[artinfo] CFP: Cities of a new type (Dunaujvaros, 21-22 May 15)

Andreas Broeckmann broeckmann at leuphana.de
Mon Oct 20 11:18:42 CEST 2014

From: Jerome Bazin <jerome.bazin at u-pec.fr>
Date: Oct 20, 2014

Dunaújváros, Hungary, May 21 - 22, 2015

Deadline: Dec 1, 2014

Cities of a new type. New industrial cities in popular democracies after 1945
International conference in Dunaújváros

In the socialist countries after 1945, several 
cities were erected from scratch next to an 
industrial complex: the main ones were 
Dunaújváros (named Sztálinváros from 1951 to 
1961) in Hungary, Eisenhüttenstadt (Stalinstadt 
from 1953 to 1961) in East Germany, Nowa Huta in 
Poland and Dimitrovgrad in Bulgaria. They were 
supposed to become cities of a new type, 
different from the chaotic, segregated and 
capitalist city. They had to invent a socialist 
way of life and the population of these cities 
(mostly workers) did create a specific working 
class culture, even if it was different from the 
one that was expected by the authorities. Each 
city was progressively built through ideological 
ambitions, but also through concrete constraints 
and unexpected evolutions. The history of each 
city has so far been studied and written mostly 
from a national or regional perspective. We want 
to consider them from an international point of 
view and to put them in a comparative and 
transnational perspective.

We will consider the entire socialist period, 
from the late 1940s to the late 1980s. That is to 
say not only the time of the construction (the 
early fifties) but also the following decades, 
when the young cities got older and were 
transformed, according to local factors and 
according to the transformation of each popular 
democracy. However, we will not consider the 
post-socialist period.

The conference will focus on the four 
above-mentioned cities, but it will also consider 
smaller new cities (Ózd and Komló in Hungary, 
Nová Dubnica in Czechoslovakia, Nowe Tychy and 
Jastrz?bie in Poland, Schwedt and Hoyerswerda in 
East Germany, etc.) and new districts in already 
existing cities (for instance, Poruba next to 
Ostrava in Czechoslovakia or Halle-Neustadt next 
to Halle in East Germany).

We particularly welcome papers investigating topics such as:
- The comparison between the cities. The 
conference will examine both the history of the 
towns (plan, architecture, construction 
techniques, etc.) and the history of the people 
who came to the towns (migrations, work in the 
factory, everyday life, housing, etc.). For each 
topic, comparisons shed light on unnoticed facts. 
For instance, putting next to each other the 
plans of the new cities shows significant 
differences and leads to think about the urban 
morphology or about the relationships between the 
city and the factory. Similarly, comparisons 
between the pieces of furniture in the new 
apartments lead to think about design in 
socialist regime.

- The understanding of exchanges between the 
cities. Archives give evidence of economic and 
cultural collaboration, mainly through 
delegations exchanges. And these exchanges 
concerned the different involved actors: 
decision-makers of local authorities, party 
members, city planners, engineers, workers. What 
did people from Nowa Huta know from Dunaújváros 
and Eisenhüttenstadt? In what extent did these 
cities constitute a network? In this sense, the 
conference participates in the current 
historiographical reflection on the economic and 
cultural collaboration between socialist 
countries and on the integration of socialist 

- The question of the models. What was presented 
and considered as model? In the official 
discourse, there was only one model: the USSR and 
its main new city from the 1930s, Magnitogorsk. 
But the actual influence of the Soviet Union is 
hard to understand. What was known exactly from 
the Soviet Union? What was imitated? Magnitogorsk 
seems to have been very far and actually little 
known; other building sites, like the 
reconstruction of Stalingrad, were maybe more 
familiar. And the USSR founded many new cities, 
all over its huge territory and during the entire 
socialist time. What was done with this 
knowledge? The contribution of specialists in 
Soviet history would be very appreciated.
Despite the official discourses, Soviet Union was 
certainly not the only model. The new cities in 
Eastern Europe also looked at what was done in 
Western Europe and also outside Europe. These 
cities were built through different derivatives 
and borrowings that were put together.

The conference will be held in Dunaújváros and 
Hungarian researchers will then present hitherto 
unseen archives from the steel factory Dunaferr: 
paintings, photographs and various sources about 
the functioning of the factory or about the daily 
life of workers (for instance Dunaferr possesses 
a precious collection of brigádnapló - the diary 
that each brigade had to write about work and 
life in the factory). Such archives, which 
present interesting resemblances with archives 
from similar cities, will contribute to the 
historical, nuanced and objective understanding 
of the socialist way of life.

Please send an abstract of up to 500 words and a 
brief academic CV to 
pepperart.dunaujvaros at gmail.com. Deadline for 
submission of proposals is 1st December 2014. 
Conference language is English. Funding is 
available to cover travel and accommodation 

Organisation committee:
Jérôme Bazin, Paris-Est Créteil University.
Mihály Molnár, Pepper Art Projects (Budapest). 
Dóra Molnár Pepper Art Projects (Budapest).
Gábor Rieder, independent art historian (Budapest).

Scientific board: Ulf Brunnbauer (Regensburg 
University), Sándor Horváth (Hungarian Academy of 
Sciences), Dagmara Jaje?niak-Quast 
(Frankfurt/Oder University), Katherine Lebow 
(Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust 
Research), Andreas Ludwig (Potsdam Center of 
Contemporary History), György Szücs (Hungarian 
National Gallery).

Reference / Quellennachweis:
CFP: Cities of a new type (Dunaújváros, 21-22 May 
15). In: H-ArtHist, Oct 20, 2014. 

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