Dismantling the canon through multidisciplinary encounters: the cases of diplomatic legations in the city


Session 5.5 within the 10th AISU Conference (Italian Association of Urban History) to be held in Turin (Italy) on 6-10 September 2022.
Coordinators: Angela Gigliotti and Fabio Gigone

It is not rare to read on the news the term “diplomatic crisis” associated with a sudden event, whose one of the most vigorous measures is usually the announcement of “diplomats withdraw” from a territory. Seen from another perspective, though under covid-19 breakouts, the number of hours, meetings, and negotiations operated online increased in all fields severely, it makes still sense on a geopolitical level to threaten each other using the enforcing of a physical distance as a measure. What is at stake then, are the dynamics generated by the presence of foreign diplomatic legations in hosting countries across urban history. Especially since, more often than not, the design of such diplomatic compounds has been seldom considered by urban historians, and if so, only concerning a “noteworthy” authorship. Such criteria generated a heroic propaganda representation of a dominant, singular, male “authorship” addressed mainly by monographic studies in urban history. Specifically, a selective mono-focal narrative has been operated so far, secluding “the others” by class, race, gender, and sexuality. This session aims to confront narratives about diplomatic spatial settings that involve those voices that current historiographies have so far neglected (e.g., local designers, collaborators, minutes-takers, civil servants, bureaucrats, site workers, constructors, developers, stakeholders, artists, ambassadors). Moreover, organizers are interested in discussing those research methods based on the multidisciplinary encounters between urban studies and other disciplines (e.g., history of art and architecture, political theory, history of ideas…). Of great value will be the employment of unconventional archival data settings, digitally processed, and interpolated, when key in disrupting dominant narratives. Organizers seek contributions ranging from the Early Modern to the Cold War, and from a broad range of geographical contexts that investigate bilateral diplomatic encounters as a pretext to foster a cross-disciplinary conversation on methodology and narrative constructions about spatial design. Of particular interest, it will be the entanglement of new inquiry methods able to unveil and enlighten the current blind spots within a broader revision process, offering alternatives to dominant stereotypical historiographies.

Information about the congress for the authors is available here.

Application trough application form here (Session 5.5): https://aisuinternational.org/en/torino-2022-presentazione-paper-5/

Submissions accepted until 31 March 2022

If you have any queries or require further information, please contact Angela Gigliotti (gigliotti@arch.ethz.ch) and Fabio Gigone (fgi@teol.ku.dk)

According to Conference indications complete papers will be subject to peer review and published after the discussion within the Conference Sessions: https://aisuinternational.org/en/collana-insights/

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