MODERNISM,
MODERNISATION
AND THE RURAL LANDSCAPE
MODSCAPES_conference 2018
10-13 JUNE 2018 (Tartu, Estonia)
https://modscapes.eu/conference2018/call-for-papers/

Call for papers
The impact of the Modern Movement and modernisation processes on rural landscapes in Europe and beyond is a widespread but little known, recognised or understood phenomenon which still exerts effects today. Within the third joint research programme of HERA (Humanities in the European Research Area) dedicated to “The uses of the past” which started in 2016, this subject is now being studied through several lenses within the MODSCAPES project.

In recent decades, fields as diverse as geography, rural sociology, cultural studies and a number of design-related disciplines such as landscape architecture and architectural and planning history have turned their attention towards the rural landscape as an emerging field of practice and conceptualization, endeavouring to reverse the so-called ‘divorce’ between design and agriculture occurred after the Second World War. The Modern movement started to make an impact on rural landscapes as early as the mid-19th century (with the experiments of utopian socialism, radical state reformism, and enlightened philanthropy), and even more from the 1920s onwards, especially in the frame of late colonisation as well as the new political movements of the time – such as Fascism, Socialism, Communism, Zionism, Anarchism, Communalism, the Co-operative Movement…In an attempt to cope with a “problematic” social group, an unproductive or underproductive land, and the dramatical backwardness of the agricultural sector, different actors such as Nation-States, government assisted organizations, bottom-up movements or groups, and even individuals, engaged in more or less extensive campaigns to dramatically reshape the countryside. With the help of experts in many different fields, they started imagining, planning and implementing radically new ideas. Through selective uses of the past and tradition, they “reinvented” unprecedented ideas of rurality. The resulting landscapes of intensive agriculture and mechanisation, the many new rural settlements and agricultural building complexes, the impact of large-scale drainage schemes as well as the social and cultural legacies of the times make for a rich field of research.

The conference is combined with the Baltic Landscape Forum 2018 which is an event in the upcoming European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018. The European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 highlights landscapes and looks what we have shared and still sharing cross Europe in this field. Therefore it would be nice to emphasis also which actors, ideas and concepts have influenced each other when the modern movement implements new concepts of landscape planning and management forming our today’s cultural landscape heritage.

The conference invites researchers from any discipline (including but not limited to those noted above) to come together and share their work. Themes which are of interest include:

The role of political systems in rural settlement planning, internal colonisation and state building
Modernism in rural settlement planning and rural architecture
The impact of modernisation (eg mechanisation, land drainage, plant breeding, mono-cultural cropping, fertilisers and pesticides) on the structure and function of the rural and natural landscape
The image of modernisation of rural landscapes as presented through film, photography, art, propaganda and literature
Changing social structures which emerged through political and economic processes
Memories, stories and the voices of the people who helped to drive the modernisation process and who lived through it as farmers, villagers and colonists
The physical legacies of the modernisation period as expressed in the landscape and built elements, (eg whether continuing in use or abandoned and ruined)
Pilot and model experiments: experimental farms, exhibition villages, prison farms, model agricultural schools
Alternative plans and schemes: paths not taken to modernize the countryside
The place of the rural house within discourses and debates around vernacular, traditional, and modernist architecture, in the countryside as well as in the city
Current practices and experiments in conservation, preservation, heritagization, and landscape restoration of modernist rural landscapes and architecture
Social engineering: the making, remaking and unmaking of new rural identities
Who are the policy-makers? The role of experts, companies, settlers in modernist agrarian policies
Which modernisms for which modernities? Concrete evidences and rhetorical symbols of power, coercion, freedom and emancipation
Appropriation and inhabitation: adoption, rejection or subversion of agrarian policies, schemes, blueprints, spaces and buildings by their inhabitants through time
Major and minor political, agronomical, planning and design theories of agrarian modernization
Proposals may address modernist rural landscapes at any scale, ranging from the single building or site, to nation-wide policies, or transnational comparative approaches.
The period of interest is focused on the “short” 20th century, but may as well deal with case studies dating back to the “long” 19th century. Papers dealing with current issues, challenges, practices or experiments in planning, design, landscape architecture or stewardship, etc. for modernist rural landscapes are most welcome.
The geographical focus of the conference is mainly Europe, and its influences beyond its borders. However, proposals dealing with case studies in any geographic location are welcome.

Over and all, the conference aims at offering, probably for the first time at this scale, a broad overview of the wide range of experiments and conditions testifying of the engagement of modernism towards the rural question. In particular, it aims at verifying to which extent the concept of “modernist rural landscapes” can help to frame a multitude of local, regional or national episodes in the history of architecture, planning and landscapes, as a trans-national phenomenon.

Within this frame, successful proposals will focus on documenting concrete and well delimited case studies, but will also strive to develop their theoretical implications, related methodological issues, and current significance. In particular, participants are invited to elaborate on the three main concepts underlying the MODSCAPES project: “modernism”, “reinvention”, and “landscape”.

SUBMISSION OF ABSTRACTS

Abstracts are invited on any of the above themes for oral presentations or posters. Abstracts should be no longer than 300 words and should contain a short introduction, the research aim or question, a brief statement of the methods used and some main results and conclusions, supported by up to 4 references, and up to 2 images.

Bottom-up proposals of full sessions (3 to 4 papers) expanding the conference theme’s subtopics, built around existing research projects and/or current debates, and engaging with recent contentious research, exciting new approaches, or theoretical interventions are welcome. To apply for a full session, the proposing session chair(s) should submit a regular abstract including: a list of the foreseen authors and paper titles, and a clear rationale for the session’s collective goal (300 words). The papers themselves should be submitted as any other regular proposal. Full sessions may be chaired by one or up to 2 persons affiliated to distinct institutions. Sessions composed entirely of participants from a single department at a single institution are not likely to be accepted. Graduate students are welcome as session participants, but sessions composed entirely of graduate students are less likely to be accepted than panels that include senior and postdoctoral presenters together with graduate students. Full sessions will be dedicated 90 minutes time slots in the conference program.

Full papers and posters will make use of the template provided by the organizers and comply with the editorial guidelines provided; they will have no more than 3.000 words (in addition to footnotes and references).

The conference’s working language is English. Non-native English authors are strongly encouraged to have their papers reviewed by a professional copy-editing service. Upon request, the organizers may suggest contacts.

All accepted papers will be published in the conference proceedings (electronically).
The conference organizers are taking provision to offer the opportunity to a selected number of participants of being invited to submit a revised and expanded paper to special edited issues of international peer-reviewed journals (JoLA-Journal of Landscape Architecture, CLARA Architecture/Recherche,…).

KEY DATES:

Abstracts should be submitted by December 21 2017, uploaded electronically to the conference management system at (link to submission platform to be added).

Abstracts will be double peer reviewed and decisions on acceptance, rejection or revision will be sent out by January 31 2018.

Revised abstracts should be submitted by February 14 2018

Full paper text should be submitted by March 31 2018

Papers will be double peer reviewed and decisions on acceptance or revision will be sent out by April 30 2018

Final papers should be submitted by May 14 2018


The costs of travel and accommodation are to be borne by the participants. The organizers will provide instructions for travelling to Estonia (a transfer shuttle from Tallinn and Riga to the conference venue will be proposed).

A small registration fee will be requested to cover the catering costs.

A registration waiver might be granted to early-stage scholars (Master and PhD)