Nowadays European cities, like their Asian and North and South American counterparts, compete with one another to become pre-eminent centers of economic and cultural exchange, and tourism. The culture, history andheritage of contemporary cities, and their eff ective representation in various forms, such as in city museums, is a cultural capital (a part of symbolic economy), as Sharon Zukin (1996) has pointed out. This workshop, proposed bythe Herder Institute (Germany) in cooperation with the Grazer Stadtmuseum Graz GmbH/Stadtarchiv (Austria) and the University of Tampere (Finland), and supported by the Leibniz Research Alliance "Historical Authenticity", nevertheless, argues that perceiving the city and the city's image as urban capital was also known for the cities in East Central and Northern Europe, which emerged with the ambition becoming regional and/or national centers an enormous speed in the end of the 19th and in the beginning of the 20th century in the Austro-Hungarian and Russian Empire. By doing so, the workshop intends to illustrate, on the one hand, the so far less researched processes of urban image and identity construction by the city museums in East Central and Northern Europe in a longue durée perspective, and to discuss and capture the particularities of exhibiting cities in these regions, on the other.
The workshop addresses e.g. the following questions:
❫ How did cities use city museums for image and
identity creation and for which purposes?
❫ What kind of histories were told by the city museums,
and how were these histories "authenticated"?
❫ What kind of strategies and practices of image creations
were applied in the museums? Who were the
main actors in the process?
❫ What role did city museums play in the modernization
and urbanity in Northern and East Central
❫ In what ways were city museums and the 'local'
histories represented by them, part of the everyday
reproduction of nationalism?