Odra-Oder. History, Present, and Future of a European Cultural Area
[ Conference ]The project “Odra-Oder. History, Present, and Future of a European Cultural Area” will commence with an international Oder conference, taking place from 27 to 30 April 2006 in Frankfurt on the Oder.
Its aim is to stimulate revitalisation of research on the Oder cultural area and to communicate between an expert audience and parts of the general public that are interested in the overall development of the Oder region.
The turn towards the river, as it began to show in many Oder cities in recent years, shall come up just like the Oder’s loss of significance as a waterway and the ever-recurring threat of flooding. Partners from outside academia are expressly invited to join the discussion – be it NGOs dedicated to nature conservation alongside the Oder in the three countries, be it authorities developing and implementing plans for the Oder, be it the population on both sides of the Oder.
The conference will bring together a number of aspects: the recovery of a lost cultural landscape, the new appropriation of a historical region important to Germans and Poles alike (and to a lesser extent also to Czechs), the intensification of academic cooperation between the universities situated on the Oder, the interlocking of work at the European University Viadrina with the development of the city and the region, the continuation of the intellectual start-up work at the university, which was re-established in 1991.
The following issues shall be addressed at the conference (preliminary list of topics):
- Constitution and construction of cultural spaces.
- River biographies. What one can learn from research on other major rivers (Rhine, Danube, Elbe, Volga, and Vistula).
- From natural rivers to cultural rivers. Rivers as natural and historical “subjects” (geology, hydrology, traffic, shipping).
- The Oder as a border? The “natural border”, the history of the Oder-Neisse Line, traumatised territory: resettlement, expulsion, new settlement, loss and gain of homeland.
- Oder cities. Life with the river, life by the river.
- The Oder’s future. Natural park or Central European transport axis?
Further information about the programme, speakers, and registration can be found here (download, in German only).