CFP: Identities and the Cities: Urban Transformations, Transition and Change in Urban Image Construction (Euroacademia Forum Session)

Deadline:  15 October 2018

Nice, France

23-24 November 2019

As part of 7th Euroacademia Forum of Critical Studies: Asking Big Questions Again

Panel Description:

Urban image construction is a reflection, expression and constitutive
factor of local identity formation and dynamics. Cities simultaneously
localize identities and connect them with wider global signs of
utility, function and symbolic order. Elasticity of the label identity
accommodates everything that surrounds us as presence or absence,
persistence or change. As a theatrical scenery, cities change after
each act, sometimes with discrete adaptations, sometimes with radical
interventions. If the scenery is composed of streets, parks, roads,
museums, monuments, shopping malls and buildings connected through the
intricate network of the perpetual and cumulative actions of its
inhabitants, every adaptation and intervention affects its
multi-dimensional identities. Changes in urban visual identities
unfold as a form of public art feeding from the immense potential of
social imaginary significations accommodated by a time’s perception of
stability, structure and continuity. Urban change is itself a
production of meaning, interpretation and identity making practices.

As the chaotic canvases of cities are being stretched over a framework
of identity, its further exploration seems more than appropriate.
Amidst the incredibly rapid urban growth crowding more than half of
the world population in towns and cities, the questions are only going
to keep multiplying. How are city identities made and re-made, used
and abused, imagined and narrated, politicised and communicated,
expressed and projected, imposed and marketed? And above all, how do
they thrive within the dynamic interpolation of the nexus of
local-global, centre-periphery, urban – suburban, old and new. As
out-dated as these dichotomies may sound, in many places their daily
life is far from over. As old cities became new capitals and new
capitals struggle for more capital, the challenges of maintaining
public-driven collective identities in the face of cultural
fragmentation and diversification, coupled with
consumer-attractiveness is turning them into urban palimpsests. Urban
environments reflect the human needs and values. In an increasingly
globalized world, the human beings are becoming more citizens of the
world than citizens of the cities. The increasing mobility of the new
pilgrims of globalization creates more of the same in the logic of
universalized urban functionality. Within this logic, the cities are
now in the position to re-evaluate their impact on the world and shape
their future in a manner that assumes a wider responsibility that
evades a localized mentality. Urban local identities are becoming
increasingly thin and rely strongly on negotiating a local specificity
with universalized functionality and global responsibility. An
increasing need for uniqueness and distinctiveness foster
site-specificity aimed at placing a particular urban identity within a
global economic hierarchy. Public art became essential for affirming
distinctive local urban identities in a universe of serialization and
commodification.

As the research on cultural identities of the city is becoming more
abundant, this panel aims at adopting a wide-lens inter-disciplinary
approach, while focusing on various processes affecting identities in
the urban context in its global-regional-national-local interplay.

Some example of topics may include (but are not limited to):

•       Collective Memory, Identity and Urban Image Construction
•       Appropriation, Instrumentalisation and Functualisation of Public Spaces
•       Contemporary Nomadism and the City as a Common Denominator for
Collective Identities
•       Architecture as ‘Politics with Bricks and Mortar’
•       History, Heritage and Urban Change
•       Urban Regeneration Projects, Landmark Buildings and ‘Starchitects’
•       Non-Places and (Non)Identity
•       Immigrants and the Cultural Identity of Cities
•       City Marketing and City Branding
•       Cities and Public Goods
•       European Capitals of Culture and European Identity
•       Cities and Sites of Memorialisation
•       Identity Creation and the Cultural Offer of the City
•       Urban Cultural Heritage as Identity-Anchor
•       Minor Places: Dominant Culture and Site-Specific Urban Identities
•       Creative Changes of the Cities
•       Art and Industry in Urban Development
•       Urban Aesthetics
•       Urban Installations
•       Critical Architecture
•       Urbanism and Social Intervention: Inclusion of the Marginalized
•       Centre/Periphery Nexuses in Contemporary Urban Development
•       Cities and the Quality of Life
•       Urban Landscapes and Sustainable Cities
•       Contemporary Cities and Environmental Responsibility
•       Ugliness, Kitsch and Value in Shaping Contemporary Urban Spaces
•       Urban Sites of Identification
•       Temporary Urban Interventions
•       Architecture as Public Art

Please apply on-line using the electronic form on the conference
website or submit by e-mail a titled abstracts of less than 300 words
together with the details of your affiliation until 15th of October
2018 to application@euroacademia.org

If you are interested to apply, please see complete information about
the conference and details for applicants at:
http://euroacademia.eu/conference/7fcs/

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