In 2014, the topic of the First World War has already become a central focus among a host of international conferences, symposia and workshops. The conference "The First World War as Caesura? Continuities and Ruptures in German Architecture, Urban Planning and Open Space Development," will examine the significance of the First World War specifically for the institutions and disciplines of German Architecture, Garden Architecture and Urban Planning. The conference will take place at the University of Kassel at October 16th - 17th, 2014.
We are interested in bringing together an intellectually diverse and enthusiastic group of established scholars and academic newcomers in both Germany and abroad. We believe this interdisciplinary perspective is essential to a successful conference, and most importantly, to a subsequent book publication. Papers and presentations will be held in German, but exceptions during discussion sessions will be made. Presentations will be limited to a maximum of 20 minutes each.
We look forward to receiving your abstracts (written in German, max. 3,000 characters) and abridged C.V.s (max. 1 page) by April 25th, 2014. Please entitle all documents with "Continuities and Ruptures" and send them as duplicates in PDF and Word formats to email@example.com. Selection process and notifications by June 2014.
Bringing together both historians and planners, we hope to generate a body of interdisciplinary research, illuminate the nascent planning and building practices of the early twentieth century, and explore this historical phenomena within their political and socio-cultural contexts. The conference aims to examine the most influential wartime events as well as consequences of the "Great War" in the field and discipline of German Planning History. For the sake of conference coherence and a possible publication we ask that all papers make a concerted effort in addressing the following central question: To what extent did the First World War form or determine the work of city-builders, architects, garden architects and urban planners through the War and beyond?
Proposed papers are encouraged – but are not required – to consider the following conference questions: Which continuities and ruptures of the pre-war and experience of world conflict were most influential in the development of planning disciplines? Which political, social and economic questions emerged in the aftermath of the War as central imperatives for the Weimar Republic? How did planning objectives change and radicalize? Which positions, strategies and tactics developed out of the experience of the technology-driven "la Grande Guerre"? How were military practices such as areal photography transmitted into public planning discourses? What or how did German planners, (garden) architects and engineers give new expression to this new post-war lingua franca (Schumacher) within building forms and socio-spatial designs? The subsequent topical list offers a thematic framework for the conference and book publication:
German Planning Kultur:
- From feudalization to modern living – from imperial politics of Kultur to a culture of social engineering
- Industry, form and world markets – the German Werkbund in transition
- Reconstruction or starting from scratch – confronting the city in ruins
- Anatomy, economics and competition – large-scale building projects in the communal economy
- Utopia and dystopia – the relationship between technology and nature
- Drafting lifestyles and models of living – reform approaches and conceptions of value
- Long beards, bob-cuts – planner biographies and the question of gender equality
- Regional, national, global – identity and Heimat, health and tradition
Politics of Planning:
- The State as architect – representations of German Empire and Weimar Republic
- Imperial and colonial metropoles – German colonial planning with and without empire
- The land of unbounded opportunity – Americanization and rationalization
- Associations, institutions and individuals – public and private in urban space
Prof. Dr. Stefanie Hennecke, Prof. for Open Space Development, University of Kassel, Germany
Dr. Thorsten Dame, DFG Alumni, Center for Metropolitan Studies, TU–Berlin, Germany
Patrick C. Hege, DFG Fellow, Center for Metropolitan Studies, TU–Berlin, Germany
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