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28.02.2013 - 01.03.2013
Call for papers

CALL FOR PAPERS Knowledge Transfer and the Urban Space. Formats, Modes and Actors of the Knowledge Transfer in the Cities of Ea

Knowledge Transfer and the Urban Space.

Formats, Modes and Actors of the Knowledge Transfer in the Cities of East Central Europe.

International and interdisciplinary summer academy of the Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe – Institute of the Leibniz Association

Marburg, August 25th-31st 2013


The city has always been a forum of the production and distribution of knowledge. Through­out history, there have always been circumstances and periods where the production and transfer of knowledge had been quickened through urban mediating spaces and thus have taken a unique direction in their development. In East Central Europe, these processes can often be recognized as a reception and creative development of impulses which often came to their breakthrough with a time lag. Many of these impulses developed a unique regional quality which was caused by socio-economical as well as cultural influences (multi-ethnicity, confessionalization, nationalization etc.). The cities of East Central Europe and Eastern Eu­rope are also an example for the fact that knowledge transfer does not only occur between different cities but also within single cities. Here, the knowledge, which had been transferred through various channels, was received by different persons in different ways.

So far, researchers have focused primarily on migration and technology transfer, institutions (e.g.: universities) and the history of law and urbanization when they dealt with the topic of the relation between city and knowledge. In contrast, the planned international and interdisci­plinary summer academy will try a different approach to deal with the urban space. The focus will be on the specific urban formats of knowledge transfer. Our guiding questions will ask about the specific urban modes, formats, participants, media and discourses of the produc­tion and transfer of knowledge. At the conference, we want to focus on the production and the transfer of scientific knowledge and practical knowledge alike. For example, the im­portance of new technologies in connection with the guild system and city constitutions or on the impact of the founding of industrial companies and urban expansions on the configuration of urban areas of knowledge. Accordingly, we will invite participants who will provide contribu­tions with a theoretical or methodical approach to the historical research of science or the historical research of cities and areas as well as micro or case studies with a regional, local or biographical character. The chief concern of the summer academy will be the urbanization and knowledge production during the late 19th and the beginning 20th century. The specific focus with regard to area, topic or period has deliberately been left free to choose for the pre­senters. We want to emphasize that we want to encourage applications for contributions which cover other European and also non-European regions as well as earlier periods of time because we wish for a differentiated as well as comparative discussion, especially about methodical approaches and questions which might lead us to deeper problems of the topic.

This summer academy will be an interdisciplinary one with a focus on cultural and historical science and will consist of in class work on theoretical as well as empirical texts and of the presentation of own projects by the participants. In addition, the current state of the research and different methods and theories will be reflected on in short contributions by well-respected specialists in these fields.

The contributions may be in German or English, so all participants have to be able to under­stand both languages (there will be no translations). Approximately four weeks before the summer academy, all participants will receive a reader with texts for the in class work and abstracts of the contributions.

There will be a total of up to 20 places for qualified young researchers (especially for those who are in a doctorate program) from Germany as well as other countries. About one half of the places will be awarded to persons from outside of Germany. The Herder Institute will cover the costs for traveling and accommodation as well as a part of the expenses for food. In case of participants who will travel to the conference from outside of Europe, we would like to ask for your understanding that we might not be able to cover all of your travel expenses.

Heads of the summer academy:

Dr. Eszter Gantner (currently Humboldt University, Berlin): studied law, historical and political sciences in Budapest, Jerusalem, Potsdam and Berlin; between 2004 and 2008, she had been lecturer and coordinator for Jewish studies at the Touro College in Berlin; since 2008, she is a fellow researcher at the Center for Central European German-Jewish Culture at the ELTE University, Budapest; since 2010, she is a member of the scientific staff at the Institute for European Ethnology at the Humboldt University of Berlin. From March 2013 on, postdoc­toral fellow at the Leibniz Graduate School for the Culture of Knowledge in Central European Transnational Contexts at the Herder Institute.

Dr. Heidi Hein-Kircher (Herder Institute, Marburg): from 1989 to 1994 studies and from 1995 to 2000 postgraduate studies of the Eastern European and modern history, political science and Jewish linguistics and literature at the Heinrich-Heine-University in Düsseldorf; since 2003 she has been a member of the scientific staff of the Herder Institute, since 2009 she is head of the department “scientific forum”. Current project: “Municipal administration and na­tional movement in a multi ethnic city. Lviv during the 19th century.”

We would like to ask you to hand in your application, which should include an abstract of your planned contribution (1-2 pages, if possible in a word- or pdf-file) as well as a CV, by January 31st 2013. If you have any questions, Ms. Antje Coburger will gladly assist you. Please send your applications to:

 Antje Coburger, M.A.
Herder-Institut für historische
Ostmitteleuropaforschung  - Institut der Leibniz-Gemeinschaft
Gisonenweg 5-7
D-35037 Marburg