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International Conference "The Distinctiveness of Cities - Modes of Re-Production"

15 au 17 juin 2011


Place :
Darmstadt (Germany)

Venice is different from London and in Mumbai we will expect to have radically other experiences than in Paris. The simple mentioning of city names calls up mental images in us, positive or negative, exotic or banal. Cities appear to be dynamic or progressive, cosmopolitan or sentimental, but what is the origin of such images and associations ?

The question on which the upcoming international conference on “The Distinctiveness of Cities | Modes of Reproduction” centers is the intrinsic logic of cities. The aim will be to investigate, by interdisciplinary means, in which ways cities prove to be distinctive contexts of sociation. If ‘city’ can be conceived as a spatiostructural form that differs from other spatial formations in terms of its density and heterogeneity, we can then ask how specific and distinguishable constellations of coherent stocks of knowledge and forms of expression evolve in each and every individual city. How do cities condense into distinctive meaningful contexts that shape, in different ways, the practices of the people living within them ? How are unquestioned urban certainties woven into the human body, into the materiality of places and streets, into the formation of urban centers, and into cultural practice ? What do interurban comparisons reveal ? But it is also important to think in the opposite direction : Which cities display common features, can indeed even be grouped into families ?

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