Session S15: “Leisure Practices and Cultural Life in Southern Europe towns (1840-1950)”
European Association for Urban History, 11th International Conference on Urban History
Prague ‖ 29 August-1 September 2012
Abstracts should be directed to http://www.eauh2012.com/ before 1 October.
This session proposes to explore the transformations of cultural life in Southern Europe from the 1840s to the 1950s by focusing on the spread of new cultural and leisure practices such as theatre, cinema, sport and tourism. Differently from conventional approaches, we will focus not on big cities but rather on smaller provincial towns (namely in Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain). Historically, cultural practices have been perceived as a result of the evolution in the living habits of the urban elites. In this session, we approach the cultural identity of a territory as a relational process involving interactions between a great variety of actors such as city councils, voluntary associations or clubs, economic agents, journals and writers. We will address leisure and cultural practices as agents of social, cultural and material change. We wish to analyze the specific influence of these practices on the production and diffusion of new urban models and lifestyles. We aim to examine the transformation of the sensitive perception, the ways of representation and the uses of urban or urbanizing places.
Leisure and cultural practices have played a major role in the transformation and modernization of Southern Europe societies (and one which has been hardly studied). They were a privileged domain for government intervention in the management of territories that were shaping their own identities. New forms of leisure and cultural practices were above all stimulated by local dynamics and had a profound impact on the everyday lives and habits of the inhabitants of these territories. Such dynamics will be the main object of this session. We aim to explore the extent to which this period corresponds to a stage of construction and diffusion of a number of cultural models capable of shaping social life in these provincial towns. The purpose of this session is, therefore, twofold: (1) to reconstruct and analyse the conception and planning of leisure and cultural life; (2) to study the diffusion of social uses and habits and their representations.
Keywords: cultural life, tourism, urban space, provincial towns, Southern Europe
Author: Frédéric Vidal (CRIA - Centro em Rede de Investigação em Antropologia) - firstname.lastname@example.org
Co-authors: Maria Alexandre Lousada (Lisbon University) Maria João Vaz (CEHC/ISCTE- Instituto Universitário de Lisboa)
Section: Specialist session
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