CFP: Cities and Change: Three Decades of Post-Socialist Transition (1989-2019)

International Conference

Research group “Urban Morphosis Lab” in cooperation with Technische Universität Darmstadt

Darmstadt, 17-18. May 2019

Organizing committee

Nebojša Čamprag, TU Darmstadt, Faculty of Architecture

Anais De Keijser, TU Darmstadt, Faculty of Architecture

Mirjana Ristić, TU Darmstadt, Faculty of Social Sciences

Anshika Suri, TU Darmstadt, Faculty of Architecture

Lauren Ugur, Heilbronn University of Applied Sciences


Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany, Germany

NGO Ephemera Collective, Novi Sad, Serbia


Conference theme

After the collapse of state socialism in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), the former socialist countries’ inclusion into the competitive global economies advanced as both; temporally and spatially uneven processes. These uneven processes presented myriad diversities, thereby implying significant shifts and high levels of creativity in finding ways of adapting to new forms of socio-political realities, which in turn offered a multitude of opportunities for urban research. Subsequently, scholarly attention has been paid particularly on examining interconnections between historical-, sociological-, and market-related aspects of transitioning processes. However, the exact implications of their spatial transformations have been largely absent within systematic research. Contrary to the often more adaptable socio-political structures of cities, built urban environment requires more time to adapt to changes and consequently reflect the new ideological concepts. This thereby warrants thirty years of comprehensive transition (1989-2019) as an optimum point of departure for undertaking a thorough and in-depth reflection. Hence, the international conference “Three Decades of Post-socialist Transition” seeks to bring together leading urban academics to discuss issues of post-socialist transition and a multitude of its effects on built urban environment from diverse perspectives. In addition, we also aim to challenge and advance both our knowledge and practice around the complex links within the neoliberal development agenda, socio-political changes, post-socialist identity formation, representation of cities and the urban space.

The research group Urban Morphosis Lab invites you to submit abstracts that refer to the above-mentioned issues of post-socialist transition affecting urban spaces. Our conference also welcomes inter- and transdisciplinary approaches to this subject. Some of the key themes that will be discussed during the conference are:

  • Urban memory and heritage
  • Contested heritage and heritage of conflict
  • Urban and national identity building
  • Governance, planning, revitalization and regeneration
  • Urban shrinkage and sustainability
  • Urban tourism, branding and marketing
  • Socio-political contestations and negotiations

·                  Gentrification, spatial segregation and polarization

Information for applicants
Please submit your abstracts to by November 10th, 2018. The submission should contain:

·        An abstract of max. 300 words, containing: proposed title, the core theme or hypothesis, the approach and methodology, broad findings to be delivered in your paper;

·        Full contact details of the author(s): Name, affiliation, postal address, phone number and email;

·        Short academic biography of the author(s).

Important Deadlines

·        31 Aug. 2018 – Deadline for session proposals

·        10 Sep. 2018 – Notification of selected sessions

·        11 Sep. 2018 – Call for papers open

·        10 Nov. 2018 – Deadline for abstract submission

·        30 Nov. 2018 – Notification of selected abstracts

·        01 Dec. 2018 – Registration opens

·        31 Jan. 2019 – Deadline for early bid registration

·        28 Feb. 2019 – Deadline for paper submission

·        01 Apr. 2019 – Final Conference programme

Scheduled dates of the conference
17-18 May 2019

Location and venue
Darmstadt is a city in the German state of Hessen, conveniently located in the southern part of the Frankfurt Metropolitan Region. As the former capital of a prosperous sovereign country, the Grand Duchy of Hesse, Darmstadt gained some international prominence. This further grew with rapid industrialisation in the 19th century, as well as at the beginning of the 20th century, when Darmstadt became an important centre for the art movement of Jugendstil, the German variant of Art Nouveau. However, during the Second World War; over three quarters of the inner city was destroyed, leading to a comprehensive reconstruction and renovation period afterwards. Nonetheless, the city played host to numerous technology companies, research institutes, the ESOC (European Space Operations Centre) and GSI (Centre for Heavy Ion Research), leading it to be officially promoted as the "City of Science" since 1997.

The conference will take place in Technische Universität Darmstadt, which is one of the leading universities of technology in Germany. The sessions will be held on its city centre campus, offering plenty of opportunities to explore the city centre. The main conference venue will be the listed heritage building- the Altes Hauptgebäude (the Old Main University Building, S1|03, Hochschulstraße 1).

Lucie K. Morisset