3 de febrero de 2016

CFP: "Urban Peripheries?" Emerging Cities in Europe's South and East, 1850-1945 - Barcelona 09/16

"Science and the city" has become a trending topic in recent historiography, both in history of science, technology and medicine (STM) as well as in Urban Studies. So far there has been a strong focus on the metropolis and their multifaceted scientific culture. Yet what about "peripheral cities" in Eastern and Southern Europe? Are they only smaller copies of London, Paris and Berlin? What is to be gained from studying the scientific culture of "non-metropolitan" cities? So far these cities have been described as being on the receiving end.-Knowledge in STM, blue prints for scientific institutions, urban models and other practices were created and tested in the metropolis and then passed on. This postulates a transfer from the center to the periphery and hence a clear epistemological hierarchy.
The double workshop, organised in Germany by the Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe (Germany) and in Spain by the Institució Milà i Fontanals (CSIC), and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, would like to question this assumption. Our methodologicalmpoint of departure is that cities in Southern and Eastern Europe (our specific geographic focus) were part of an "inter-urban matrix" (N. Wood). Through the daily press, but also through other channels such as scholarly networks and professional contacts people were quite conscious of what was happening elsewhere in Europe. There are virtually no studies on the connections between peripheral cities, the exchange of knowledge and expertise and the formation of networks and collaborations. This workshop intends to open new perspectives on the exchanges in the areas of science, technology, medicine and urban planning between "urban peripheries" such as Athens, Barcelona, Budapest, Lemberg, Lisbon or Tallinn? In what follows we sketch three possible research agendas: Nationalism 
As highly multiethnic and multireligious contact and cultural transfer zones, the East European and Southern Borderlands are located on the peripheries of the Empires, between Germany and Austria-Hungary, Russia, Great Britain and the Ottomans. In these borderlands, the imposing of homogenizing structures by the Empires before World War I and the emerging local nationalisms generated a dynamic in the urbanization and modernization processes. This workshop will focus on the assumed specificities of the urbanization in the South and East of Europe which is characterised by different forms and modes of knowledge transfer.
Comparing modernities The inhabitants of allegedly "peripheral" of "backward" cities felt that they had to "catch up" with London and Paris (or less frequently with Berlin and Vienna). This "yearning for metropolitanism" (J. Morrell) wasc both a rhetorical exercise and a practical struggle. Many of these "peripheral" cities tried to present themselves as "progressive", that is to say as promoting science, technology, medicine (hygiene) and rational city planning. Yet the meaning of modernity was highly context-dependent and historically contingent. The challenge of the comparative research agenda of the workshop lies in teasing out the differences between these modernities. "Best practices" Peripheral - or emerging - cities understood that the experience of similar cities was much more helpful in solving their concrete problems than much of the metropolitan model. Therefore this workshop will try to reconstruct the mechanisms and strategies behind of choosing certain "best practices", i.e. urban models that serve smaller cities. Therefore special attention might be paid to fields such as urban planning, sewage systems and infrastructure of supply, which played a crucial role in the modernisation of many "peripheral" cities in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This search for practical models will thus help to elucidate the networks between these urban spaces.

This workshop will try and unveil the directions and channels through which knowledge was created and disseminated in these interurban networks. Conferences, research trips, lectures, private visits and correspondence would have to be investigated. The aim would be to render these transnational communities visible again, not least by bringing their practices and networks back to a tangible space: the city. To enable a thorough discussion we plan a double workshop (ca. one and half days long). Precirculated papers will be presented at the first workshop and revised versions of these papers at the second workshop. In the end we plan to publish these papers as a book a special issue of a journal. The first workshop will take place on 26-27 September 2016 at the Institució Milà i Fontanals in Barcelona (Spain), the second part at the Herder Institute in Marburg (Germany) in March 2017. The organisers will
cover travel and accommodation costs of the invited speakers.

Please submit your proposal of ca. 250 words and a short CV as well as
contact details by February 29, 2016 to: forum@herder-institut.de

Heidi Hein-Kircher/Eszter Gantner
Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe -
Institute of the Leibniz Association
Oliver Hochadel
Institució Milà i Fontanals - Consejo Superior de Investigaciones
Científi cas
Agustí Nieto-Galan
Centre d'Història de la Ciència (Cehic)
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona