Call for Papers: New powers, old territories. Spatial strategies of appropriation in the European context. Innsbruck, 5–7 November 2020

As part of its research project, The Appropriation Strategies of Italy in South Tyrol and Trentino after the First World War, the Unit of Architectural History and Monument Conservation at the University of Innsbruck is organizing a study day to present initial results and discuss them in a broader European context. The project has been running since 2018 and is funded by the Fritz Thyssen Stiftung.

The focus of the research is state building measures that were drafted and implemented to a varying degree throughout the former Habsburg territories Trentino and South Tyrol/Alto Adige. Planning and building played a key role in accelerating the process of Italianization in those regions. Through this process, topoi such as “italianità” and “modernità” were coined as new reference points of cultural policy. Those ideas, however, were applied distinctively different in the predominantly Italian-speaking Trentino and in the predominantly German-speaking South Tyrol. So far, research has neglected to take a comparative approach to the two newly acquired territories. This desideratum is one of the starting points of our research project. The different strategies of appropriation turned into guiding themes when they were taken up elsewhere. The case of Trentino became exemplary for planning and building on the Italian peninsula from the late 1920s onwards. Through the case of South Tyrol a form of urban planning was established that was racially and ethnically motivated. This became a key strategy in the conquest of the colonies of Mussolini’s ›Impero‹.

Taking the project’s central ideas as a starting point, the study day would like to look at other European border regions during the interwar period which were also subject to a change of national affiliation. The research project wants to ask which spatial strategies of appropriation were practiced in those instances.

The full call for papers with the possible paper themes can be downloaded here.

Interested authors can submit a meaningful abstract (max. 900 characters including spaces) and a CV by 29 May 2020 to the organizers of the study day Prof. Dr.-Ing. Klaus Tragbar and Dr. Elmar Kossel at klaus.tragbar@uibk.ac.at and elmar.kossel@uibk.ac.at

Confirmation of participation in the conference will be given by 26 June 2020.

Text and presentation should be in one of the conference languages German, Italian or English. Travel costs (2nd class train ride) and overnight stays in Innsbruck will be covered. A publication of the papers in an edited volume is planned.

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