The Eleventh Annual Marshall Plan Chair Lecture

Dr. Monika de Frantz
Capital City Cultures: Reconstructing Contemporary Europe in Vienna and Berlin

When: Wednesday, April 13, 2011, 3:30 p.m.
Where: Oliver St. Pé Center (TRAC), Room 101, University of New Orleans.

Refreshments will be served.

Capital City Cultures: Reconstructing Contemporary Europe in Vienna and Berlin

Global market competition, as well as the political and civic 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 and Eastern Europe since the 1990s.

Tracing the processes of their political emergence through more than a decade of heated public debates, Monika de Frantz' new book 'Capital City Cultures' 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. This enquiry into urban culture highlights the diversity of contemporary cities and their political potential for governing change.

Presenting the findings of her forthcoming book, in this lecture the author addresses the various opportunities and problems associated with culture-led urban regeneration and city marketing. This provides an opportunity to discuss the lessons from the European experience for planning tourism and culture-based recovery in New Orleans.

De Frantz, Monika: Capital City Cultures: Reconstructing Contemporary Europe in Vienna and Berlin (series 'Multiple Europes) PIE-Peter Lang, 260 pp., pb, June 2011.

Monika De Frantz is an acknowledged expert on politics and social space and has published extensively on contemporary urban cultures. She teaches as a Visiting Professor at the University of New Orleans where she holds the 2010-11 Marshall Plan Chair of Austrian and European Studies with the Department of Planning and Urban Studies.

Her previous academic positions were at the London School of Economics, the University of Vienna, the Bauhaus-University Weimar, and the European University Institute in Florence. She has a PhD from the European University Institute in Florence and studied at the Humboldt University Berlin, the University of Amsterdam, the University of Aix-Marseille, and the University of Vienna. Born in Vienna, she has lived and worked in many cities across the world – a cosmopolitan experience reflected in her research and teaching.