Skip to main content
Centre for Uses of Literature

Reassembling the Ghetto

16-17 November 2023

Transforming the Welfare City

A two-day seminar at the University of Southern Denmark and at Vollsmose jointly organized by the research network The Representation of the Welfare City and the research project ‘Reassembling the Ghetto’.

Objective: Which collective images and narratives do we as a society attach to the post-war welfare state city and its architecture? How are they constructed? How do they work, and in which ways do they circulate?
International research has pointed out that the representation of the welfare state city has changed over time and rewritten the values of so-called welfare state architecture. The post-war social housing areas in the Western world in particular have had a bad reputation. Irrespective of the many differences between diverse national contexts and welfare state models, the same narrative seems to apply: it looked so promising in the 1950s and the early 1960s—or so the narrative is often told—but then the areas turned into ‘holding cages for the poor’, as the writer Lynsey Hanley puts it in Estates: An Intimate History. With this interdisciplinary seminar we want to ask: How does the story continue? More specifically, we wish to address the representation of the many ambitious transformation plans carried out all over the world: What narratives about past, present, and future do they offer? We also consider the contemporary contexts of the plans and discuss the cultural mediation of the areas and their possible futures in literature, music, film, et cetera.

Click here for full details [pdf]

Past events

28 February 2023, 09:00-17:30

“Det nye København. Kulturelle og historiske perspektiver”

Københavns Universitet, Søndre Campus, room 15A.0.13

Jon Helt Haarder and Troels Obbekær, along with Lars Handesten, will participate in an open seminar at the University of Copenhagen.

Jon Helt Haarder: ”Bare endnu en solnedgang i kvarteret. Urbanplanen i betonblokkenes danske litteraturhistorie”
Lars Handesten: ”Følelser for København. Lovsange og opsange i nyere dansk sanglyrik”
Troels Obbekær: ”Rapperen som fodgænger. Gade- og ghettoliv i raplyrik om Nørrebro og Bispebjerg”

Everyone welcome; no registration required.

More information available here.

14 April 2023, 13:00-15:00, O100

Seminar with Babak Vakili

Rapper, podcaster and scriptwriter Babak Vakili comes to SDU for a seminar on the connections between stigmatised public housing areas in Denmark, rap, ethnicity, class and gender. Organized by Troels Obbekær. The event will be held in Danish.

For more information, click here (pdf)

Last Updated 15.02.2024