Mapping Cities in the MENA Region: Visualizing the Untold Narratives of Heritage. Cottbus/Istanbul, 01.07.2020 [Call for Book Chapters]

Aims and Scope
Stories behind the current social and physical features of many cities in the MENA region remain untold. Whether through the application of urban theories, historic facts, interviews, or other methods, the colors or pinpointed locations on a city map tell a new or a different narrative of these cities.
Visualizations and maps are powerful tools to tell such stories. Whether narratives of the physical features that divide a city, tales from a city that are only known to its locals, stories of planning schemes that have changed the city or a colonial past that camouflage itself. Some maps use alternative methods in order to tell an alternative narrative or illustrate a different perspective. The contributions should focus on mapping phenomena that considers heritage on a city-scale (not on singular structures, parks, nor on an entire region).
The Book Content: Chapters and Maps
Mapping the untold narrative of urban heritage, this book seeks to fill gaps of knowledge in understanding the city. The book is concerned with several aspects of heritage, mainly the perception, marginalization, history, planning schemes, and layers of a city.
In some cases, these narratives are well known to locals, but they are not easy to comprehend or explain to ‘outsiders’, even experts from different fields. Therefore, the book follows several approaches including a sociological, morphological, and historical approaches to tell these stories. In other cases, how the city came to be is either a contested, an unknown, or a marginalized narrative. In any case, the authors do not only present different older maps of the city, but rather create a map that reflects the information or knowledge that they have gathered. Whether by creating a colored or a multi-layered map, or simply pinpoint locations, the authors clearly visualize the story that can’t be merely told with words.
The book and the produced maps deal with the following themes:
– Marginalization
The idea of a city map in this section deals with specific urban elements to highlight an issue of the city, whether it’s architectural masterpieces unacknowledged by the state, or an uncomfortable heritage layer that is being marginalized, disregarded part of the society, or other similar issues. The focus here will be not only on the physical layers of heritage but also social ones. For instance, many cities in the MENA region has formed unofficial ‘ethnic’ or ‘religious’ neighbourhoods. These neighbourhoods usually have a special location and history in the city that is sometimes marginalized or distorted. Sometimes parts of the city are marginalized or ignored because of their uncomfortable heritage, such as prostitution areas or sites of massacres.

– City’s components
What composes they city, what is its essential elements and according to whom, and how do people understand it and view it? Furthermore, how the history of the city has formed these components? Is there a certain way of how the city is perceived by different groups? or are there physical elements that define or has redefined the city? Multi-period cities of the MENA region afford their inhabitants choices about which heritages to retain or rediscover. Such social memories of the city’s heritage might be kept alive through a variety of processes: ritual, restoration, exhibition, inscription, historical writing, and more. Different constituencies within a city may seek to preserve different pasts, sometimes in conflict with others. The created maps and graphs explain these components and transfer the knowledge of the locals or the point of view of different groups.
– Present city’s past
In this section, we are interested in a two-fold puzzling out. Both our scholarly investigation of the endlessly reworked and re-inhabited ancient city, and at the same time the re-signifying of the city by the late antique and medieval heirs of an ancient city whose original plan and function had been forgotten, ‘misremembered’, superseded or dramatically transformed over time. To encounter an ancient city in ongoing use is to begin to ask what is no longer seen and how those occlusions came about, what was disposable and what was replaced, and with what? In order to answer those questions, we aim to use all sorts of data available including morphological ones. The maps submitted by the authors here especially work to tell a different or unknown historical narrative of the city. By tracing historic maps, or other historic evidences, the created map illustrates an unknown or ignored parts from the history of the city. In some cases, this can be a contested colonial past that has defined the city or merely a tale of the urban development of the city and how it came to be.

– Planning for the city
As often the case, the cities in the MENA region are long-lived cities which become spaces of accretion: of people, buildings, material, memories. How did people read the relationships between these elements of the city which confronted each other? How do we read their readings? How meaningful or unmeaningful (accidental) do these relationships appear to us or to the people who used these cities? Here, in this section the inquiry will be based on examining the relationships between human and non-human elements that shape the city through planning processes are mapped. The mental and cognitive maps created along the process help us visualize the interactions or the relationship between several elements such as key players, land-use and other physical changes in the city. Finally, we will ask our contributors to discuss how creative could those key players be in choosing or inventing their cities’ pasts? And how are tensions exposed and/or defused by choices made about which past to celebrate, both in the historical periods which we study and today, through practices of heritage and restoration?

Instructions: Methods and Word Limits
Researchers from all different scientific backgrounds are invited to contribute. While committing to the highest standards of scientific research, different approaches and methodologies are welcomed including unorthodox or controversial methodologies.
Each chapter of the book should be no more than 8000 words including the references and the abstract. The contributors will have the advantage of sending and then publishing their maps or illustrations in a large-sized foldable format if necessary.
Contributors should send an abstract of around 250 words, in addition to details about the maps/illustrations that they expect to submit (e.g. number, content, and colors). If an example is already produced, applicants are encouraged to send it.

Dr. des. Zeido Zeido zeido@b-tu.de
Prof. Dr. Suna Çağaptay sc2020@cam.ac.uk


The book language is English.
The book will be Published with Birkhäuser (De Gruyter) in the series „Cultural and Technological Significance of Historic Buildings“ (https://www.degruyter.com/view/serial/KTWHB-B)

Time Frame for publication
1 September 2020: Deadline to submit the book chapters abstracts
15 September 2020: The editors will select the book chapters based on relevance, originality of the contribution and scientific standards.
1 December 2020: Submission of the first draft
1 January 2021 – 1 November 2021: Editing and reviewing process
20 December 2021: Anticipated Publication date


Albrecht Wiesener
Wissenschaftlicher Koordinator
DFG-Graduiertenkolleg „Kulturelle und technische Werte historischer Bauten“, BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg
PF 101344, 03013 Cottbus