[call of papers] Culture and politics in European capitals since 1945 (Berlin, London, Madrid, and Paris)

Conference: June 9th, 2017, Paris, Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, 182, rue Saint-Honoré (75001 Paris)
Culture and politics in European capitals since 1945 (Berlin, London, Madrid, and Paris)
Under the direction of Françoise Taliano-des Garets, Professor of Contemporary History at Sciences Po Bordeaux, Centre for Social History of the 20th Century, Panthéon-Sorbonne Paris 1 University

Languages: French and English

Organiser: Sciences Po Bordeaux, Paris 1 University (CHS 20th Century), Paris 3 University (ICEE), Comité d’Histoire du Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication.

Scientific Committee:

  • Jeremy Ahearne, Centre for Cultural Policy Studies, university of Warwick
  • Olivier Bessy, SET, UPPA
  • Hubert Bonin, GRETHA, UB
  • Agnès Callu, IHTP CNRS
  • Valeria Camporesi, Université autonome de Madrid,
  • Philippe Chassaigne, CEMMC, Bordeaux-Montaigne
  • Tristan Coignard, SPH,Bordeaux-Montaigne
  • Pascale Goetschel, CHS du XXe siècle, Paris 1,
  • Laurent Martin, ICEE, Paris 3 Sorbonne-Nouvelle
  • Carmen Navarro, Université autonome de Madrid
  • Pascal Ory, CHS du XXe siècle, Paris 1
  • Françoise Taliano-des Garets, CHS du XXe siècle Paris 1 et CED, Sciences Po Bordeaux
  • Julie Verlaine, CHS du XXe siècle Paris 1 et CED, Sciences Po Bordeaux

This conference marks the first gathering of a three-year interdisciplinary and international program titled “European capitals and culture since 1945, an examination of four cities, Berlin, London, Madrid and Paris”, the Nouvelle Aquitaine region in France financing this study. This day will be dedicated to shedding light on one of the main themes studied in the program, namely that between culture and political power. More specifically, it will involve measuring the impact of politics in spurring cultural changes in urban environments during the past seventy years. These transformations were deep-rooted as was the case in Germany and in Spain marking the transition from a dictatorial regime to that of a liberal democracy. The political and administrative structures were also subject to change in England and France (decentralization, deconcentration, devolution). These city-capitals were epicenters of major mutations within a more globalized and competitive world. To understand the reasons behind such changes, we propose to examine the vertical relationship between culture and political power by first shifting the focus to the social sphere, before returning to that of politics. How has political power informed cultural life from a post-war context to today, especially in cities (I)? How has political power exerted its influence on policy changes (II)? We will focus on certain central themes in order to gauge, through a comparative analysis, the impact of the political variable on cultural change. The inverse examination will also be held. Finally, we will focus on one sector in particular, namely cultural heritage understood in a broad sense. This sector has retained our attention as heavily charged with meanings pertaining to politics, identity, and economic interests. Heritage is the expression, the centerpiece of reconstruction politics and of the valorization of the noteworthy territory that is a “capital” (III).

Conference participants will be able to express themselves in French or in English and are invited to pool from one or several examples between the four selected cities. Comparative studies are highly encouraged. Participants from different fields of study (history, art history, geography, political science, sociology, anthropology, economy…) are all welcome. The conference can expand to a diachronic analysis, in which subjects from recent or current periods are discussed. The minutes of this session will compose a journal issue overseen by a reading committee.

  1. Political power and cultural changes in European capitals since 1945
    1. Political power, censorship, and propaganda
    2. A democratic push for cultural change
    3. A capital: showcase for national culture (with a focus on finance and regional budgets)
  2. Culture in the political history of capitals since 1945
    1. Culture, protest, and institutionalization (including urban arts)
    2. Cultural diversity as a political challenge in cosmopolitan territories
    3. Memory (ies) and urban policies (we will focus principally on the revival of heritage, heritage tourism, etc.)
  3. Heritage and urban development since 1945
    1. Architectural heritage and urban reorganization
    2. Artistic wastelands and gentrification (the theme of the “creative city” will thus be approached)
    3. Heritage and urban events

Proposals for papers should be sent to the following addresses: f.taliano@sciencespobordeaux.fr, s.machado@sciencespobordeaux.fr, by 15 March 2017. They should include an abstract of no more than one page in length and a CV with a list of publications.