Ingrid Martins Holmberg (Göteborg): From ‚Old and Ugly‘ to ‚Old and Nice‘. On Transformations in Place Identity and Urban Heritage in Sweden

Technische Universität Berlin
Hörsaal H 0112, Hauptgebäude
Str. des 17. Juni 135
10623 Berlin

The urban landscape is ordered in many ways. This lecture will focus on the imaginary ordering of urban landscapes and show how such ordering takes on particular moral stances, such as good and bad, nice and ugly or alike, sorting not only materiality and space, but also people and identities. Departing from the Swedish case of Haga – an old-and-ugly urban mixed-use area that was revalued into an old-and-nice dwelling area – this lecture will reveal the discursive play through which these urban imaginaries were not only contested but also complexly converted. We will also address issues of heritagization, temporalization and methodology for the study of unruly imaginaries.

Ingrid Martins Holmberg gained her PhD in 2006 with the dissertation On the urban Surface:On the historicization of Haga [På stadens yta]. The study (prized) put a foucauldian perspective on the discursive play that successively, and in a process ranging over 150 years, transformed ordinary urban built environments into heritage objects. In subsequent research this perspective on urban transformations has been developed also in the direction of ANT and mobility studies. Her research areas span over several themes: Uses of the past in urban transformations, Participatory planning in heritage management, History of landscapes and built environments, Roma‘ historical places and the official heritage institutions. She has been teaching extensively within the field and has been acting director of studies. Today she is the main supervisor of three PhD students in Conservation of built heritage. In 2016 she spent a sabbatical leave at the chair of Sybille Frank, Prof. Dr. phil., Junior Professor for Urban and Regional Sociology at the Department of Sociology, Technische Universität zu Berlin. Since 2013 she is commissioned research coordinator of the research theme Curating the city, at the Centre for Critical Heritage Studies, University of Gothenburg . The research cluster is for example running seminar series, setting up an international researcher’s network and a Curatorial Residency, and runs a publication series. Her current research concerns the epistemological conditions for an expanded history of built environments; the negotiations of urban temporalities; in everyday ethics of maintenance and repair.