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Presented By: Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies

CCPS Lecture. Other Kinds of Beauty: Aesthetic Valuation and the Making of Cities in Eastern Europe

Anastasiya Halauniova, Postdoctoral Researcher, Centre for Sociological Research, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium)

Wrocław Rynek (1961) by Stefan Arczynski, Courtesy of Herder Institute, Marburg Wrocław Rynek (1961) by Stefan Arczynski, Courtesy of Herder Institute, Marburg
Wrocław Rynek (1961) by Stefan Arczynski, Courtesy of Herder Institute, Marburg
Urban beautification projects are often used to justify political agendas. Embellished with colorful façades, even the most deceitful fantasy about the past, present, and future might appear attractive. But what makes beauty such a powerful and politically efficient notion? And what happens when beauty fails to convince us? In this talk, Anastasiya Halauniova will expose the complex relations between architecture's aesthetic resonance and the political work it performs. By focusing on competing valuations of urban ‘beauty’ and ‘ugliness’ in Wrocław (Poland) and Klaipėda (Lithuania), she shows the emotional, symbolic, and material labor required to turns buildings into either valuable ‘icons’ or worthless ‘eyesores’ used to legitimize different historical narratives.

Anastasiya Halauniova is a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Sociological Research at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium. She received her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Amsterdam in 2022, specializing on the role of maintenance and repair of built environments in shaping urban political visions, particularly in the context of postwar reconstructions and more recently on climate change adaptation.

This lecture will be presented in person in 555 Weiser Hall and on Zoom. Webinar registration required at

If there is anything we can do to make this event accessible to you, please contact us at Please be aware that advance notice is necessary as some accommodations may require more time for the university to arrange.

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