CFP: Ritualizing the City: Collective Performances as Aspects of Urban Construction

Deadline:  10 September 2015

Brno, Czech Republic

3-4 March 2016

Organizer: Ivan Foletti, Masaryk University in Brno and University of
Lausanne – Centre for Cross-Disciplinary Research into Cultural
Phenomena in Central European History: Image, Communication, Behaviour.

The conference aims to reflect on the ways in which collective liturgies
– religious as well as civic and totalitarian – contributed to the
construction of urbanism from late Antiquity to the twentieth century
and, on the other hand, how urban topography and the layout of the city
influenced collective performances.
The goal of such a reflection is to indicate how a collective ritual
performance grows and develops in dialogue with the surrounding urban
space. But especially how it participates in the determination of that
same space.
The purpose of the conference is thus to explore the dialectic
relationship between the city and collective rituals, beginning with
Late Antique Rome, marked out by stationary liturgy, through medieval
and modern cities designed to celebrate sovereigns and bishops, up to
Stalinist Moscow, constructed to embrace the manifestations of Soviet

Participants are invited to reflect on such issues as: the methods used
by the rituals to integrate the space of the cities; in what way
collective performances are modified and adjusted to a specific urban
situation; the manner in which urban space is reconstructed and modified
to facilitate collective performances; how, with a change of regime, the
new collective liturgies adapted themselves to the new situation.
Papers presenting a historiographical and diachronic art historical and
methodological perspective are especially welcomed.

Paper proposals of no more than one page, accompanied by a short CV, can
be submitted until 10 September 2015 to: