DEADLINE EXTENDED: Sacred, Spectacular, Planned: Capital Cities in a Comparative Perspective, 1500-2000 / European University at St. Petersburg, March 18-19, 2020

Nari Shelekpaev's picture
March 18, 2020 to March 19, 2020
Russian Federation
Subject Fields: 
Urban History / Studies, Political History / Studies, Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies, Contemporary History, Humanities

Research on capital cities has played a prominent role in the theoretical and empirical investigations by a variety of authors. This interest is also explored in diverse fields of study, from urban studies to the history of architecture, from urban planning to geography, and even in management and public administration (Claval 2001, Gordon 2006, Vale 2008, Perlman 2011, Barber 2013, Minkenberg 2014 etc.). Capital cities are also home to at a least a billion people worldwide. Compared to other types of cities, capitals are likely to combine prominent and dynamic urban landscapes along with intense socio-cultural mobility and stratification. Given a number of historical factors, most current national and regional capitals share many similar features. The analysis of the latter cannot be reduced to typological approaches however, and this is why comparative research is necessary. We are particularly interested in the evolution of approaches to the management of capital cities, the trajectories of their movement and transformation within imperial and national borders, the (mis)representation of ‘national’ or group identities (as well as the collective memories and traumas within their symbolic spaces), but also in topics related to the exclusion and marginalization of certain social groups or individuals from such spaces. The investigation of these issues, ultimately, aims to generate novel contributions within the study of capital cities per se, but also to raise broader questions regarding the strategies modern states employ to construct, legitimize, and represent themselves in the modern epoch via and within the urban space of cities that have been called ‘capitals’. 

     Other themes may also be considered, for the colloquium has been conceived as an interdisciplinary forum that would extend beyond strictly national foci as well as conventional disciplinary divisions. Hence, there are neither regional nor disciplinary limitations with regard to the current proposal. The presentations must, however, be conducted in English and based on solid empirical research. Graduate students in an advanced stage of their research as well as postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty are welcome to apply. The conference has a limited budget for high-quality proposals from scholars unable to cover their travel expenses. Convenors: Prof. Mikhail M. Krom, Asst. Prof. Nari Shelekpayev. The deadline for submitting a proposal is January 30, 2020 at The proposal must contain a short abstract (max. 300 words) and a short cv (max 2 pages) in a single document. The conference will take place at the European University at St. Petersburg, Russia, on March 18-19, 2020.

Contact Info: 

Nari Shelekpayev, Assistant Professor

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