Welcome to Second World Urbanity

Second World Urbanity: Between Capitalist and Communist Utopias, is a scholarly project that explores the history of conceiving, building, importing, and inhabiting socialist cities past and present from Cuba to Yugoslavia and Russia to China. Initiated by historians Steven Harris and Daria Bocharnikova this project brings together researchers from a variety of disciplines to reflect on the specificity of urban design and its uses in the Second World. Our goal is to shatter a common image of the socialist cityscape as necessarily dull and grey, and offer a revised understanding of its limitations and achievements. The project is envisioned as a series of informal conversations, virtual and offline meetings, and a conference followed up by the publication of the selected essays.

The first meeting of our project, a virtual conference, was held July 30-31, 2012. Participants who submitted paper proposals posted additional comments on the overall project and individual paper proposals, and continued the conversation through video-conferencing on Google+ Hangouts. The next stage of our project is a major conference to be held in either spring or fall 2014, to be followed by the publication of a conference volume.

If you have questions and comments about the project, please drop us a line at swurbanity@gmail.com or post a comment on this blog.

All the best,

Daria and Steve

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