WeberWorldCafé: „Changing Neighbourhoods“

January 29, 2019 from 2:30 to 6:00pm

Werkstatt der Kulturen

Wissmannstr. 32, 12049 Berlin

To participate, please register your name via wwc@maxweberstiftung.de


Neighbourhood relations differ from other kinds of relations in that they are primarily defined by space. Closeness rather than distance define neighbours and neighbourhoods. What is more, the spatial relation is more or less an enforced one – in most cases neighbours are not chosen but already there when people move and newly arrive.

The spatial character and the enforced closeness of shared space make the neighbourhood boundaries special. Conflicts in neighbourhoods are often dramatic; the solidarity of neighbours has been and still is a bare necessity. This gives the notion of neighbourliness its normative touch. We almost instinctively think of the proverbial “good neighbourly relations”, to be unneighbourly means to be unfriendly. Changing Neighbourhoods will deal with both mobility and transformation. How have neighbourhoods developed and changed over time, in particular in cities that have experienced or are experiencing conflicts? How have central institutions of a city like museums shaped the fabric of the neighbourhoods around them? Have they contributed to a spirit of neighbourliness? What do migrants bring to their new neighbourhoods? Do they reproduce neighbourhoods abroad? How are neighbourhoods organised, and what actually makes a neighbourhood a neighbourhood? These are some of the questions our next WeberWorldCafé will try to answer.

The event “Changing Neighbourhoods” will take place on January 29, 2019 from 2:30 to 6:00pm in the Werkstatt der Kulturen, Berlin. The event is a cooperation between the Max Weber Stiftung – Deutsche Geisteswissenschaftliche Institute im Ausland, the Forum Transregionale Studien,the Orient Institut Beirut and the Zentrum Moderner Orient. It is curated by Hilal Alkan (Zentrum Moderner Orient), Nazan Maksudyan (Centre Marc Bloch), Nadia von Maltzahn and Birgit Schäbler (both Orient Institut Beirut).

The Format

The WeberWorldCafé (WWC) is an alternative event format for which we invite twice a year people from different regions and disciplines to come together and discuss in a café-like atmosphere one central topic. At the WeberWorldCafé, scholars, experts, intellectuals or public personalities from different disciplines and regions come together and moderate discussions in English or German on topic-specific tables. These experts will, together with the participants, discuss various (trans)regional and (inter)disciplinary perspectives and angles to approach the theme of “Changing Neighbourhoods.” The selected topics to be discussed allow both a historical and a contemporary perspective on the role of neighbours and neighbourhoods. There will be six thematic tables. The experts take on the role as table hosts – usually as a pair – and share their knowledge with the participants, who engage in the conversation as equals, attending up to four subsequent tables during the event. After a discussion of 25 to 30 minutes, the participants move to another table of their choice. In that way, the guests can join discussions on four different aspects of the overall theme, which will be enriched by the participants’ knowledge gained in the previous discussions held at other tables.

Since experts and participants have different backgrounds, everyone brings a different set of pre-existing knowledge, interests and perspectives to the table(s). The goal of this event format is to encourage and connect fresh perspectives and new insights. The event closes with a summary of the results and conclusions of the day providing space for continued informal debates.


Max Weber Stiftung

The Max Weber Foundation promotes global research, focused on the areas of social sciences, cultural studies and the humanities. Our research is conducted at ten institutes in various countries across the globe with different and independent fields of focus. Through our globally operating institutes, we are able to contribute to the communication and networking between Germany and our host countries or regions. By promoting academic dialogue and merging academic and non-academic employees from several countries with different cultural backgrounds, the Max Weber Foundation is able to strengthen the internationalization of research.

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