SFB 1369 Vigilanzkulturen

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Sensing Danger: Disease, Environment and Urban Vigilance in Early Modern and Modern Cities

Workshop der Teilprojekte B03 und B04

06.12.2019 10:00 Uhr – 18:00 Uhr


Friday, 06.12.2019, 10:00–18:00 Uhr


Rachel Carson Center,
Leopoldstrasse 11a, 4th floor conference room
80802 München


Dr. Anna Mazanik (Rachel Carson Center)/Dr. des. Brendan Röder (CRC ‘Cultures of Vigilance’)


Coping with environmental and health hazards was essential for the communities of early modern and modern cities and has been a longstanding subject of historical research. In our workshop, we will approach this topic through the lens of vigilance cultures, which we understand as practices of keeping a close watch on potential danger and the way these practices vary in different cultural and historical contexts. Vigilance in cities could never be fully delegated to institutions, but had to rely on the participation of individuals and their attentive observation of their surrounding environments and of themselves.

While urban officials, institutions such as health boards, and sanitary or factory inspectors were important in urban sanitation and healthcare, we would also like to explore how wider sections of the urban population were involved in identifying, reporting, and fighting health and environmental threats in their communities. What motivated people to be involved? How was individual engagement encouraged and when was it seen as unwelcome or dangerous? How did urban residents articulate and describe the perceived threats and how did this relate to their emotions and sensory experience?

The workshop is organized by the Collaborative Research Centre ‘Cultures of Vigilance’ (Projects B03 and B04) and the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, both at LMU Munich.

If you would like to attend the workshop, please write to brendan.roeder@lmu.de before 1 December 2019.