It is with great pleasure that the Department of Sociology at Klaipeda University invites urban researchers and theorists to a conference on urban sociology from 4-5 October 2012.
Over the last two decades rapid social and technological changes have transformed urban spaces and their semantics, identities and representations all round the world. Many urban spaces have lost their previous function, and might therefore be defined as ‘post’-spaces of various kinds, as for example post-industrial, post-military, post-Soviet, postmodern, post-ideological, posthumous and so forth. ‘Post’-urbanity then points simultaneously to new spatial projections of specific and recent sociological developments and to the continuing presence of the previous social order, to emergent social orders and their related identities and practices and to a meaningful continuity of older ones.
In all this the most important question is how the processes defined by the notion of ‘post-urbanity’ transform and affect the contemporary city. Which urban spaces are most vulnerable to change? In which spaces is the conflict between old and new social meanings most apparent? How are those changes perceived in everyday consciousness? What are the dominant ideological representations of ‘post’-spaces? And which economic, technological and political structures support their existence? What can or should fill in the semantic emptiness implied by the prefix ‘post-’? What are the cultural meanings and social possibilities of new urban developments? How have visions of the city altered during the last two decades? And what kind of new cities can or should be developed now?
The ‘Post’-Urbanity conference invites participants to discuss issues of post-urbanity from the perspective of sociology, philosophy and cultural studies, especially in terms of theoretical overviews, empirical research and/or case studies of recent developments in urban spaces and their social implications globally.
Specific conference themes may include but are not limited to:
- Post-industrial cities: old, new and future paradigms;
- Social transformations of post-Soviet cities;
- Ideology and social control over post-functional spaces;
- Representations and narratives of post-industrial cities;
- New and old urban communities in post-cities;
- Consumption, festivals and post-functional territories;
- (In)visible cities;
- Ports and cities;
- Post-spaces and urban subcultures.
The ‘Post’-Urbanity conference is supported by the Research Council of Lithuania and KlaipedaUniversity. The conference is a part of the project “Klaipeda Development 1990-2010: from the Soviet Industrial harbor to Multicultural City” (LIT-2-43).