IXth International Conference on Urban History

August 27-30, 2008

Lyon France
Home | Calls | Sessions | Schedule | Registration | Details | Social programme | Organisers | Bursaries | Contact

> Browse sessions

<- Back to session list

 Session description

Writing Urban History : [Multi]Disciplinary Comparisons

Urban histories are written within a wide variety of disciplinary contexts. Ideally, each discipline cultivates its own perspective to the history of the city, rooted in its own traditions, but also respecting those of general urban history. In practice, however, difficulties may arise. The urban historical object of study is the city perceived in a way particular to each discipline, not usually defined, but taken for granted as the frame of reference. For example, planning for planning historians is a constructive form of intervention, not in need of justification, but for supporters of urban preservation may appear as potentially destructive.

For understanding urban history as a field of study, contradictions are illuminative. Within each discipline, urban historians need to be conscious of the presuppositions inherent to their disciplines more than their fellow historians with more traditional interests. What have been the presuppositions of each discipline in relation to urban history and how have they influenced the choice of objects, points of view, theories, methods, and results? Disciplines also differ in their acceptable modes of argumentation and rhetoric, and barriers between them may be difficult to overcome. This is particularly important in contexts where urban history is practiced as a multidisciplinary approach to cities. Are all approaches and philosophical concepts of the city commensurable with each other?

Session conveners:

  • Anja Kervanto Nevanlinna

Session type: Specialist Session

Classification: EM/M - Early Modern to Modern


Joseph Rykwert and the Idea of Town: the historiographical method and the pursuit of the utopia

Author(s): Falbel, Anat 

Les architectes et l’histoire urbaine au Brésil: constitution du champ et dialogues ibéro-américains

Author(s): Gomes, Marco Aurelio A. de Filgueiras ; Pinheiro, Eloisa 

Logic and Geometric Strategy in Portuguese Urban Spaces During the XVII and XVIII Centuries

Author(s): Paio, Alexandra 

The Polyconceptual Cities?

Author(s): Ira, Jaroslav 

Writing about "Urban History" for a large public and for students

Author(s): Calabi, Donatella