Urban Sociologist and Anthropologist Ekaterina Makarova to Give Talk on New Urbanism in Moscow

February 06, 2007

Feb. 6, 2007 -- In her public talk "The New Urbanism in Moscow: The Changing Boundaries of Public and Private Space," U.Va. assistant professor of sociology Ekaterina Makarova will explore the dynamic interaction between the public and private domains embodied in the built environment of Moscow. Recent developments in a specifically urban type of residential architecture - the apartment house - point to a striking trend towards the 'interiorization' of the city: the creation of concealed private spaces and their total insulation from the outside world.

By examining specific projects as well as various discourses about architecture and domestic space that are employed by architects, architectural critics and academic observers of Russian culture and society she argues that this trend is driven not only by the global forces of neo-liberal capitalism but also in large part by deeply embedded cultural values that are rooted in the specific historical experiences of the residents of large Soviet cities. It suggests that the unquestioned elevation of privacy as an absolute cultural value is in many ways a product - even if unintended - of the Soviet system itself and of the specific spatial living arrangements it created. She will also discuss the public/private distinctions within the context of Russian/Soviet society and the importance of modern urban sociability as an aspect of the public sphere.

Educated in Moscow and Manchester, England, Makarova is an urban sociologist and anthropologist interested in issues of space and time, social change, post-socialist societies and Muslim societies. She teaches in the Departments of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Virginia.

Makarova's talk on Friday, Feb. 9 at 5 p.m. in Campbell Hall, Room 158, is free and open to the public. The event is sponsored by the Department of Architectural History.

For more information contact Alice Keys at (434) 924-7019 or eak3n@virginia.edu.