Univerza v Ljubljani Univerza v Ljubljani Filozofska fakulteta Filozofska fakulteta

Dogodki, konference, simpoziji


Appel à participation (Colloque) / Call for papers (Conference)

Date limite: 1ermars 2019 / Deadline: 1 March 2019

Marseille, MuCEM — Musée des civilisations de l’Europe et de la Méditerranée, 12 et 13 septembre 2019/ September 12th & 13th 2019

 This conference aims to continue the work carried out during the Second Balkan Studies Conference titled “In search of the Balkans: Between Europe and the Mediterranean?” which took place in May 2016 in Marseille (Mucem and Villa Méditerranée). With the aim of underpinning the relaunch of the French Association of Balkan Studies (AFEBalk – Association Française d’Études sur les Balkans), the conference aspires to widen the network of French-speaking researchers working on Southeastern Europe by promoting cooperation between researchers based in France and their colleagues abroad. The 2019 conference will focus on urban spaces, a multidisciplinary subject, as reflected by the soaring of urban studies in social sciences.

Social, economic and political transformations, in the Balkans and elsewhere, have deeply shaped urban landscapes. These spaces are thus incredibly fertile fields of observation to understand the many processes at work in Balkan societies. In the meantime, these cities are marked by local, national or global power-struggles and make it possible to address issues that go beyond them.

If the most ancient cities of the region are often coastal trade places fitting the widespread model of the Mediterranean city, the advent of Ottoman and Habsburg Empires contributed to the emergence of another urban type in the region, notably characterized by administration and military control. With the affirmation of Nation-states during the 19th Century, relations between societies and territories were profoundly altered, making cities the main centers of economic and political activities, and resulting in a macrocephaly, more pronounced than in any other region of Europe.

Cities that were freshly promoted to the rank of capitals, along with minor urban centers, started to reveal the economic and cultural dynamics, and the complex and often contradictory identity reconfigurations of the Balkan region. These cities have been extensively and widely analyzed from a top-down perspective, and yet it is certain that these spaces have been reshaped as much by major events such as wars, arsons and revolutions, as by the daily experiences of their dwellers. Manifold political and social movements – nationalism, socialism, feminism, among others – and their emancipation promises have not considered the city only as a stage, but they have also constantly molded it.

However, in the Balkans, as elsewhere in Europe and the Mediterranean, contemporary cities are deeply marked by the period that started in the 1950’s and by the explosion of urban population inducted by the transformation of lifestyles, demographic changes, social and political shifts resulting from socialism and then post-socialism.  In the last decades of the 20 th  Century, many upheavals affecting the region reflected worldwide processes such as the fall of the Berlin wall, the end of the Cold War, armed conflicts resulting from the dissolution of Yugoslavia, the reconfiguration of Nation-states, the processes of integration to the European Union, as well as internal and international migrations. All these events had an impact on the deep mutation of urban spaces. During this period some Balkan cities (re-)positioned themselves, shifting towards new distinctive urban models, often unfit to understand the far more complex reality on the ground: cities in conflict, contested or divided cities, multiethnic or cosmopolitan cities, internationalized cities, cities in crisis, Global(ized) Cities.

In the beginning of the 21st Century, everywhere in the Balkans, poverty, informal housing, lack of infrastructures, segregation or poor waste management threat the daily life of city dwellers. Nonetheless, these urban spaces have remained places of innovation, of resistance, of solidarity and political and social experiments, as recently showed by the Greek crisis, the various public space takeovers, the movements of support for refugees, etc. At the same time, urban lifestyles and practices gradually come to prevail in areas that have been for a long time dominated by rural lifestyles, questioning thus the shifting boundaries between the rural and the urban. 

We welcome papers that address the following topics:

– Heritage, monumentalization and preservation

– The everyday making of the city

– The city and social movements

– (In)visible borders (class, nation, religion, gender, sexualities)

– The city and the population management

– Ecological and environmental approaches to the city

– The city and Power liturgy

– The language(s) of the city

– Consumption culture

– Cities and geopolitical issues

– City branding and commodification

–  The urban/The rural

Languages of the conference:
English, French

Individual abstracts
300 words + 5 key words + 5 line-bio including affiliation

Panel abstracts :
500 words + 5 key words + 5 line-bio including affiliation

Closing date for submission:  1 March  2019
Answers: 10th of March 2019

Abstracts should be submitted at: https://etudesbalk3.sciencesconf.org/

There will be no budget for transport or accommodation for participants. However, some demands can be addressed to the organization committee which will decide according to the budget. 

There is no participation fee.

* This conference is organised by the AFEBalk members with the support of the centers of research IDEMEC, TELEMMe and CETOBAC, A*midex foundation, the LabexMed – Humanities and Social Sciences at the Heart of Interdisciplinarity for the Mediterranean and the Mucem, in collaboration with the Balkan’s book fair. 


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