Recent Opportunities

Urban images of East European Cities

9th AISU Congress

Macrosessio 6: Images, forms and narratives from the global city

 Sergio Onger (University of Brescia), Anna Rossellini (University of Bologna), Ines Tolic (University of Bologna)

Urban images of East European Cities

Travels and urban iconography reached in the Modern age increasing levels of quantity and quality. Images of cities and landscapes enjoyed artistic success and rapid circulation in the printed form. The evolution and transformation of urban iconography was due to an ever-changing market and its patronage by leading figures in the world of politics and diplomacy, the aristocracy and the clergy, and by men-at-arms spread around Europe. Mobility reshaped the world so much that it was to herald the dawn of the global world. As part of a strategy that enhanced the efficacy and relevance of messages the images transmitted, the manner and place in which the images were reproduced were of no lesser importance. One can find a huge number of reproductions on mediums which, in addition to paintings, prints and drawings, included both high- and low-grade material. The study of ‘urban portraits’, as well as of cartography, allows to broaden the views over the vast and ever-changing world. Therefore, cities and landscapes are to be found in them, along with information about economy, architecture, everyday life and social conditions, confessional and political urban life.

Until the end of nineteenth century Eastern and Western Europe interacted more, influencing each other. From the Second World War to the Fall of Berlin Wall cultural exchanges were stopped and a new urban imagery of eastern cities has been created in/for the west. Today urban iconography of East European cities spread in museums and collections worldwide is waiting to be reconnected with the most recent international studies.

This session welcomes proposals of case studies or specific topics of images of towns and landscapes that contributed to the knowledge of Eastern Europe from the 16th century to the dawn of photography. Some other questions that should join the session are: which is the role of urban iconography in globalization process? Is it possible to trace modern cities views for building 20th-century narrative histories? Is it possible to identify in the urban iconography cultural implications and geographical connections such as to recognize a first reshaping of the new urban condition in Eastern Europe? Can museums of the cities be considered as creators of glocal urban narratives?


Anda-Lucia Spânu ( - Ph.D. in History, Senior Researcher at the Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities from Sibiu (Romania)
Massimo Visone ( - Ph.D. in History of Architecture, Research Fellow at the Research Centre on the Iconography of the European City University of Naples Federico II (Italy)

Call for Papers
It consists of an abstract of between 1,500 and 2,500 characters indicating clearly names, afference, institutional email addresses of the proponents with a brief biographical profile. Proposals should be submitted using the designated form and sent to session curators as well as to no later than January 31, 2019.



SAH thanks The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation
for its operating support.
Society of Architectural Historians
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