Ritualizing the City: Collective Performances as Aspects of Urban Construction
Brno, Czech Republic
3-4 March, 2016
Organizer: Ivan Foletti, Masaryk University in Brno and University of Lausanne – Centre for Cross-Disciplinary Research into Cultural Phenomena in Central European History: Image, Communication, Behaviour.
The conference aims to reflect on the ways in which collective liturgies– religious as well as civic and totalitarian – contributed to the construction of urbanism from late Antiquity to the twentieth century and, on the other hand, how urban topography and the layout of the city influenced collective performances. The goal of such a reflection is to indicate how a collective ritual performance grows and develops in dialogue with the surrounding urban space. But especially how it participates in the determination of that same space.
The purpose of the conference is thus to explore the dialectic relationship between the city and collective rituals, beginning with Late Antique Rome, marked out by stationary liturgy, through medieval and modern cities designed to celebrate sovereigns and bishops, up to Stalinist Moscow, constructed to embrace the manifestations of Soviet power.
Participants are invited to reflect on such issues as: the methods used by the rituals to integrate the space of the cities; in what way collective performances are modified and adjusted to a specific urban situation; the manner in which urban space is reconstructed and modified to facilitate collective performances; how, with a change of regime, the new collective liturgies adapted themselves to the new situation. Papers presenting a historiographical and diachronic art historical and methodological perspective are especially welcomed.
Paper proposals of no more than one page, accompanied by a short CV, can be submitted until 10 September 2015 to: email@example.com.