Second World Urbanity: The Outline of a Scholarly Project in Several Acts
Here below is our tentative schedule for the meetings, conferences, and publication goals for our project:
1. A Midsummer Virtual Conference, July 30-31, 2012: Availing ourselves of modern technology, we first plan to hold a virtual brainstorming session on the project at this website. The purpose of this virtual meeting will be to exchange ideas on the questions, scope, and themes of our project. Rather than present formal papers, participants will be asked to share a short, one-page statement on the questions they would like this project to address and their proposed paper for the major conference. The intended outcome of this virtual meeting will be to solicit firm commitments from prospective participants and to devise a conference proposal for funding. The organizers—Daria and Steve—will then submit grant applications to hold a conference in Summer 2013 or Summer 2014.
2. New Orleans 2012: Our first real gathering will be an informal meeting at this year’s ASEEES conference in New Orleans. Its purpose will be to update participants on our plans to hold a major conference for our project; finalize our list of panels, themes, and participants; and discuss a prospectus for potential publishers.
3. Second World Urbanity Conferences
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 was held at the Mortara Center for International Studies at Georgetown University in Washington, DC on April 11-12, 2014. It focused 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 Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences (St. Petersburg State University) in St. Petersburg on February 27-March 1 2015. 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.
4. Publication in 2016: Our goal is to publish the project’s edited volume in 2016.