Send your Call or Congress to

CALL. 15.11.2018: [SESSION 9] Urban knowledge: Mental concepts of premodern cities. [at Socio-Enviro


Social space and natural environment amplify the concept of landscape resulting from transformation processes of human-environmental interaction patterns within the history of humankind. Different layers of human activities are visible in societal fingerprints on the natural and cultural environment. Investigating these reciprocal dynamics includes conditions of different environmental, demographic, economic, social, and ideological settings in global tendencies, regional developments, and local episodes.

A transdisciplinary effort of scientists and scholars is necessary to achieve a better understanding of societies beyond landscapes, which involves substantial changes in human-environmental relationships and the underlying interaction patterns of the past 15,000 years.



LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: Kiel University (Kiel, Germany)

ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: N. Chiarenza, T. Felber, A. Haug*, U. Müller*, H. Klinkott, L. Käppel, A. Kleineberg, P. Kreuz, C. Zimmermann

INFO: web - pdf -


This session intends to discuss all forms of knowledge that refer to urban agglomerations: the history of a city (urban memory), the imagination of a city, the knowledge of how to use urban facilities (practical knowledge), urban ideologies, and urban identities. Consequently, we discuss the knowledge of cities, not the knowledge within cities.

Mental concepts of urbanity are produced, maintained, but also transformed by the interrelationship of human perception, human action, the architecturally and materially defined urban space, media (texts, images, monuments), intangible resources (general knowledge in the broadest sense), material tangible resources, and environmental settings preconditions. Consequently, the session focuses on the social and cultural production of mental concepts of urbanity. As a working hypothesis, we assume that especially artefacts in the broadest sense (architecture, objects, texts, images) work as a carrier (medium) of mental concepts. Since they are able to ‘incorporate’ and ‘preserve’ urban knowledge, they also have a stabilizing effect.

Questions covered include:

  • How is urban memory materially inscribed into the urban fabric? How do urban practices contribute to the stabilization or redefinition of materialized memories? Which social groups obtain a visibility of ‘their’ memory within the urban context?

  • What is the mental image of cities in general but also of specific cities (mediated in visual images and texts)? How do such imaginations shape the ‘real’ urban space? And in what way does the perception of real cities influence such imaginations?

  • What kind of practical knowledge is needed to ‘use’ a city and its facilities? Which features provide spatial orientation? Do specific urban facilities afford specific uses?

  • What is the role of urban ideologies and urban identities for the material shape of a city? How do they influence urban perceptions and forms of urban agency?

The session intends to ask these questions against a chronological background: We want to discuss the role of urban knowledge with regard to the stability and transformation of urban scenarios.

All contributions addressing these questions for the period between the 1st millenium BC and the Middle Ages are invited to this session.

categorías / tags / categorie

Fasti Congressuum is licensed under a Creative Commons Reconocimiento-NoComercial-CompartirIgual 4.0 Internacional License
© 2014 by Fasti Congressuum. Proudly created by M. Cristina de la Escosura