Call for Papers: The City as Mnemonic Device

Call for Papers: The City as Mnemonic Device image

Reinterpreting Cities – 13th International Conference on Urban History

European Association for Urban History (EAUH)

Helsinki, Finland

August 24–27, 2016


Call for Papers (Specialist Session S22): The City as Mnemonic Device


Session Organizers

PhD Ingrid Martins Holmberg, University of Gothenburg, Sweden


Call for Papers

This session aims at bringing together researchers that are interested in how, by whom, why and when ‘urban memory and history’ has been created in urban contexts during any present that concerns the last 200 years, i.e. the early modern period and up until today.


Our framing of the issue, ‘the city as mnemonic device’, implies that we wish to acknowledge the city as a heterogeneous composite consisting of a plethora of temporalities that reside in both imaginaries, narratives and materialities, and that are played out and maintained in many different ways and by a broad variety of different practices: apart from those within the dominant heritage domain and discourse (that safeguard particular historical monuments and physical traits through preservation planning, restauration and narratives of canonized history), we should also look into how other and less institutionalized actors engage with the city’s past. For example, grassroots movements and NGOs narrating alternative histories when engaging in the everyday urban environment; novel writers and artists representing imaginary pasts of the city; various craftsmen engaging in continual mending and repair and work for material continuity (beyond heritage guided restauration and preservation).


We welcome contributions that address both the critical moments and the longue durées (the rapid and/or gradual transformations as well as the continuities) that are of relevance for understanding a broad array of practices related to the city as mnemonic device. We especially look forward to contributions that examine the memory-history-materiality interface, including discursive, artistic and practice oriented negotiations and cultural expressions, by less recognized social practices.


Paper proposal submission

To submit a paper proposal, scholars will need to create a user account on the conference management system first. After this, the proposal may be submitted via the EUAH2016 website ( Abstracts of paper proposals should not exceed 300 words.


Important dates

Deadline for paper proposals submission: October 31, 2015

Notification of paper acceptance: December 15, 2015

Deadline for full text submissions: August 15, 2016


The session organisers will make the final selection of papers. The authors of the accepted paper proposals will be invited to submit the full text (max. 5000 words) via the EUAH2016 website. The papers will be made available to all participants of the conference in a restricted web area.


Please note: Paper proposals and full texts can only by submitted online, via the EAUH2016 website ( Proposals and texts sent by post or email will not be considered.