Event — Seminar

City and Society: The Care of the Self. A comparative examination of Eastern and Western practices from Confucius to Foucault and beyond

Eight Annual IIAS-TU Delft Seminar. A two-day multi-disciplinary seminar (18-19 May) with contributions making analyses and comparisons between, and within, Asia and the West and dealing with themes such as philosophy, architecture and urbanism theory, history, area, and religious studies.

Seminar dates: 18 - 19 May 2016

Eighth annual seminar organised by IIAS and the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment at Delft University of Technology (Netherlands). 

Two Venues:
Wednesday 18 May: Gravensteen, Pieterskerkhof 6, Leiden
Thursday 19 May: Pavilion, Museum of Ethnology (Museum Volkenkunde), Steenstraat 1, Leiden 

The seminar 
Keynote speaker is the noted architectural theorist Professor Shiqiao Li from the University of Virginia.

Taking the built environment of Asia (East, Southeast, South) and/or the West as the point of departure, 'City and Society: The Care of the Self’ is intended to be a bottom-up multidisciplinary research endeavour with contributions from such diverse fields as architecture, urbanism, geography, history, area studies, religious studies, social science and anthropology. During the seminar, the participant will present their papers, from which a selection will be gathered into a peer-reviewed publication (more information: call for abstracts). 

What informs the thinking behind this project is the understanding that cities are not merely buildings and the spaces formed between them; cities are people and their networks of interaction. Cities are the product of human endeavour and as such are one of mankind’s greatest achievements. Once built they form the generations growing up within them, who in their turn alter the built environment to meet their new needs, thereby altering the environment for the next generation, and so on. A healthy city should enjoy a symbiotic evolutionary relationship with those who inhabit it; a healthy city should embrace change. How best to achieve this change, and make it beneficial, can best be determined by proper examination of the elements that go into the making of a city, and the society that inhabits it.

Registration (required)
Please use the form below to register if you would like to attend the seminar.


DAY 1: Wednesday, 18 May

Venue: Room 1.11, Gravensteen, Pieterskerkhof 6

9.30 – 9.45 Introduction

  • The Care of the Self, Gregory Bracken

9.45 – 10.30 Keynote Address

  • Spaces of the Prudent Self, Li Shiqiao

10.30 – 11.00

Coffee break

11.00-12.30 Session 1: Foucault

  • The Care of the Self: Michel Foucault and Plato’s Alcibiades, Patrick Healy
  • A Perennial Pursuit: Three Movements of Care, Karan August
  • The Biopolitics of Sexuality and the Hypothesis of an Erotic Art: Foucault and Psychoanalysis, Luiz Paulo Leitão Martins

12.30 – 13.30

Lunch break

13.30 – 14.30 Session 2: Heidegger

  • Architectures of Thought: 道 and Be-wëgen as Visions of the World, Massimiliano Lacertosa
  • Dao and Weg: The ‘Way’ of Utzon’s Architecture, Adrian Carter and Marja Sarvimäki

14.30 – 15.00

Coffee break

15.00 – 16.30  Session 3: Conceptions of the Built Envoironment

  • Multiplicity of Easts and Wests: Tracking the Signs of ‘Becoming’ in the Streets of Istanbul, Hüseyin Furkan Balcı
  • The Other City: On Comparative Philosophy as a Tool for Analysis, Deirdre Sneep and Katharina Borgmann
  • Interactions of the Political Elite with their Cities, Ian R. Lewis

DAY 2: Thursday, 19 May

Venue: Paviloen Building, Rijksmuseum Volkenkunde, Steenstraat 1

9.30 – 11.00 Session 4: Conceptions of the Built Envoironment (continued)

  • Urban Acupuncture: Taking the Pulse of the City in Eleventh-century China, Christian de Pee
  • Chun-tze’, the Classical Confucian ‘Gentleman’ and his Influence on South Korean Land-use Planning, Klaas Kresse
  • The Contrast in the Value and Meaning Attached to Temporal Change in Chinese and European Traditions of Building and Restoration, Nicolas Temple and Yun Gao

11.00 – 11.30

Coffee break

11.30 – 13.00 Session 5: The Home / Mental Health

  • Social Determinants of Mental Health among Asian Americans, Susheelabai Srinivasa and Sudershan Pasupuleti
  • At Home within Movement: The Concept of Ma, Renske Maria van Dam
  • The Concept of ‘Home’: Omah Bhetari Sri in the Javanese Creative Interpretation: A Dialogue between Tradition and Modernity, Sri Teddy Rusdy, Brandon Cahyadhuha, and Hastangka

13.00 – 14.00

Lunch break

14.00 – 15.30 Session 6: Religion

  • The Poetics of Religious Space: Experiences of a Universal Home, Mariske Westendorp
  • Reforming the Religious Self in Two Early Modern Port Cities: The Cultural Space of Erasmus of Rotterdam and Qazi Muhammad of Calicut, Abdur Rahoof Ottathingal
  • The Hindu Crematorium and its Architectural Phases, Srivalli Pradeepthi Ikkurthy

15.30 – 16.00

Coffee break

16.00 – 17.00 Plenary Session