Art History

Back to Blog September 5, 2018

Danielle Abdon co-organizes and presents at "Cities in Crisis" Conference at the Hertziana Library

Author: Jane DeRose Evans
Cities in Crisis: Emergency Measure in Architecture and Urbanism, 1400-1700
This interdisciplinary Study Day will focus on how early modern cities responded to or attempted to anticipate social or health crises by repurposing structures, constructing temporary shelters or buildings, or adapting urban spaces in the context of emergencies. These include, but are not limited to, disease outbreaks, displacement, migrations, wars, natural disasters, famines, etc. Over the centuries, these interventions have taken various forms, such as lazzaretti, temporary military barracks, makeshift refuges, and quarantine or segregation zones, among many others.
This two-day event will begin with presentations by researchers and practitioners investigating contemporary crisis architecture, immediately inviting participants to consider the implications of these issues today. Transitioning to historical issues, speakers will approach the topic from diverse methodological perspectives and cover a wide geographic range, stimulating discussion on different cultural approaches to crisis architecture and urban responses to emergencies. Some papers will also investigate the notion of risk, specifically in terms of how anticipation of and preparation for crises shaped architecture and urban planning. Moving away from a study of architecture focused on monumentality and magnificence, the goal of this Study Day is to promote discussion on how emergency structures embodied and responded to disruptive scenarios, shaping urbanscapes in the early modern period.
The workshop will also inaugurate the Hertziana's new live streaming system, and the recording will be available online for a month after the event. The streaming can be accessed using this link: