CfP Socialist and Post-Socialist Urban Transformation (Deadline: 13.04.2018)

The Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies (IOS) and Southeast Europe Association (Südosteuropa-Gesellschaft) invite paper proposals for the workshop “Socialist and Post-Socialist Urban Transformation in Small Cities of Southeast Europe ” to be held at IOS in Regensburg (Germany) on 9 November 2018.

Although there were clear differences in stages, ways of urbanisation, and types of socialist urban policies across Southeast Europe and across different towns, the accelerated urbanisation, conjoined with rapid industrialisation during socialism, remains a defining feature of urban development in this region. The aim of this one-day cross-disciplinary workshop is to re-focus studies of socialist and post-socialist urban transformations from big cities (primarily capitals) to, so far less researched, small and medium-sized cities. The workshop also aims to shift the debate from the ideological and macro-economic role of urbanisation to everyday practices and transformations in urban environments.

For the purpose of this workshop, we pragmatically categorise small cities as cities with population up to approximately 200,000. The decisive feature of these cities under scrutiny is that they developed from towns into emerging cities as a result of accelerated urbanisation and industrialisation. Geographically, we aim to generate a comparative discussion on the basis of case-studies from Southeast Europe. The temporal focus of this workshop is the period of socialist and post-socialist urban transformation.

We welcome papers from different disciplines (anthropology, history, sociology, urban geography) regarding (but not restricting to) the following domains:

  • Spatial patterns: Urban planning; social division; extra-urban settlements; homogenisation or spatial segregation on ethnic grounds; ruralisation; gentrification.
  • Communal services and urban infrastructure: Heating, electricity, telecommunication; traffic and roads; public space; waste management and cleanliness.
  • Housing: Informal house construction; single-family housing; everyday life in apartments; social inequality; homelessness.
  • Economy: industrialisation and de-industrialisation; consumption; trade and crafts; informal economy.
  • Environmental issues

Organisers: Dr Deana Jovanović (Keele University) and Dr Pieter Troch (IOS Regensburg)

Prof. Dr Ulf Brunnbauer (Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies) and Prof. Dr Ger Duijzings (University of Regensburg) will provide feedback on the discussion.

Reasonable travel costs will be covered and accommodation (two nights) will be arranged. We anticipate the publication of the contributions in an edited volume.

Please send us an abstract of the paper proposal (up to 300 words) and a short biographic statement (up to 100 words) plus your name and institutional affiliation by 13 April 2018 to postsocialist.cities@gmail.com. Selected authors will be notified of the acceptance of their proposals by mid-May 2018.

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