Re-branding Multiethnicity: Politics of street names and the reinvention of local heritage in a contested public space


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Presenter:  Ágnes Erőss , Research Fellow, Geographical Institute, Research Centre for Astronomy and Earth Sciences, Hungary

Date: Feb 04, 2020

Time: 2:30am to 3:30am

Contact person:  Northern Institute
T: 08 8946 6854
E: thenortherninstitute@cdu.edu.au

Location:  Northern Institute, Yellow Building 1, Level 2, Room 48 (Savanna Room)

Target audience:  Open to the Public - All Welcome - Please Share

Re-branding Multiethnicity: Politics of street names and the reinvention of local heritage in a contested public space

Ágnes Erőss
Research Fellow
Geographical Institute
Research Centre for Astronomy and Earth Sciences, Hungary

Abstract
In ethnically and culturally diverse societies the visibility of ethnic groups and minority languages in public space is often subject of contestation (BRUBAKER, R., et al. 2006; KETTLEY, C. 2003; MURZYN, M. 2008). The rivalry on street names and monuments usually re-articulates rhetorics of national identity and conflicting narratives of history contributing to the ethnicisation of public space.

I will present a case study of Oradea (Nagyvárad), a multi-ethnic town in the Romanian-Hungarian border zone. By introducing the so-called “street-name fight”, a guerilla campaign, I intend to reveal the mechanism of deals on street-names and monuments invented by local political elites to ensure ethnic minority representation in public space.

The aim of the study is to show how the local deals contribute to the reinterpretation of history and heritage in the city, counterbalancing the rather exclusionary national narratives of history. Furthermore, I point to the impact of recent turn in city development policy as it envisions the reinvented multiethnicity of Oradea as a marketable city-label in tourism. The question arises: whether heritagisation of local history and multiethnicity might serve as a mitigation strategy of the political conflict centred on street names and bilingual street-name signs?

About Ágnes Erőss
Ágnes Erőss has studied History and Geography in Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) and earned her PhD in Geography. Her research interests cover the spatial representation of memory and politics of commemoration, with special regard to the symbolic politics and space appropriation strategies in contested (urban) settings. Her post-doctoral research tackles the politics of tangible and intangible heritage and its (non)representation in urban and tourism development in culturally diverse urban settings. She has been studying the transnational migration of ethnic Hungarian minority in Transcarpathia, Western Ukraine since 2016. Her research focuses on the effects of kin-state politics, ethnicity and the ’left behind’/immobile local communities. FULL BIO

When                          Tuesday,04 February 2020 @ 2.30pm – 3.30pm
Where                         Northern Institute, Yellow Building 1, Level 2, Room 48 (Savanna Room)
RSVP by                       Monday, 03 February 2020 via Outlook or thenortherninstitute@cdu.edu.au
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