Peace Initiatives and Urban Space in the 20th Century

Archiv Grünes Gedächtnis, Eldenaer Str. 35, 10247 Berlin
Daniel Gerster (Universität Münster) Claudia Kemper (Hamburger Institut für Sozialforschung) Susanne Schregel (Universität Köln)
27.09.2017 - 29.09.2017
Arbeitskreis Historische Friedens- und Konfliktforschung e.V.

The conference aims to shed light on the ambivalent status of cities and towns as both centres for peace initiatives and protest movements as well as objects of militarisation, as potential or actual sites of wartime destruction, and as targets of nuclear attacks.

Throughout the 20th century, the propensity for urban life to be attacked, destroyed, or annihilated in acts of organized violence has encouraged manifold initiatives seeking to prevent urban destruction and fostered campaigning for nonviolence, disarmament, and peace from an urban point of view. Amid such endeavours, the particular histories, spatial peculiarities, material characteristics, and myriad human populations of cities and towns provide settings and objects of reflection, and they become sources for negotiations concerning peace, reconciliation, and nonviolence in people’s everyday lives.

The conference will investigate the dynamic between urban space and initiatives for peace and disarmament that has emerged in Europe and Israel. It will explore how towns and cities have assumed the role of a counterforce against tendencies towards militarisation, destruction, and violence, thereby aiming to widen and enlarge our perspective on creating peace in relation to urban life and urban space.


Wednesday, 27/09/2017

18:00–18:15 Welcome
Christoph Becker-Schaum (AGG); Susanne Schregel/Claudia Kemper/Daniel Gerster (AKHF)

18:15–19:45 Keynote
Dorothee Brantz (Berlin), Peace and Urban Space: Berlin in the 20th Century
Moderator: Daniel Gerster

20:00 Reception

Thursday, 28/09/2017

9:00–9:30 Introduction
Susanne Schregel, Claudia Kemper, Daniel Gerster

9:30–11.00 Peace Cities & Cities of Peace
Chair: Christian Jansen (Trier)
Julia Eichenberg (Berlin), Planning Peace in the Blitz – European Governments-in-exile in London, 1940–1945
Zlutko Jovanovic (Copenhagen), Inventing ‘Peace’ Tradition in the War-Torn Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Case of Tuzla Citizens Forum (Forum gradjan Tuzla)

11:30–13:00 Grassroots Urban Peace Activism and Its Local/Global Interconnections
Chair: Christoph Becker-Schaum (Berlin)
Jared Donnelly (Montgomery, AL), Protest City? Grassroots Peace Activism and Urban Politics in Hamburg, 1955–1961
Richard Rohrmoser (Mannheim), “Grassroots Security Policy” – Nonviolent Protests Against Nuclear Forces in Mutlangen, 1983–1987

14:00–15.30 Informal Spaces and Sociability
Chair: Daniel Gerster (Münster)
Nadja Maurer (Hamburg), Spaces of Love. Transgressions of communal division in Conflict and Peace in Belfast
Merav Kaddar (Jerusalem), Heterotopic Appearances in Changing Urban Environment: the Case of the Anna Loulou Bar in Jaffa, Israel

16:00–17.30 Peace and Disarmament in Official City Policies
Chair: Jost Dülffer (Cologne)
Nikita Chiu (Cambridge), Cities as Actor in Global Nuclear Governance: A Chronology and Assessment of Cities’ Engagement in Global Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Efforts
Christoph Laucht (Swansea), The Politics behind Urban Peace and Disarmament Initiatives: The Municipal Left and the Nuclear Threat in Britain, 1980–1985

17.45–18.30 Interdisciplinary Perspectives I: Global Intimacies of Sanctuary: Challenging a Statist Geopolitics
Jen Bagelman (Exeter)
Moderator: Susanne Schregel (Cologne)

Friday, 29/09/2017

9:00–9:45 Interdisciplinary Perspectives II: Peace Building and Spatial Transformation
Stefanie Kappler (Durham)
Moderator: Claudia Kemper (Hamburg)

9:45–11:15 Peace and the Symbolism of Urban Geographies
Chair: Anne Bieschke (Mannheim)
Irina Gordeeva (Moscow), Symbolic Resistance in the History of the Soviet Independent Peace Movement, Moscow, 1982–1989
Noah Hysler Rubin (Ann Arbor, MA), Bridging through Planning: Urban Strategies for the Peaceful Unification of Jerusalem, 1948–1968

11:30–13:00 Urban Places for Peace
Chair: Christine Krüger (Gießen)
Nicolas Pitsos (Paris), From Great War’s Memorial to the House of Peace: Pacifist Initiatives in Saint-Ouen
Peter van den Dungen (Bradford), Visualizing and Promoting Peace through Peace Museums

13:00–13:30 Concluding Discussion
Moderator: Claudia Kemper

[anschließend: Mitgliederversammlung des AKHF e.V.]


Dr. Claudia Kemper
Hamburger Institut für Sozialforschung

Peace Initiatives and Urban Space in the 20th Century, 27.09.2017 – 29.09.2017 Berlin, in: H-Soz-Kult, 29.08.2017, <>.