Veranstaltungshinweis | New Post-Migrant Socialities
Rethinking Urban Leisure Publics in the Context of Diversity and Dominance
Conference | 24 — 26 January 2013 | Goethe-University Frankfurt | organized by Prof. Kira Kosnick
The final conference of the project explores post-migrant socialites in urban contexts by bringing together scholars from different disciplinary perspectives. It aims at contributing further to the discussions about theoretical approaches to sexuality, race, ethnicity and urban space.
While cities have for some time been hailed and studied as laboratories of human diversity and intercultural encounter in public urban space, the ways in which ethnic and racialized minorities participate in, subvert, negotiate and thus contribute to public urban settings have received surprisingly little attention. Even though encountering strangers, people unknown to one another, forms a central part of the (idealtypical) urban experience of public space, the contributions of ethnic and/or racialized minorities to urban space have hardly been addressed with regard to the formation and transformations of urban publics. The terminology of ghettos, ethnic or ‘mixed’ neighbourhoods, communities and enclaves prevails when it comes to describing their presence and participation in urban space. The ‘strangeness’ they represent is almost always considered in terms of social and cultural distance, as Simmel once defined it, and not in terms of stranger relationality as it pertains to urban publics. Yet, seeking deliberate encounters with strangers as unknown others in urban space is a central appeal of ‘going out’ leisure activities in cities. We challenge that this holds also and maybe even particularly true for those urban residents who form part of ethnic, racialized but also sexual minorities. How and under what conditions do they contribute to and participate in urban publics? This conference centres around addressing forms and conditions of deliberate stranger relationality among ethnic and racialized minorities in urban space, focusing on but also branching out from postmigrant and ethnic leisure contexts in urban Europe. We thereby seek to intervene in different (inter)disciplinary fields concerned with migration, racism and ethnic diversity, youth cultures, contemporary urban development and what Richard Sennett once termed the ‘Fall of Public Man’.