CfP: International Conference « For the benefit of the people ». Construction works, government and society in the colonial city (16th to 18th century) / « Em benefício do povo ». Obras, governo e sociedade na cidade colonial
Organizers: Companhia das Índias, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Brazil; with participation of Cluster of Excellence Asia and Europe, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Germany
Time and location: 07/08/2013 - 10/08/2013 Universidade Federal Fluminense, Niterói, Brazil
Deadline for submission of proposals: 31/01/2013
The Companhia das Índias, created in 1998, is a research group which brings together investigators dedicated to Modern History to discuss the History of Brazil, Spanish America, Africa, Portuguese India, Portugal and other regions. While covering an extensive space of time and a wide geographical scope, it stimulates comparative research looking at the problem of colonialism in the wider context of its influence on the formation of the modern world.
Though it is generally agreed that cities formed one of the principal points of origin for the development of modern citizenship, this phenomenon still wants better understanding regarding colonial cities with their peculiar characteristics concerning government, society and urban design. It is against this background that interactions between infrastructural dispositions and the formation of urban communities will be analyzed at the International Conference « Em benefício do povo ». If, on the one hand, the colonization and urbanization policies of the mother countries followed certain norms and intentions, thus influencing society, it is clear, that on the other hand, the inhabitants themselves also played a major role in the formation of urban reality, be it through interests of local influential people, through exercising intentional actions of resistance or through practices of daily life.
Accordingly, the object of the individual contributions is to exploit the historical analysis of urban works in terms of conceptualization, planning, implementation and utilization, to understand the situation of the colonial population and its development as a community. With the term “construction works” (obras) we mean the providing of water, removal of sewage and rubbish, paving of streets, construction of bridges, building of defense works as well as general urban reforms. As the geographic area to be treated is the most extensive possible, we hope to gather experts working on Portuguese and Spanish America as well as on colonial cities in other continents.
Contributions should fall into one of the following sections, answering the pertaining conductive questions, if possible.
Autonomy and Dependency
Which were the interests and strategies of the different political stakeholders in the execution of the works? In what ways did the municipal councils and the mother country take advantage of them? Which was the role of the almotacés, contract holders and military engineers in the organization of the colonial city?
Which were the functions of the construction works in the normative treatises? How were they linked to notions like common good, provision, justice and civilization and what was their reading in the colonial city?
The Practices of Daily Life
How did the supply of public necessities work – or not work? How did inhabitants organize themselves to get water, get rid of rubbish etc.? Which were their alternative strategies to those desired/expected by the authorities?
Integration and Exclusion
Who had access to infrastructure? How did a conception of community or citizenship develop from this? Who stayed outside of it? How did segregation establish itself, how was social inequality « concretized », how did it fragmentize the city and its population?
Threats, Tensions and Vulnerabilities
What did happen to the urban works in moments of crisis like epidemics, drought, siege or revolt? How could they be exploited to provoke disorder or revolt?
Government and Discipline
How did construction works help to govern, discipline and influence the colonial urban population?
The conference will be held from 7th to 9th August 2013 at the Department of History of Universidade Federal Fluminense, Niterói. It will be followed by a guided visit to the Carioca Aqueduct in Lapa, in the centre of Rio de Janeiro, on 10th August.
The main language of the event will be Portuguese; however, contributions in English and Spanish are also welcome.
We kindly ask you to submit your proposal with title, abstract of about 200 words and CV until 31st of January of 2013. Please send it to: firstname.lastname@example.org. The organizing committee will inform the selected contributors as soon as possible. However, the definite confirmation of the event depends on the result of the funding request.
We hope to publish the conference proceedings either as volume of a journal or independently.
We would appreciate you to share this call with other scholars who are especially qualified to contribute to the subject.
The organizing committee
Prof. Dr. Ronaldo Vainfass (Universidade Federal Fluminense)
Prof. Dr. Susan Richter (Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg)
Dr. Jorun Poettering (Universidade Federal Fluminense)
Gefferson Ramos Rodrigues (Universidade Federal Fluminense)
Universidade Federal Fluminense
Departamento de História - Companhia das Índias
Campus do Gragoatá
Rua Prof. Marcos Waldemar de Freitas Reis
Bloco O, sala 450
24210-380 Niterói, Rio de Janeiro
Tel. 0055 – 21 – 22245325 Email: email@example.com
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