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The Empire, the Province and the Reshaping of Cities in the Long Nineteenth Century, EAUH, Prague, 29 August-1 September 2012‏

Call for paper for the **European Association for Urban History conference,
(EAUH) Prague, 29 August-1 September 2012*

PANEL CFP: "The Empire, the Province and the Reshaping of Cities in the Long
Nineteenth Century"

The enduring survival of the empire and its appropriation of the
modernisation project in the long nineteenth century have recently
experienced a revival in the historical scholarship. Empires are central to
our understanding of the condition of modernity and how it came into being
in its diverse forms across the globe and time. However, the imperial role
in the reshaping of cities into their modern form either in response to the
urbanisation pressures or simply to fit a particular form of public
representation requires careful consideration. While the interest in
locality has always been one of the historian�s strongest points, and a
large body of literature has engaged with the role of the municipality and
other urban actors in the restructuring of the cities in modern times, and
the subsequent making of national capitals, it has sometimes been overlooked
that these projects were often restricted in their capacity and their
freedom of action by the higher powers. Haussmannisation was a global
phenomenon, but it was the most comprehensive and far reaching exactly in
places where the imperial hand was the strongest and where it had the
greatest consolidating power. Boulevards, ring roads and public places that
had fundamentally changed the cityscapes in the long nineteenth century were
used for particular representation in architecture, public politics and
official ceremony that more often than not glorified the empire�s
modernising efforts and celebrated its efforts in the urban improvement and
beautification. This representation did not run unrestricted or
unchallenged, especially in the provinces and the borderlands, but it is
important to remember that it was the empire, and not the nation, the
commune, or a particular social class who established the setting and the
rules for this political game. This session will aim at addressing the
generalities and the specificities of this complex phenomenon by analysing
particular case studies and the degree to which the imperial authorities,
the provincial and municipal governments and other urban actors competed
over the reshaping of cities and the extent to which the resulting imperial
representation was unchallenged, internalised, and formed the basis for the
emerging modern urban identity.

Deadline: 1 October 2012

Please apply online at