Cities and Landscapes
Considering New Orleans and Innsbruck
as Multiple Landscapes

University of Innsbruck – University of New Orleans Annual Symposium


Topic Summary

With the cities of Innsbruck and New Orleans two cities are put in the center of this conference as case studies. Both cities can be interpreted as “complex landscapes” and both stand for a strong local and regional identity. Innsbruck as well as New Orleans have a long history of being centers of multicultural exchange. Both cities have an image built on their respective historical heritage that also profits from their spectacular landscapes and geographical situation. Especially this geographical situation carries the challenge that both cities deal with environmental and technological as well as security challenges that need to be combined with esthetical (cultural heritage) and ecology debates.

On the occasion of a number of anniversaries in 2015 (40 year UNO International Summer School, 20 years Innsbruck – New Orleans city partnership, 15 years art exchange) this symposium wants to draw attention to the profound connections between Innsbruck and New Orleans by looking at the two cities through the interdisciplinary spatial lenses. The conference wants to look at both cities in an interdisciplinary way that brings together space and time and connects both cities not only on a local but also on a global level, connecting two continents.

Thematical and Theoretical Positioning

The concept of “spatial turn” has put a new focus on the relationship between space, social and cultural structures. Landscape from this perspective is a culturally coded historical concept with multiple meanings. What are the geographic, physical and material conditions inscribed in landscapes? Moreover, the social and cultural layers of space, of cities and landscapes are explored, along with their historical and mental conditions. Taken from this vantage point traditional opposites are transcended: natural vs. cultural landscapes, objects vs. persons, city vs. countryside, civilized vs. untamed landscapes. The focus is on “intermediate cities” (Zwischenstädte), which have both appearances of cityscapes and unbuilt space – intermediate spaces where new ways of urban living occur. This new theory of landscapes speaks of “micro landscapes,” namely landscapes that function as agglomerations of many different, constantly moving perceived environmental states, including people who live therein. In this sense, landscapes are social categories.

North American Cultural Landscape Studies have opened up a new sense of landscapes. Cities as microcosms of multiple landscapes are at the center of attention of these new discourses of landscape. Theorists like Richard Sennet have drawn the long trajectory of citizens living in Periclean Athens (“the relationship between “flesh and stone”) down to the social body of multicultural New York. He sees modern cityscapes being neutralized and standardized through high security precautions and thereby losing their stimulating urban condition. Martina Löw sees cityscapes as silhouettes producing images of themselves in the world. Karl Schlögel recognizes a return of the material in post-9/11 cityscapes.

Innsbruck and New Orleans will serve as case studies to explore these spatial issues in modern cities. Both offer highly complex landscapes. Both stand for prototypical deeply-rooted local and regional identities. They are part and parcel of multicultural exchanges in the urban landscape. Both have a reputation for their images in the world as places with many historical legacies and profiting from spectacular landscapes around them. Both Innsbruck and New Orleans face many social, environmental and technological challenges. Discourses about security in these cities are coupled with both aesthetic (cultural inheritance) and ecological discourses. Tourism and gentrification are also important issues that make subjects of discussion in both cities.


June 24 – 26, 2015





Wednesday, June 24, 2015


Location: Aula, Hauptuni (Main University Building), Innrain 52, Innsbruck

Music: UniCombo

15.45-16.30 Arrival of participants and registration
16.30 Welcome and Introduction
Interaction between Universities and Cities: Univercities
 Tilmann Märk (University of Innsbruck)
17.00 Welcome
Vice Mayor Sonja Pitscheider (City of Innsbruck)
Günter Bischof (University of New Orleans)
Christina Antenhofer (University of Innsbruck)
17.30 Presentation Art Project: REAGENT by Stefan Hitthaler
Ulrich Leitner (University of Innsbruck)
18.00 Theoretical Approaches to the Field
Chair: Christina Antenhofer
Unitown-University Town Network
Gastone Ave - University of Ferrara (Strategic Planning &
 Urban Marketing)
Space, Power, Transgression: Decolonizing Spatial Relations in the Age of Postcolonial Globality
Nikita Dhawan - University of Innsbruck (Political Science)

19.15 Keynote

Introduction: Günter Bischof

The Mysteries of New Orleans: Culture Formation and the Layering of History

Berndt Ostendorf – Prof. Emeritus University of Munich


20.30 Opening Art Project and Reception
(sponsored by the City of Innsbruck and the University of Innsbruck)



Thursday, June 25, 2015


Location: Claudiasaal, Herzog-Friedrich-Str. 3, 2nd floor, Innsbruck (Old Town)


9.00 Panel 1: The Historical Reading of Cities

Chair: Günter Bischof


Between Land and Water: The Ambiguous Landscape of New Orleans

Robert L Dupont – University of New Orleans (History)


Innsbruck as Historical City

Julia Hörmann-Thurn und Taxis – University of Innsbruck (History)


10.30 Coffee Break (Thüringsaal, 1st floor)


11.00 Panel 2: The City as Material Reality

Chair: Gerhard Rampl


Reading the Historical Cityscape: A Spatial Analysis of New Orleans’ French Quarter

Richard Campanella – Tulane University (Historical Geography)


Matchpoint Innsbruck

Bart Lootsma – University of Innsbruck (Architectural Theory & Building History)


The Olympic Games in Innsbruck: Planning, Infrastructure and Landscape TransformationsWolfgang Meixner – University of Innsbruck (History)/ Arnold Klotz (Architect and Planner)


13.00 Lunch break


14.30 Panel 3: Cities as Micro-Landscapes

Chair: Doris Eibl


Ultra. Ethnographic Encounters in the Micro-Landscape of Soccer Fans

Jochen Bonz – University of Innsbruck (European Ethnology)


Restructuring Landscapes of Informality in Gentrifying New Orleans

Renia Ehrenfeucht – University of New Orleans (Planning and Urban Studies)


16.00 Coffee break (Thüringsaal, 1st floor)


16.30 Panel 4: City and Environment

Chair: Patrick Kupper


Rerouting Risk: Flood Protection and Conflicts on the Lower Mississippi River

Craig Colten – Lousiana State University (Geography)


Land Consumption, Agricultural Land and the Meaning of ‘Productive Parks’ in the Case of the River Inn-valley North Tyrol, Austria

Wolfgang Andexlinger – University of Innsbruck (Design)


Coastline / Terraforming. The Loss of Land and How a New Infrastructured Landscape Influences the Human Habitat

Stefano de Martino/Gerald Haselwanter – University of Innsbruck (Design)


18.30 End of Session


18.45 Keynote

Introduction: Christina Antenhofer


The (felt) Body of the City – Feeling Urban Spaces –

Jürgen Hasse – Prof. of Geography and its Didactic University of Frankfurt


20.30 Conference Dinner (by invitation only)
(sponsored by the University of New Orleans – Center Austria)

Location: Schwarzer Adler, Kaiserjägerstraße 2



Friday, June 26, 2015


Location: Claudiasaal, Herzog-Friedrich-Str. 3, 2nd floor, Innsbruck (Old Town)


9.00 Panel 5: City Landscapes as Images of the City

Chair: Stefan Ehrenpreis


Culture Is Big Business: An Anthropological Case Study about the Commodification of Culture in New Orleans

Bernhard Bauer – University of Vienna (Ethnology & Anthropology)


Innsbruck: “The Capital of the Alps”. Mountains as the City’s Landscape of Taste

Simone Egger – University of Innsbruck (European Ethnology)


10.30 Coffee break (Thüringsaal, 1st floor)


11.00 Panel 6: “In-Between-Towns” – The Hidden Sides of the City

Chair: Niels Grüne


From the Bayou to the Table: The Role of the Croatian American Community in Louisiana's Seafood Industry

Reneé Bourgogne – University of New Orleans (Urban Studies)


Essential but Invisible: Migration as Part of Urban and General History

Dirk Rupnow – University of Innsbruck (Contemporary History)


12.30 Lunch break


14.00 Panel 7: Cities as Social and Semantic Spaces

Chair: Robert L Dupont


Saving the City from Sex Deviates: Preservationists, Homosexuals, and Reformers in the French Quarter, 1950 – 1962

Alecia P Long – Louisiana State University (History)


Psychiatric and Pastoral Landscapes in Tyrol in the 19th Century (with a Comparative View on Louisiana)

Maria Heidegger – University of Innsbruck (History)


15.30 Coffee Break (Thüringsaal, 1st floor)


16.00 Panel 8: Poster Session

Chair: Claudia Posch


Dangerous and Endangering Spaces: Images of Innsbruck in the Records of the Youth Welfare Service

Flavia Guerrini – University of Innsbruck (Educational Studies)


Collective Mobilities and the Production of smooth Space: Reclaiming Space for Bicycling in Innsbruck

Philipp K. Wegerer – University of Innsbruck (Strategic Management, Marketing & Tourism); Florian Timmerman (Geography)


schaug – shifting perspectives on linguistic landscapes

Dominik Unterthiner, Stephanie Baur, Alexander Topf – University of Innsbruck (li.lab – laboratory for linguistic landscapes)


17.15 Concluding Remarks (Christina Antenhofer, Günter Bischof)




19.30 Open Panel Discussion

Location: Plenarsaal (Rathaus Innsbruck)

Language: German (with English translation)


Music: UniCombo


Zur Einführung: New Orleans in Bildern und Musik

(ehemalige Innsbrucker Studierende an der University of New Orleans)




Innsbruck und New Orleans. Die beiden Partnerstädte und ihre Herausforderungen für die Zukunft



mit Robert Dupont (University of New Orleans), Gerhard Fritz (Stadtrat Innsbruck), Bart Lootsma (Universität Innsbruck), Mark Romig (New Orleans, City’s tourism marketing commission)

Moderation: Nina Schröder (RAI/Bozen)




Kleine Erfrischung






Christina Antenhofer (University of Innsbruck/Center New Orleans), Günter Bischof (University of New Orleans/Center Austria), Robert Dupont (University of New Orleans), Ulrich Leitner (University of Innsbruck)



Coordination & Contact

Center New Orleans

Eva-Maria Fink, Marion Wieser

Johnny DeMaine

Universität Innsbruck
Herzog-Friedrich-Str. 3, 1. Stock
A-6020 Innsbruck
Tel: +43 512 507 39200