Representation of the City: Imagining and Reimagining Cityscape

Urban Studies: Between Creativity and Power

Winter Symposium: 28 February – 1 March, 2020

Riga, Latvia


We invite scholars, emerging researchers, urban practitioners, artists and creative industries specialists, institutional representatives and non-governmental sector activists to take part in a symposium organized by the NSU study circle Urban Studies: Between Creativity and Power. The symposium will offer an opportunity to take part in stimulating presentations and discussions to co-produce knowledge by sharing research and practical experiences and discovering innovative theoretical and methodological approaches to the everyday life in the city.

Theme of the symposium:

Representation of the City: Imagining and Reimagining Cityscape

Increased global urbanization processes not only have increased the movement to the urban settlements, but also created a plethora of new patterns of everyday living, including increased mobility within the physical and virtual spaces creating and erasing paths and directions. This symposium is focused on the spatially and temporally multidimensional perspectives between (re)imagining and inhabiting the city defining how we see, feel, experience and move through spaces. There are diverse forms of imagining that are entwined with practices of urban living and governance which structure how the city appears in different media and genres. The participants of the symposium are invited to address the questions of various spatio-temporalities of the urban environment to explore visual representations and contestations of the city. How does the image of the city emerge and perform in the visual field? How is it possible to reconfigure the possibilities of political representation? How through architecture, landscape and urban design we can rethink our spatial behaviour and language establishing values and hegemonic world-views?

The symposium topics of exploration include, but are not limited to:

  • visualizing/representing the city, the visual politics of the city;
  • political representation and subjectivity of the city;
  • collaborative aesthetics and new artistic modes in the representation of the city;
  • material landscapes of the city and urban space;
  • creative responses to inhabiting the city;
  • alternative ways of living;
  • social imagination / geographical imagination.

Format of the presentation

We encourage participants to do both traditional and non-traditional presentations.

1) Presentation of ideas:

We strongly encourage giving a free oral presentation rather than reading a paper. We wish to facilitate open debates for sharing and ask for presentations creating platforms for debate. A presentation cannot exceed 20 min; however, shorter presentations are also welcome to provide a catalyst for a discussion around an idea.

2) Performance, object or alternative forms:

You can present ideas, examples or reflections through other formats including inviting the participants to engage in experiments, situations, or individual and group activities. Please indicate the optimal time for this form of presentation; however the maximum time is 30 min.

To submit a proposal, please send it via email to the coordinators Laine Kristberga and Anete Ušča (circle1nsu@gmail.comby 15 December 2019:

  1. A written proposal (max. 350 words). This should include a title and a short description of the topic, its format and its duration.
  2. A short bio (max. 200 words).

If you would like to attend the symposium without presenting, please email a short bio. Participants with presentations will be given priority.

The deadline to submit proposals is 15 December 2019Accepted applicants will be informed by e-mail and a preliminary programme will be announced on, where you can also find more information about NSU and sign up for the newsletter. The preliminary programme will be published by 30 January 2020.

The deadline for registration is 15 January 2020. Please be aware that you are registered only when you have paid for the Symposium. All registration and payment will be done electronically.


Latvian Centre for Performance Art, Riga, Latvia

Registration and fee

Students, unemployed, freelancers and participants from Baltic countries and Poland: 25 EUR

Professors, lecturers and other professional scholars: 50 EUR

The registration fee includes lunches and dinners. Moreover, NSU will organize and pay for basic accommodation for all participants not funded by their institutions on the understanding that they will share a double room. Participants who want a single room must pay for the difference in price.

We strongly recommend to apply for external funding through local foundations and sponsors.

Confirmed participants should pay the fee ABSOLUTELY NO LATER THAN JANUARY 30. The letter of acceptance will contain a bank account. Please note that bank fees are at the charge of the participant.

Please note that the registration fee or other costs will not be reimbursed if the participant cancels.


PhD and MA students are eligible for up to five ECTS points for participation and presentation of a paper.

Arrival: February 28

Departure:  March 1

Nordic Summer University (NSU) is a Nordic network for research and interdisciplinary studies.

NSU is a nomadic, academic institution, which organises workshop-seminars across disciplinary and national borders. Since it was established in 1950, Nordic Summer University has organised forums for cultural and intellectual debate in the Nordic and Baltic region, involving students, academics, politicians, and intellectuals from this region and beyond.

Decisions about the content and the organisational form of the NSU lay with its participants. The backbone of the activities in the NSU consists of its thematic study circles. In the study circles researchers, students and professionals from different backgrounds collaborate in scholarly investigations distributed regularly in summer and winter symposia during a three-year period.

Circle 1 Urban Studies: Between Creativity and Power is established to address, evaluate and re-evaluate the understanding of the growing complexity of the urban environment, where people cohabit, share and create a culture of politics, communication, and the arts as much as the public space. Consequently, in the study circle questions of co-existence will be addressed in relation to power hierarchies, cultural production, and urban development initiatives. The circle invites to stimulate and strengthen a dialogue among both established and emerging academics and practitioners from interdisciplinary fields covering philosophy, anthropology, sociology, geography, political science, literature and arts to challenge and develop new knowledge, innovative perspectives and experimental approaches.

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