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Placemaking across time

    Histories of spatialised knowledge

    6-9 October 2025, Næstved & Karrebæksminde, Denmark

    Sites and locations exist in nature, but they are transformed into place through human knowing and experience, both individual and collective. People and societies create places–and out of them, spaces–as means of engaging with the world. Yet place is not just personal, social, and cultural; it is also temporal. Sense of place develops over time in a complex interplay of material and immaterial engagements between people and their surroundings. Perceptions of the past influence what is imagined in the present, both for good and for ill: Ascriptions of heritage and inheritance imbue locations with localised value to and for particular people, while memories of disaster, chaos, or decay can cling to sites and contribute to a negative sense of place. Temporally conditioned ideas about place can open up or foreclose possible futures.

    No one group has a monopoly on the power to construct place. Culture and folk knowledge have historically belonged to both common people and the nobility, while elite worldviews have been challenged by those with fewer social, economic, and political resources. Multiple and contradictory places can be constructed on the same site, with places coexisting or competing across time and influencing the cultural lives of residents and visitors. These placemaking processes are occurring now. They have always been occurring in the present. In ages and eras past (with the ‘age’ and the ‘era’ themselves being human constructs), then-current conceptions of history were instrumental in the creation of place, and the places created in the past echo into future placemakings.

    Senses of place travel across space through movements of people and ideas. Long-distance communication of place may previously have taken months, years, or centuries as peoples and individuals physically traversed landscapes and seascapes. Today’s information technologies, however, have not only produced opportunities for new kinds of people to communicate their knowledge and experience across great distances; they have also dramatically altered the temporalities of placemaking. Ideas and representations of place can be transmitted nearly instantaneously to individuals and groups spatially dispersed around the world.

    Organised by Island Dynamics, this multidisciplinary academic conference on ‘Placemaking across time’ welcomes presentations on the interactions between place, culture, and time. Examples of potential topics include past senses of place; the cultural drivers and impacts of changes in place over time; the ways in which places are altered through selective processes of heritagisation; the coincidence of multiple places in a single location; how shifts in political and economic cultures alter place; conscious historical constructions of place; and how particular place ideals have risen in or fallen out of popularity over time. All presentations must have a clear focus on how people have known, experienced, conceptualised, and/or constructed place either in specific historical circumstances or across temporal scales.

    Abstract submission
    This academic conference invites contributions addressing interactions between place, culture, and time from a variety disciplinary perspectives and traditions. Presentations will last 20 minutes and will be followed by a period for questions. Abstracts should be 150-200 words long. The deadline for abstracts 15 March 2025. Abstracts will be considered on a rolling basis, so if you submit early, you can get a response early, given you more time to secure funding and register at the early registration rate. You can submit your abstract online here: https://events.eventzilla.net/call-for-submission?eventid=2138632483. If you have any questions, please e-mail convenor Adam Grydehøj at agrydehoj@islanddynamics.org.

    About Næstved and Karrebæksminde
    Næstved (population 45,000) is the largest town in Denmark’s South Zealand area. With a history going back to the Middle Ages, Næstved was formerly an important harbour and market town, connecting the waters of the island-ringed Smålandsfarvandet with the major commercial and political centres to the east and north on the large island of Zealand. As Næstved’s industrial power faded in the second half of the 20th Century, it gradually came to be seen as a peripheral town at the edge of Copenhagen’s commuter zone. Næstved nevertheless possesses a strong sense of place, constructed out of multiple layers of history and claims to heritage.

    Karrebæksminde (population 1800) developed at the entrance to the fjord leading up toward Næstved. In its early years, Karrebæksminde provided harbour services for Næstved, but over time its industry shifted to fishing. Today, Karrebæksminde and the adjacent island of Enø are dominated by beach and summerhouse tourism, yet beneath the periodic influx of visitors and part-time residents, this village maintains a strong sense of self, rooted in local connections with the natural environment.

    Conference programme and activities
    6 October: Historical and cultural explorations in Næstved
    7 October: Field trip to Karrebæksminde and Enø
    8 October: Conference presentations at Kompagnihuset, Næstved
    9 October: Conference presentations at Kompagnihuset, Næstved.

    Registration
    The deadline for early registration is 30 April 2025, and the final deadline for registration is 31 July 2025. You can register for the conference here: https://events.eventzilla.net/e/placemaking-across-time-histories-of-spatialised-knowledge-2138632483.

    Delegates are able to sign up for one of three conference packages:

    Full Package: Includes all activities from the morning of 6 October through the evening of 9 October, including four lunches and four dinners. Price: US$740.

    Partial Package: Includes all activities from the morning of 8 October through the evening of 9 October, including two lunches and two dinners. Price: US$450.

    Basic Package: Includes participation at the conference presentations (without lunch and refreshments) on 8-9 October. Price: US$300.

    Individuals who are accompanying delegates but will not participate in the presentations on 8-9 October are able to sign up for the Full Package or Partial Package at a US$50 discount. After the end of early bird registration, prices for all categories will rise by US$75. (Note that in the event of major changes in exchange rate, prices may be adjusted.)

    Accommodation and travel
    Conference presentations will be held at Kompagnihuset in Næstved. Kompagnihuset is located close to the town’s two largest hotels, Hotel Kirstine (https://hotelkirstine.dk/) and Hotel Vinhuset (https://www.hotelvinhuset.dk/). Hotel Kirstine will be our meeting point for conference activities, but Næstved is a small town, and nothing is too far away.

    Næstved is easily reachable by train from Copenhagen, with frequent departures from Copenhagen Central Station. Although we do not recommend it, it is technically possible to commute to and from the conference while staying at a hotel in Copenhagen.

    Publication opportunity
    Interested authors will have the opportunity to submit papers for a special section of the peer-reviewed journal Folk, Knowledge, Place (https://folkknowledgeplace.org) on the theme of ‘Placemaking across time’. Papers will need to match the journal’s theme and scope. Conference registrants who submit papers before 30 April 2025 will benefit from expedited editorial handling. All conference registrants who submit papers by this deadline must commit to undertaking two double-blind peer reviews for the journal within the subsequent two months. The aim is to allow papers that successfully pass peer review to be published in advance of the conference itself. Although we strongly encourage article submissions, it is not necessary to submit a paper to the journal or to have a paper accepted for publication in order to participate in the conference. To learn more about journal publication, please contact co-editor-in-chief Adam Grydehøj at agrydehoj@islanddynamics.org.