Capital City Cultures: Reconstructing Contemporary Europe in Vienna and Berlin

January 24, 2012 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm

Harris School of Public Policy Studies
1155 East 60th St.
Room 289B

Monika De Frantz, expert on politics and social space, and University of Chicago Endeavour Visiting Scholar

Global market competition and the political responses to globalization transform urban societies and states, and thus the cultures of capital cities in contemporary Europe. Vienna’s cultural district Museumsquartier and the planned Humboldt Forum on Berlin’s Schlossplatz illustrate two of the most controversial sites of urban reconstruction in Central Eastern Europe since the 1990s. 

Tracing the processes of their political emergence through more than a decade of heated public debates, this workshop narrates the metaphor-rich and engaging stories about these old European capitals facing change. It compares the reconstruction of political legitimacy and its cultural symbols from two different local perspectives of European state transformation.

Monika De Frantz is an ackowledged expert on politics and social space and has published extensively on contemporary urban cultures. Before joining the University of Chicago in 2011-12, she taught and conducted research at the University of New Orleans, the London School of Economics, the University of Vienna, the Bauhaus-University Weimar, the Humboldt University Berlin, and the European University Institute (EUI Florence). She has a PhD from the EUI Florence and studied at the University of Amsterdam, the University of Aix-Marseille, and the University of Vienna.