[URBANTH-L]CFP: Witnessing Cities and the Case of Berlin (Cambridge)

Angela Jancius jancius at ohio.edu
Sun Jan 28 12:10:43 EST 2007

REMINDER: Call for Papers from Graduate Students
(travel funding available)

InEvidence: Witnessing Cities and the Case of Berlin
International Interdisciplinary Conference
University of Cambridge, 12-14 July 2007
Deadline call for papers: 31 January 2007
call at inevidence.net

As an amalgamation of disjuncture, mutability and complex coherence, the
contemporary city commands attention in unprecedented ways, exhorting the
inhabitant as well as the observer to be abreast of urban threats, delights
and to 'remain at all times alert'. From the metropolis to the shantytown,
from the high-modern to the urban-congested, from regeneration to
commemoration, the city has become a key site for investigations in the
arts, humanities and social sciences.

Organised in two strands, this conference will aim to bring together
scholars and practitioners from a variety of fields in order to consider how
the city has served to open up an arena of vivid inter-disciplinary debate
and artistic production. The first strand will focus on generic issues of
the modern city, drawing on a variety of examples. The concern will be with
the city as a witness to changing political topographies, to economic shifts
and socio-spatial transformations, as well as with 'the urban' as an entity
that can itself be witnessed by the multitude of cultural undertakings
emerging in and about the built environment. Under scrutiny will be the
various strategies of representation operative on the ground and the
institutional and independent initiatives that intervene in and elicit
alternative forms of evidence. The density and friction of everyday urban
encounter will equally be examined to raise questions of visibility and
regulation of appearance.

The second strand will seek to take the measure of the modes of witnessing
at work in a single city: Berlin. As an urban icon with a uniquely drastic
twentieth-century political history, a parade- and battle-ground of
antagonistic regimes, Berlin can claim a paradigmatic status for rethinking
the construction and conflict of ideologies in urban form. Its recent
history, whether as a city of trauma or as a global capital of espionage, is
laden with experience and activities that challenge conventional ideas of
the evidential, in epistemological, ontological, ethical, and juridical
terms. At the same time, the official effort of memorialisation and
reconstruction is often at odds with the inadvertently registered urban
interventions that contest what should be made evident in, and taken in
evidence of, the city.

The conference will take place at the University of Cambridge and in
cooperation with the Centre for Research in the Arts, Humanities and Social
Sciences (CRASSH). Organised by the Departments of German and Architecture,
it is conceived as a forum for academics, artists and practitioners from
different disciplinary backgrounds: architecture and urban studies, cultural
history and geography, media theory and visual arts, literature, political
sciences and sociology.

Confirmed speakers include Daniel Libeskind (architect, NY), Richard Sennett
(Sociology, LSE), Anthony Vidler (Architecture, Cooper Union), Edward
Dimendberg (Film, Irvine), Mary Fulbrook (German, UCL), Charity Scribner
(European Studies, MIT), Janet Ward (History, Nevada) and Victor Burgin
(Visual Arts, Goldsmiths).

For further information contact: info at inevidence.net.

AHRC funding is available specifically for contributions from graduate
students. We welcome proposals for papers (a 500-word abstract) to be
submitted to *** call at inevidence.net ***, by 31 January 2007. A definitive
programme should be in place by March 2007. Non-standard approaches and a
plurality of perspectives are particularly encouraged.

Check the conference website for further information: www.inevidence.net !
The full web version will be online from 1 February 2007. 

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