Cities and Regions in Flux after Border Change: Reconfiguring the frontier, reshaping memory and visualizing change in twentieth century Europe
Since the end of the First World War, cities and regions in Europe, particularly in the eastern half of the continent, witnessed frequent changes in borders. Previous research on border change and territorial transfers has focused on the actions of nationalizing regimes after the 1919 Paris conference, as well as the post-1945 transfer of territories in East-Central Europe and ensuing flight, expulsions and repopulation programs (Rieber 2000, Ther and Siljak 2001, Ballinger 2003, Crainz Pupo and Salvatici 2008, Snyder 2010, Ferrara 2011, Thum 2011, Reinisch, and White 2011, Ferrara and Pianciola 2012, Service 2013, Sezneva 2013). Recent research has analysed how states appropriated cities and regions they gained from neighbours (Karch 2018), and, in the case of socialist states, used urban remodelling as an opportunity to showcase socialist modernization projects , as occurred in Lviv, Ukraine (Amar 2015) and in Yugoslavia (Kulić and Mrduljaš 2012, Le Normand 2014). While research on transferred cities and territories has tended to see border changes primarily as ruptures tearing people from their old lives and cutting cities off from their previous national frameworks, this emphasis is called into question by scholarship by geographers and sociologists who comprehend cities not as discrete entities but as nodes within regional, national and global networks. From this perspective, cities are spaces in which flows of different types (goods, labour, capital, information) enter, converge, and exit, connecting these cities with other circuits and points across the globe (Massey 1991, Castells 2002, Harvey 2003).
This conference seeks contributions that showcase research on history, memory, and mapping tools in the context of European border changes in the twentieth century. We are interested in highlighting research on the experience of cities and regions that have undergone border changes in the twentieth century in order to showcase histories of transition, to examine the reshaping of local and regional memory practices, and to explore the variety of research methods that might be used to conceptualize and visualize change.
We welcome contributions which investigate:
- consequences of border changes on self-identification and the everyday experience of the individual
- consequences of border change for the reconfiguration of the urban built environment
- changes in perceptions of identity and memory in the city; identity politics and memory politics; shifting memory
- the potential of mapping and graphic representation to bring forward knowledge about geospatial transformations, ruptures and continuities of the past in cities and regions.