CFP Feb 18, 2013

Identities and the Cities (Zagreb, 18-20 Apr 13)

Zagreb, Croatia, Apr 18–20, 2013
Deadline: Mar 1, 2013

Euroacademia, Euroacademia

Call for Papers for the Panel:
Identities and the Cities: Urban Transformations, Transition and
Change in Urban Image Construction

(As part of the Euroacademia International Conference 'Identities and
Identifications', Zagreb, 18 - 20 April 2013)

Panel Organizers: Tihana Puc and Ivana Nakikj, IMT Institute for
Advanced Studies, Lucca, Italy

Panel Description:

Elasticity of the label identity accommodates everything that does and
does not surround us, thus finding its place in every discourse on
making and re-making, invention and re-invention, destruction and
construction. Every transition is synonymous with said processes, be
it a tectonic change or a peaceful shift. As political systems and
countries disintegrate and new ones rise, as they become more
entangled in the global hyperspace, their skin changes in a manner of
theatrical scenery change after each act, sometimes with discrete
adaptation, sometimes with radical interventions. If the scenery is
composed of streets, parks, roads, museums, monuments, shopping malls
and buildings connected through the intricate network of the perpetual
and cumulative actions of its inhabitants and the burden of their
existence, if this setting is a city, every adaptation and
intervention affects its multi-dimensional identities. However, can
one speak of an identity of the urban space in the singular form?

As the chaotic canvases of cities are being stretched over a framework
of identity, its further exploration seems more than appropriate.
Amidst the incredibly rapid urban growth crowding more than half of
the world population in towns and cities, the questions are only going
to keep multiplying. How are city identities made and re-made, used
and abused, imagined and narrated, politicised and communicated,
expressed and projected, imposed and marketed? And above all, how do
they thrive within the dynamic interpolation of the nexus of
East-West, Europe-Balkans, centre-periphery, urban - suburban, old and
new. As out-dated as these dichotomies sound, in many places their
daily life is far from over. As old cities became new capitals and new
capitals struggle for more capital, the challenges of maintaining
state-driven collective identities in the face of cultural
fragmentation and diversification, coupled with
consumer-attractiveness is turning them into urban palimpsest. This
transformation is ever more complex in the cities of Central, Eastern
and South-eastern Europe. In these last decades, during the period of
socio-political and cultural deconstruction, the redefinitions of
their urban space reflect the need to refashion, consolidate or even
establish their new/old identities. Flooded with imported
‘non-places’, (not) dealing with the material legacy of memories of
the recent past that seem unable to resolve, trying to accept or
reject the rest of Europe in the race towards ‘Europeanization’, these
cities adopt different approaches in their aim to resemble and at the
same time, differ. Zagreb generously welcomed its marketing nickname
“pocket size Vienna”, while regenerating itself with the mega Museum
of Contemporary Art tailored up to an imagined ‘Western European’
standard. Skopje’s attention seeking project transformed the ‘open
city of solidarity’ into a literal national identity construction
site. The list goes on. Queuing to win the old continent’s capital of
culture contest and eager to squeeze into the ever-enlarging itinerary
of the consumerist Grand Tour, the only thing cities are not allowed
to be, is invisible.

As the research on cultural identities of the city is becoming more
abundant, this panel aims at adopting a wide-lens inter-disciplinary
approach, while focusing on various transitional processes affecting
identities in the urban context in its global-regional-national-local

Some example of topics may include (but are not limited to):

- Collective memory, identity and urban image construction
- Appropriation, instrumentalisation and functualisation of public
- Contemporary nomadism and the city as a common denominator for
collective identities
- Architecture as ‘politics with bricks and mortar’
- Is there a new rise of the city-state?
- Urban regeneration projects, landmark buildings and ‘starchitects’
- Non-places and (non)identity
- Immigrants and the cultural identity of cities
- City marketing and city branding in transition
- European capitals of culture and European identity
- Identity creation and the cultural offer of the city
- Urban cultural heritage as identity-anchor
- Creative Changes of the cities
- Art and industry in urban development
- Urban aesthetics
- Ugliness, kitsch and value in shaping contemporary urban spaces
- Post-communism and the shape of urban change
- East-West nexuses in urban development

In order to apply please send a 300 words abstract together with the
details of affiliation to

See full details of the conference at:

CFP: Identities and the Cities (Zagreb, 18-20 Apr 13). In:, Feb 18, 2013 (accessed Jan 18, 2022), <>.