CONF Oct 14, 2021

The Making of Identity through Rural Space (online, 28-29 Oct 21)

online, Oct 28–29, 2021

Albrecht Wiesener

Research Training Group 1913 «Cultural and Technological Significance of Historic Buildings» BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg

The Making of Identity through Rural Space.
Scenarios, Experiences, and Contestations in the Rural Built Environment

Rural space has played a substantial role in several social, cultural, economic, and ideological transformations through time. Such transformations are being studied through various scientific concepts. Among others, the implementation of new concepts that focus on shaping identities through the reproduction of spatial agents belonging to rural communities by direct and indirect political interventions remains crucial to gaining a broad understanding of these particular changes.
However, studies on the formation of identity through space have been primarily handled in the frame of urban studies until recent years. Yet, the various identity-making practices have certainly had significant influences on and through the rural built environment. In this symposium, we re-open the discussion of the making of identity in rural areas, which have dramatically changed under different political, social, and economic conditions from the turn of the 20th century until today, and potential contested spaces as traces of this process. We thereby seek a better in-depth understanding of spatial dynamics related to the specific cultural and social spheres of 20th century’s rurality.
First and foremost, we ask these key questions:
- What role do the social conflicts and power differences play in the production and re-production of rural space?
- What kind of social, cultural, economic, and legal agents are involved in the process of the making of identity in rural built environments?
- How is the architecture manufactured – both physically as well as ideologically in the scope of these specific programmes?
- What kind of spatial conflicts occur when the superimposed identity-making procedure targets and collides with a rural community with pre-existing (self-)identifications?

Following this line of thought, the dynamic connection of spatial materiality, ideologies, and politics impacts everyday life. It is this complex relationship that we aim to discuss in the frame of case studies focusing on early-20th-century rural space as well as its situation today. The case studies will refer to different regional and cultural contexts that allow us to gain a better understanding of spatio-temporal specificities of identity-shaping operations and their comparability in time, geography, and culture.
To provide a platform of exchange and communication on this subject, we bring together experts from fields such as architectural history, archaeology, heritage studies, anthropology, and history contributing on:
- «re-materialization» of social and cultural space theories
- subjectification through space
- contestations between the governing and the governed in terms of rural space
- internal colonization and the rural built environment
- the rural as a palimpsest; rebuilding the rural space, i.e. on the turn of the 20th century until today.

Time zone CEST (UTC+02:00)

Thursday, 28 October 2021

19:00 Opening and Keynote
Prof. Dr. Liesbeth van de Grift
Utrecht University, Department of History and Art History, History of International Relations
Reconfiguring Rural Spaces, Remaking Rural Communities

Friday, 29 October 2021

Dr. Paolo Grupposo
University of Abeerden, School of Social Science
The Making and Unmaking of an Ambiguous Identity: The Reclamation District of Agro Pontino, Italy

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Cristina Pallini, Dr. Aleksa Korolija
Politecnico di Milano, Department of Architecture, Built Environment and Construction Engineering
Landscape Takes Command

15 min Coffee Break

Ayşe Bursalı, Dr. Ian Kuijt
University of Notre Dame, Department of Anthropology
From Homes to Ruins to Movie Sets: Negotiating Identity through Resettlement and Architectural Change in a Turkish Village

Ayşegül Dinççağ
TU Berlin, DFG Research Training Group 2227 «Identity and Heritage»
The ‹Müze Ev› of Imbros: Heritage Practices of Homecomers

90 min Lunch Break

Oluwamayowa Willoughby
Cornell University, Africana Studies & Research Center
Rural Places, Rural Faces

Dr. des. Vera Egbers, Dr. Özge Sezer
BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg, DFG Research Training Group 1913 «Cultural and Technological Significance of Historic Buildings»
Identity Policies in a Nutshell: Yeniköy Village as a Palimpsest of Contested Spaces in Turkey

Prof. Dr. Eva Maria Froschauer
Berliner Hochschule für Technik
Memory of Houses: Transformation of Identity in both Tyrols 1939/2019

15 min Coffee Break

16:45 Keynote and Closing

Dr. Hollyamber Kennedy
ETH Zurich, Institute for History and Theory of Architecture
Wastelands of Empire: Reclamation and The Rural as Agent and Medium

Vera Egbers (vera.egbersb‐, Özge Sezer (, Postdoctoral Researchers at DFG Research Training Group 1913 «Cultural and Technological Significance of Historic Buildings», Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg

CONF: The Making of Identity through Rural Space (online, 28-29 Oct 21). In:, Oct 14, 2021 (accessed Oct 24, 2021), <>.