into the changing relations between three components that make up a city: urban imaginaries, urban materialities and forms of urban conviviality.

Jens Adam

teaches social/cultural anthropology at the Institute of European Ethnology at Humboldt-University in Berlin. His research interests include urban anthropology, political violence, europeanization/cosmopolitization research and public policy. For his most recent book, he conducted fieldwork in Berlin, Ramallah, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Sarajevo to study the translocal translation of the German Foreign Office’s policy of “conflict prevention via culture”. As part of an editorial team he is currently finalising an anthology that will connect anthropological research on europeanization with postcolonial theory.

The event has a format of a workshop, with the guest researchers to discuss academic projects and research works on different stages of progress, and of the completed projects prepared for print.

Participation in the Urban Seminar implies reading and discussing the researcher’s text. If you wish to join the workshop, please, send an email to Iryna Sklokina ([email protected]) to receive the materials in advance.


Сover Image: hmarochos.kiev.ua