Considering New Orleans and Innsbruck as Multiple Landscapes. University of Innsbruck – University of New Orleans Annual Symposium

Considering New Orleans and Innsbruck as Multiple Landscapes. University of Innsbruck – University of New Orleans Annual Symposium

Christina Antenhofer (University of Innsbruck/ Center New Orleans); Günter Bischof (University of New Orleans/ Center Austria); Robert Dupont (University of New Orleans); Ulrich Leitner (University of Innsbruck)
Universität Innsbruck
Vom - Bis
24.06.2015 - 26.06.2015
Ulrich Leitner

Topic Summary

With the cities of Innsbruck and New Orleans two cities are put in the center of this conference as case studies. Both cities can be interpreted as “complex landscapes” and both stand for a strong local and regional identity. Innsbruck as well as New Orleans have a long history of being centers of multicultural exchange. Both cities have an image built on their respective historical heritage that also profits from their spectacular landscapes and geographical situation. Especially this geographical situation carries the challenge that both cities deal with environmental and technological as well as security challenges that need to be combined with esthetical (cultural heritage) and ecology debates.

On the occasion of a number of anniversaries in 2015 (40 year UNO International Summer School, 20 years Innsbruck – New Orleans city partnership, 15 years art exchange) this symposium wants to draw attention to the profound connections between Innsbruck and New Orleans by looking at the two cities through the interdisciplinary spatial lenses. The conference wants to look at both cities in an interdisciplinary way that brings together space and time and connects both cities not only on a local but also on a global level, connecting two continents.

Thematical and Theoretical Positioning

The concept of “spatial turn” has put a new focus on the relationship between space, social and cultural structures. Landscape from this perspective is a culturally coded historical concept with multiple meanings. What are the geographic, physical and material conditions inscribed in landscapes? Moreover, the social and cultural layers of space, of cities and landscapes are explored, along with their historical and mental conditions. Taken from this vantage point traditional opposites are transcended: natural vs. cultural landscapes, objects vs. persons, city vs. countryside, civilized vs. untamed landscapes. The focus is on “intermediate cities” (Zwischenstädte), which have both appearances of cityscapes and unbuilt space – intermediate spaces where new ways of urban living occur. This new theory of landscapes speaks of “micro landscapes,” namely landscapes that function as agglomerations of many different, constantly moving perceived environmental states, including people who live therein. In this sense, landscapes are social categories.

North American Cultural Landscape Studies have opened up a new sense of landscapes. Cities as microcosms of multiple landscapes are at the center of attention of these new discourses of landscape. Theorists like Richard Sennet have drawn the long trajectory of citizens living in Periclean Athens (“the relationship between “flesh and stone”) down to the social body of multicultural New York. He sees modern cityscapes being neutralized and standardized through high security precautions and thereby losing their stimulating urban condition. Martina Löw sees cityscapes as silhouettes producing images of themselves in the world. Karl Schlögel recognizes a return of the material in post-9/11 cityscapes.

Innsbruck and New Orleans will serve as case studies to explore these spatial issues in modern cities. Both offer highly complex landscapes. Both stand for prototypical deeply-rooted local and regional identities. They are part and parcel of multicultural exchanges in the urban landscape. Both have a reputation for their images in the world as places with many historical legacies and profiting from spectacular landscapes around them. Both Innsbruck and New Orleans face many social, environmental and technological challenges. Discourses about security in these cities are coupled with both aesthetic (cultural inheritance) and ecological discourses. Tourism and gentrification are also important issues that make subjects of discussion in both cities.


Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Location Aula, Hauptuni (Main University Building), Innrain 52, Innsbruck

Music Unicombo

15.45-16.30 Arrival of participants and registration


16.30 Welcome and Introduction
Interaction between Universities and Cities: Univercities
Rector Tilmann Märk (University of Innsbruck)


17.00 Welcome
Vice Mayor Sonja Pitscheider (City of Innsbruck)
Günter Bischof (University of New Orleans)
Christina Antenhofer (University of Innsbruck)

17.30 Presentation Art Project: REAGENT by Stefan Hitthaler
Ulrich Leitner (University of Innsbruck)


18.00 Theoretical Approaches to the Field
Chair: Christina Antenhofer

Unitown-University Town Network
Gastone Ave - University of Ferrara (Strategic Planning & Urban Marketing)

Space, Power, Transgression: Decolonizing Spatial Relations
in the Age of Postcolonial Globality
Nikita Dhawan - University of Innsbruck (Political Science)

19.15 Keynote
Introduction: Günter Bischof

The Mysteries of New Orleans: Culture Formation and
the Layering of History
Berndt Ostendorf – Prof. Emeritus University of Munich

20.30 Opening Art Project and Reception
(sponsored by the City of Innsbruck and the University of Innsbruck)

Thursday, June 25, 2015
Location Claudiasaal, Herzog-Friedrich-Str. 3, 2nd Floor, Innsbruck (Old Town)

9.00 Panel 1: The Historical Reading of Cities
Chair: Günter Bischof

Between Land and Water: The Ambiguous Landscape of New Orleans
Robert L Dupont – University of New Orleans (History)

Innsbruck as Historical City
Julia Hörmann-Thurn und Taxis – University of Innsbruck (History)

10.30 Coffee Break (Thüringsaal, 1st Floor)

11.00 Panel 2: The City as Material Reality
Chair: Gerhard Rampl

Reading the Historical Cityscape: A Spatial Analysis of New Orleans’ French Quarter
Richard Campanella – Tulane University (Historical Geography)

Matchpoint Innsbruck
Bart Lootsma – University of Innsbruck (Architectural Theory & Building History)

The Olympic Games in Innsbruck: Planning, Infrastructure and Landscape
Wolfgang Meixner – University of Innsbruck (History)/Arnold Klotz – University of
Innsbruck (Architect and Planner)

13.00 Lunch Break

14.30 Panel 3: Cities as Micro-Landscapes
Chair: Doris Eibl

Ultra. Ethnographic Encounters in the Micro-Landscape of Soccer Fans
Jochen Bonz – University of Innsbruck (European Ethnology)

Restructuring Landscapes of Informality in Gentrifying New Orleans
Renia Ehrenfeucht – University of New Orleans (Planning and Urban Studies)

16.00 Coffee Break (Thüringsaal, 1st Floor)

16.30 Panel 4: City and Environment
Chair: Patrick Kupper

Rerouting Risk: Flood Protection and Conflicts on the Lower Mississippi River
Craig Colten – Lousiana State University (Geography)

Land Consumption, Agricultural Land and the Meaning of ‘Productive Parks’ in the
Case of the River Inn-Valley North Tyrol, Austria
Wolfgang Andexlinger – University of Innsbruck (Design)

Coastline / Terraforming. The Loss of Land and How a New Infrastructured Landscape
Influences the Human Habitat
Stefano de Martino/Gerald Haselwanter – University of Innsbruck (Design)

18.45 Keynote
Introduction: Christina Antenhofer

The (felt) Body of the City – Feeling Urban Spaces –
Jürgen Hasse – Prof. of Geography and its Didactic University of Frankfurt

20.30 Conference Dinner (by invitation only)
(sponsored by the University of New Orleans – Center Austria)
Location: Schwarzer Adler, Kaiserjägerstraße 2

Friday, June 26, 2015
Location Claudiasaal, Herzog-Friedrich-Str. 3, 2nd Floor, Innsbruck (Old Town)

9.00 Panel 5: City Landscapes as Images of the City
Chair: Stefan Ehrenpreis

Culture Is Big Business: An Anthropological Case Study about the Commodification
of Culture in New Orleans
Bernhard Bauer – University of Vienna (Ethnology & Anthropology)

Innsbruck: “The Capital of the Alps”. Mountains as the City’s Landscape of Taste
Simone Egger – University of Innsbruck (European Ethnology)

10.30 Coffee Break (Thüringsaal, 1st Floor)

11.00 Panel 6: “In-Between-Towns” – The Hidden Sides of the City
Chair: Niels Grüne

From the Bayou to the Table: The Role of the Croatian American Community in
Louisiana‘s Seafood Industry
Reneé Bourgogne – University of New Orleans (Urban Studies)

Essential but Invisible: Migration as Part of Urban and General History
Dirk Rupnow – University of Innsbruck (Contemporary History)

12.30 Lunch Break

14.00 Panel 7: Cities as Social and Semantic Spaces
Chair: Robert L Dupont

Saving the City from Sex Deviates: Preservationists, Homosexuals, and Reformers
in the French Quarter, 1950 – 1962
Alecia P Long – Louisiana State University (History)

Psychiatric and Pastoral Landscapes in Tyrol in the 19th Century (with a Comparative
View on Louisiana)
Maria Heidegger – University of Innsbruck (History)

15.30 Coffee Break (Thüringsaal, 1st Floor)

16.00 Panel 8: Poster Session
Chair: Claudia Posch

Dangerous and Endangering Spaces: Images of Innsbruck in the Records of the
Youth Welfare Service
Flavia Guerrini – University of Innsbruck (Educational Studies)

Collective Mobilities and the Production of Smooth Space: Reclaiming Space for
Bicycling in Innsbruck
Philipp K. Wegerer – University of Innsbruck (Strategic Management, Marketing &
Tourism)/Florian Timmerman – University of Innsbruck (Geography)

schaug – shifting perspectives on linguistic landscapes
Dominik Unterthiner, Stephanie Baur, Alexander Topf – University of Innsbruck
(li.lab – laboratory for linguistic landscapes)

17.15 Concluding Remarks (Christina Antenhofer, Günter Bischof)

19.30 Open Panel Discussion
Location Plenarsaal (Rathaus Innsbruck)
Language German (with English translation)

Music: Unicombo

Zur Einführung: New Orleans in Bildern und Musik
(ehemalige Innsbrucker Studierende an der University of New Orleans)


Podiumsdiskussion: Innsbruck und New Orleans. Die beiden Partnerstädte und ihre Herausforderungen für die Zukunft

mit Robert Dupont (University of New Orleans), Gerhard Fritz (Stadtrat Innsbruck), Bart Lootsma (Universität Innsbruck), Mark Romig (New Orleans, City’s tourism marketing commission)
Moderation: Nina Schröder (RAI/Bozen)


Kleine Erfrischung
(sponsored by the University of New Orleans - Center Austria and the University of Innsbruck)


Center New Orleans. Universität Innsbruck

Herzog-Friedrich-Str. 3, 1. Stock, A-6020 Innsbruck

Tel: +43 512 507-39200
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