CFP: Mediterranean Cities in Transition: SAH Session 2017 due June 7

Nikolas Bakirtzis 

The Cyprus Institute

Nicosia, Cyprus 

Mediterranean cities with long histories preserve the physical evidence of their role as economic and cultural hubs. The historic complexity of their contemporary state reveals their transition through time, with the medieval and early modern period setting the foundations for subsequent growth and development. As cities change through time, visible historic layers emerge (sometimes exposed by excavation) that reveal reforms made for new social needs. The layered architectural heritage is an integral part of the urban fabric of many modern cities, shaping the character and lived experience of the city. But a building’s value today is often very different from how it was valued at the time it was built. The material object connects past and present in a deeply meaningful way, but it does so on new terms. Therefore, making connections between past and present can pose challenges as contemporary residents try to determine the role of the historic fabric in contemporary rapidly growing cities.

 We invite papers that will consider the city as a heritage field:

1) How and why does medieval fabric survive to the present? 2) How does this fabric of monuments, architectural tissue (walls and gates), urban spaces, and services (water supply and sewage) serve as a resource for the present?  Is the value utilitarian, in the sense of a usable palimpsest, or is it valued because of how it is interpreted? 3) Does medieval architecture guide the subsequent character of the city? If so, does the old footprint pose a limit to growth, its narrow streets and enclosure walls impeding the city’s entry into modernity, or in contrast, does heritage fabric enrich a city’s sense of identity, cultural vigor, and connection to its own place?

4) What is the role of medieval architectural heritage in the context of contested and divided urban space?

HOW TO SUBMIT A PROPOSAL: Please submit your 300-word abstract for a paper by 3:00 pm on June 7, using the SAH conference portal: Note that only papers submitted through this portal will be accepted. We will not read nor can we accept papers sent directly to the co-chairs.