Städtische Netzwerke / Urban Networks

Second Conference on Baltic Urban History, Tallinn, October 9-10

The conference is organized jointly by the Tallinn City Archives, the Institute of History of Tallinn University, the Faculty of History of the University of Latvia, the Institute of Baltic Region History and Archaeology of Klaipėda University and the Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe – Institute of the Leibniz Association in Marburg. The conference in Tallinn is the second one in the series established in Riga on October 11-12, 2012.

Intensity and interaction of various networks seem to be one of the essential characteristics of urbanity. In regard to the analysis of urban history, the references to networks could offer a new perspective, as the term “network” characterises a structure with nodes and connections between them. With regard to the Actor-Network-Theory, the nodes are not treated as static elements but as agents, which establish and transform networks through their actions. Thus, processes and interactions can be described quite efficiently.
For research in urban history, this approach promises to be fruitful in many respects. On a smaller scale, one is faced with various and dynamic physical and mental networks in cities, e.g. streets, public transportation and sewage, personal and family ties, professional and associational connections, political establishment and underground scene. Exchange provided by these networks is necessary for incentive to architectural, social, cultural, religious, and of course political developments in the Middle Ages as well as in the present time. It can be observed that these interchanges could be provoked from global, regional, or local processes and structures. The conference aims to discuss the role of networks in the urban history of the Baltic countries in different historical periods.

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