Today, more than half of the world’s population lives in cities; cities that are growing each year by approximately 70 million inhabitants, i.e., 1.4 million a week. The conference aims to contribute to the understanding of urban societies as sites of cultural change that is not always peaceful and orderly, but instead often violent and destructive. Focusing on language, literature and questions of society and governance, the conference attempts to elucidate the constantly shifting formations of cultural, linguistic, and societal identities. Within the framework of urban society, identity (of languages, cultures, groups, concepts of urban life, etc.) is not a fixed entity. Instead, the boundaries of identity are constantly being negotiated, creating vacillations between inclusivity and exclusivity, new majorities and minorities: urban societies are therefore faced with a constant need to reevaluate their own traditions and trajectories, governance and policies.

The Centers for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (GWZ) will jointly host the 3rd Borders & Identity conference (BIC) from March 16th to 19th, 2015, at the Humboldt University in Berlin (Germany). BIC2015 provides a meeting place for researchers interested in interdisciplinary approaches to exploring Urban Fragmentation(s) from linguistic, literary, sociological, and historical points of view, or a combination thereof. The conference will be organized in three parallel strands, each chaired by a corresponding GWZ-center (Stefanie Jannedy for ZAS, Center for General Linguistics; Dirk Naguschewski for ZfL, Center for Literary and Cultural Research; Hagen Findeis for ZMO, Center for Modern Oriental Studies):

  1. Literature & Translation (ZfL)
  2. Language & Linguistic Creativity (ZAS)
  3. Society & Governance (ZMO)