Entangled Histories, Multiple Geographies

CFP: EAHN Regional Thematic Conference, Belgrade, October 2015
In the years between its major biennial international conferences (upcoming: Dublin 2016), the European Architectural History Network (EAHN) organizes smaller regional conferences with a specific thematic focus. The University of Belgrade Faculty of Architecture will host the next such thematic conference from 14-17 October 2015, with the title Entangled Histories, Multiple Geographies. The conference “aims to explore how different discourses emerged within architectural historiography and have both constructed and reproduced multiple identities, histories and perspectives on culture, nature and society.” The distinguished lineup of keynote speakers includes Branko Mitrović (Norwegian University of Science and Technology), Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen (Yale School of Architecture), and Mario Carpo (The Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London).

Belgrade BritMuseum
Quelques Places situées sur le Danube / Belgrado, ca. 1683-1692
Source: © The Trustees of the British Museum

Call for Papers
Since the emergence of architectural history as a discipline, both time and space have stood at the heart of its theoretical frameworks and narrative. However, neither space nor time, nor their primary conceptualizations such as those related to geography and history, have had a firm and unequivocal position in the narratives. Apart from describing and interpreting architectural phenomena, these often facilitate producing or constituting different identity profiles, be they social, cultural, or political.

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The EAHN 2015 Belgrade Conference: Entangled Histories, Multiple Geographies aims to explore how different discourses emerged within architectural historiography and have both constructed and reproduced multiple identities, histories and perspectives on culture, nature and society. It also aims to apprehend the complex hierarchic articulation of these discourses, in terms of dominancy and peripherality, normativity and transfers.

The principal aim of the conference is to shed light on how different interpretations of architecture and the built environment have contributed to different readings of history, culture, nature and society, either simultaneously or in alternation.

The conference…aims to explore how different discourses emerged within architectural historiography and have both constructed and reproduced multiple identities, histories and perspectives on culture, nature and society.

Special attention will be given to addressing conflicting and complementary views, explanatory systems and theories that stem from understanding and interpreting the past by means of architecture. By “entangled histories” we mean architecture as both a prerequisite to and an instrument in shaping and understanding different or even competing histories of the peoples and places, while “multiple geographies” refers to the roles of the built environment in constructing and interpreting time frames and spatial scales, as well as cultural and political entities in which these histories unfold.

The conference will be structured according to three broad themes.

The first theme is historicity. This includes architectural responses to the appropriation and interpretation of the past from antiquity to the recent past; the roles of architecture in constructing meaning; its roles in conceptualizing or negotiating historical time and time frames, as well as how the interpretation of the built environment deals with various regimes of historicity and produces conflicting identities.

The second theme considers tradition/ innovation in architecture, which can be traced equally in modern, early modern, and pre-modern periods. The theme explores the roles of architectural history in addressing questions of center-periphery, globalization, and cultural, political, or religious propaganda in the built environment. Examples might include transfer of architectural traditions and/ or innovations within Europe or beyond; appropriation of traditions or imposition of innovations for cultural, political, or religious reasons; or hybrid traditional-innovative conditions. It also opens the question of architectural history and its role in the simultaneity of multiple modernities, ideological restructuring of cultural and political discourse and similar topics.

Finally the third theme looks at the role of politics, both in terms of the direct interaction of (local) powers with the field of architecture and of the intermediate pressure of geopolitics. The topics treated here could range from ideological matters – such as the instrumentalisation of architectural historiography, etc. – to operative policies related to economic and social issues, including the role of the State (in early modern and modern times; as a specification, during the Cold War, it can treat both the socialist regimes and the welfare capitalist State). The geopolitical perspective could embrace a larger chronological span and explore, aside from the phenomenon of globalization (with all its aspects), mechanisms that led previously to shape networks of political influences.

We invite papers that explore one of the three main themes listed above. These themes have been, and could be, addressed from different conceptual perspectives central to the topic of “entangled histories” and “multiple geographies”. These perspectives might include, but are not limited to, those of conflict and change; ruptures and continuities; global entanglements and segregation; regional integration and disintegration; political and cultural homogenization, and standardization and heterogeneity.

Proposal due date: 31 January 2015, noon CET

Please submit 300 word abstracts through the conference submission portal.

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EAHN2015BGD_logo_225x401CONFERENCE CHAIR
Ljiljana Blagojević, University of Belgrade – Faculty of Architecture

SCIENTIFIC COMMITTEE
Dr. Ljiljana Blagojević, Associate professor, Vice Dean for Research, University of Belgrade – Faculty of Architecture, Serbia
Prof. Dr. Vladan Djokić, Dean, University of Belgrade – Faculty of Architecture, Serbia
Prof. Dr. Hilde Heynen, vice president of the EAHN, Catholic University Leuven, Belgium
Prof. Dr. Mari Hvattum, Oslo School of Architecture and Design, Norway
Dr. Aleksandar Ignjatović, Associate professor, University of Belgrade – Faculty of Architecture, Serbia
Dr. Susan Klaiber, EAHN, Independent scholar, Switzerland
Dr. Carmen Popescu, EAHN, Independent scholar, Adjunct professor, University Paris I -Sorbonne, France
Dr. Łukasz Stanek, Lecturer, University of Manchester, School of Environment, Education and Development, UK

LOCAL ORGANIZATION COMMITTEE
Vladan Djokić | Budimir Sudimac | Branko Pavić | Ljiljana Blagojević | Ana Nikezić
Marija Milinković | Dragana Ćorović | Marko Nikolić | Ana Raković | Bojan Končarević

For complete information on the conference, please visit the Entangled Histories, Multiple Geographies website.