Ideas on the move


A comparative study of landscape discourses

of urban sprawl in Sweden and Germany

Ideas on the move

Travelling theory, translation, and performativity


Workshop at the Department of Landscape Architecture, Planning and Man-agement, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Alnarp, Sweden, 03–04 September 2015.



The workshop brings together scholars from different countries and different disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. The aim is to explore the methodological and epistemological implications of a “turn” to mobility and translation for the understanding of ideas as travelling between locations, times, disciplines, cultures, and languages.

The seminar is co-organised by Vera Vicenzotti (Marie-Curie IEF fellow and senior lecturer in landscape architecture, Swedish University of Argicultural Sciences) and Hartmut Behr (Professor of International Politics, Newcastle University).


We propose to discuss and reflect upon:

  1. the argument that any successful understanding of the exchanges and movements of ideas is based upon and rests on performativity, i.e. the actual performance of a concept’s translation or travel and the actual occurrence of a human encounter with other humans, human utterances, artefacts, etc.

The workshop performs such an encounter that makes translation, mutual learning, and knowledge amalgamation possible. It will allow us to simultaneously experience and elaborate the performative character of translation and of the mobility and travelling of social and political concepts;

  1. the possibilities and limitations of the concept of translation as translation proper (i.e. between languages) and beyond (i.e. between disciplines, cultures, and different geographies, spaces, landscapes) by deliberating the relation between ‘translation’ and ‘travelling theory’;
  2. the role of ‘translation’ and ‘travelling theory’ to overcome the traditional notion of cultural identities as primordial substances and to develop instead the idea that all cultural artefacts and accomplishments, finally all culture is a product of exchange, discourse, and mutual influence.






  1. Hartmut Behr, Newcastle University, UK

Professor of International Politics

  1. Simon Cooke, The University of Edinburgh, UK

Lecturer at the English Department

  1. Arienne M. Dwyer, University of Kansas, USA

Co-Director of the Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities; Professor of Linguistic Anthropology

  1. Thomas Kirchhoff, Protestant Institute for Interdisciplinary Research, Germany

Researcher at the Theology and Science Group

  1. Avril Maddrell, University of the West of England, UK

Associate Professor in Human Geography and Associate Head of Department (Research and Scholarship)

  1. Mattias Qviström, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden

Professor of Landscape Planning, especially Landscape Theory

  1. Felix Rösch, Coventry University, UK

Senior Lecturer in International Relations

  1. Lingbo Shangguan, Newcastle University, UK

PhD student at the Department of Politics

  1. Vera Vicenzotti, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden

Senior Lecturer in Landscape Architecture




Preliminary programme


Wednesday, 02 September 2015

From 19:30 Informal get-together for those who arrive in good time at Bierhaus (Drottninggatan 36, Malmö)



Thursday, 03 September 2015

09:00–09:15 Registration and coffee

09:15–09:35 Welcome and introduction (Hartmut Behr & Vera Vicenzotti)

09:35–10:50 Avril Maddrell: Translating pilgrimage: a feminist reading of contemporary sacred mobilities

11:00–12:15 Felix Rösch: The Road: International Relations’ Neglected Space for Establishing Tacit Knowledge in a Globalized World

12:15–13:30 Lunch break

13:30–14:45 Vera Vicenzotti: Translating (in) landscape architecture

14:45–15:15 Coffee break

15:15–16:30 Lingbo Shangguan: The Politics of Translation: International Relations in the Third Space

16:30–17:45 Summary of the day

From 19:30 Workshop dinner at moccasin (Fersens Väg 14, Malmö)



Friday, 04 September 2015

09:00–10:15 Arienne Dwyer: Migrating narratives, migrating ideologies

10:15–11:30 Simon Cooke: Literature, Modernity, and Mobility

11:30–11:45 Coffee break

11:45–13:00 Thomas Kirchhoff: ’Resilience’: the transfer of a concept among disciplines

13:00–14:30 Lunch break

14:30–15:40 Hartmut Behr: Translation, Transformativity, and the Question of Beginnings.The Encounter with “the Other”

15:45–16:00 Coffee break

16:00–17:30 Summary of the day

From 19:30 Informal conclusion of the workshop at Siesta (Hjorttackegatan 1, Malmö)



The workshop is financed within the SPRAWLESCAPES project, i.e. it is receiving funding from the People Programme (Marie Curie Actions) of the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under REA grant agreement n°328787 and Riksbankens Jubileumsfonds.


Funded by the European Union

in the Seventh Framework Programme

(Marie Curie Actions)

© Vera Vicenzotti, 2017

Last update: 06 Feb 2017