In 2014-2015, the Second World Urbanity project will feature three two-day conferences about the history of urban planning, architecture, and the everyday in socialist cities.
The first conference will be held at the Mortara Center for International Studies at Georgetown University in Washington, DC on April 11-12, 2014. The date and location of this first meeting are now confirmed. It will focus on the broad, preliminary theme of “visions and foundations” in the history of socialist cities’ urban planning, architectural theories, and construction.
We anticipate holding the second conference at the Institute of Art History, Estonian Academy of Arts in Tallinn, October 10-12, 2014 (these are tentative dates awaiting final confirmation). This conference will focus on the themes of “circulation, translation, and transition.” We will examine how urban planning ideas and architectural concepts circulated across boundaries within the Second World, as well as across the Iron Curtain and into the global South and back again. The conference will also consider the fate of the socialist city across the 1989/1991 divide.
The third conference will be held at the Department of History of the Higher School of Economics in St. Petersburg in February 2015 (specific dates still to be determined). Its theme will be “consumption, representation, and the everyday” in the socialist city with a particular focus on how urban residents transformed socialist architecture and urban planning into lived spaces, and how artists and writers participated in the construction and representation of the socialist city.
Each conference will feature four panels (with three pre-circulated papers on each), a keynote lecture, and a roundtable on teaching courses related to our project. This arrangement will make it easier for participants and audience members, spread out around the world as you are, to join at least one of the events. And we hope this format encourages the on-going conversations on our project that will produce an edited volume of selected papers.
The program and schedule for each conference are currently being finalized and will be announced shortly. Each conference will be open to the public.
Steve and Daria