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PhD course: The Aftermath of Urban Crises

The PhD course 'The Aftermath of Urban Crises', organized by Olympia Bobou, Guido Furlan, Kirstine Haase and Sine Saxkjær, took place at Centre for Urban Network Evolutions on the 12 June 2023.

The PhD course focused on the responses to urban crises across history, with an emphasis on the resilience, adaptability, and transformation of cities, with the aim of encouraging reflection and discussion on the role of crises and post-crisis periods in the development of urban settlements.

The four invited speakers covered a chronological period from the 1st century BC to the late Middle Ages with examples of the consequences of and responses to both natural and man-made catastrophes such as the preceding earthquakes that heralded the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 BC and Pompeii's rebuilding process; resilience after polycrises in the 6th-9th century eastern Mediterranean with focus on Cyprus; the Viking raids and the affected areas' responses to these; as well as the impact of crises on life in a Danish medieval town. The subsequent PhD presentations covered a similar chronology and geographical span, with examples from the classical world such as the social crisis reflected in changing burial customs in Corinth, the Rhodian earthquake of 277 BC and the Third Century Crisis of the Roman Empire, Viking Age and Medieval crises in Northern Europe reflected in archaeological material culture, and finally a case study on modern crises and urban collapse. The course content highlighted the methods and techniques for the study of the aftermath of urban breakdowns, while the course's extensive and interesting discussions illustrated both the commonalities of crises across history as well as, more importantly, the centrality of the nature of a city's response to crisis, whether man-made or natural, as the response has an even more fundamental impact and importance for the further development of an urban settlement.

Invited speakers

Lecturer Hélène Dessales, École Normale Supérieure, Paris

Postdoc Catherine Keane, Koç University Research Center for Anatolian Civilisations, Istanbul

Postdoc Kirstine Haase, Centre for Urban Network Evolutions and Museum Odense

Prof Søren Sindbæk, Centre for Urban Network Evolutions, Aarhus University