The Making of Identity through Rural Space. Scenarios, Experiences, and Contestations in the Rural Built Environment

The Making of Identity through Rural Space. Scenarios, Experiences, and Contestations in the Rural Built Environment - International Symposium at BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg (online)

Dr. Vera Egbers, Dr. Özge Sezer (DFG-Graduiertenkolleg 1913 "Kulturelle und technische Werte historischer Bauten" BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg)
DFG-Graduiertenkolleg 1913 "Kulturelle und technische Werte historischer Bauten" BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg
Gefördert durch
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
Vom - Bis
28.10.2021 - 29.10.2021
Albrecht Wiesener, DFG-Graduiertenkolleg "Kulturelle und technische Werte historischer Bauten", BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg

Rural space has played a substantial role in several social, cultural, economic, and ideological transformations through time. Such transformations are being studied through various scientific concepts. Among others, the implementation of new concepts that focus on shaping identities through the reproduction of spatial agents belonging to rural communities by direct and indirect political interventions remains crucial to gaining a broad understanding of these particular changes.

The Making of Identity through Rural Space. Scenarios, Experiences, and Contestations in the Rural Built Environment - International Symposium at BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg (online)

However, studies on the formation of identity through space have been primarily handled in the frame of urban studies until recent years. Yet, the various identity-making practices have certainly had significant influences on and through the rural built environment. In this symposium, we re-open the discussion of the making of identity in rural areas, which have dramatically changed under different political, social, and economic conditions from the turn of the 20th century until today, and potential contested spaces as traces of this process. We thereby seek a better in-depth understanding of spatial dynamics related to the specific cultural and social spheres of 20th century’s rurality.

First and foremost, we ask these key questions:

- What role do the social conflicts and power differences play in the production and re-production of rural space?
- What kind of social, cultural, economic, and legal agents are involved in the process of the making of identity in rural built environments?
- How is the architecture manufactured – both physically as well as ideologically in the scope of these specific programmes?
- What kind of spatial conflicts occur when the superimposed identity-making procedure targets and collides with a rural community with pre-existing (self-)identifications?

Following this line of thought, the dynamic connection of spatial materiality, ideologies, and politics impacts everyday life. It is this complex relationship that we aim to discuss in the frame of case studies focusing on early-20th-century rural space as well as its situation today. The case studies will refer to different regional and cultural contexts that allow us to gain a better understanding of spatio-temporal specificities of identity-shaping operations and their comparability in time, geography, and culture.

To provide a platform of exchange and communication on this subject, we bring together experts from fields such as architectural history, archaeology, heritage studies, anthropology, and history contributing on:

- „re-materialization“ of social and cultural space theories
- subjectification through space
- contestations between the governing and the governed in terms of rural space
- internal colonization and the rural built environment
- the rural as a palimpsest; rebuilding the rural space, i.e. on the turn of the 20th century until today.

Time zone CEST (UTC+02:00)


Thursday, 28 October 2021

19:00 / Opening and Keynote / Prof. Dr. Liesbeth van de Grift (Utrecht University, Department of History and Art History, History of International Relations): Reconfiguring Rural Spaces, Remaking Rural Communities

Friday, 29 October 2021

09:30–10:15 / Dr. Paolo Grupposo (University of Abeerden, School of Social Science): The Making and Unmaking of an Ambiguous Identity: The Reclamation District of Agro Pontino, Italy

10:15–11:00 / Assoc. Prof. Dr. Cristina Pallini, Dr. Aleksa Korolija (Politecnico di Milano, Department of Architecture, Built Environment and Construction Engineering): Landscape Takes Command

15 min Coffee Break

11:15–12:00 / Ayşe Bursalı, Dr. Ian Kuijt (University of Notre Dame, Department of Anthropology): From Homes to Ruins to Movie Sets: Negotiating Identity through Resettlement and Architectural Change in a Turkish Village

12:00–12:45 / Ayşegül Dinççağ (TU Berlin, DFG Research Training Group 2227 „Identity and Heritage“): The „Müze Ev“ of Imbros: Heritage Practices of Homecomers

90 min Lunch Break

14:15–15:00 / Oluwamayowa Willoughby (Cornell University, Africana Studies & Research Center): Rural Places, Rural Faces

15:00–15:45 / Dr. des. Vera Egbers, Dr. Özge Sezer (BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg, DFG Research Training Group 1913 „Cultural and Technological Significance of Historic Buildings“): Identity Policies in a Nutshell: Yeniköy Village as a Palimpsest of Contested Spaces in Turkey

15:45–16:30 / Prof. Dr. Eva Maria Froschauer (Berliner Hochschule für Technik): Memory of Houses: Transformation of Identity in both Tyrols 1939/2019

15 min Coffee Break

16:45 Keynote and Closing

Dr. Hollyamber Kennedy (ETH Zurich, Institute for History and Theory of Architecture): Wastelands of Empire: Reclamation and The Rural as Agent and Medium


Vera Egbers
E-Mail: vera.egbers@b‐

Özge Sezer
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