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Nari Shelekpayev

Nari Shelekpayev


Imagining Contemporary Capital Cities: Ottawa, Brasilia and Astana (1850-2000)

(Supervisor: Michèle Dagenais, Montréal)

My current research focuses on the elaboration of capital cities between 1850s and 2000s in Brazil, Canada, Germany, and Kazakhstan in transnational and comparative perspectives. The investigation analyses three phases of the elaboration of these cities: the legislative and executive activities aimed at choosing and promoting their new sites; the design competitions for the governmental buildings and districts; and the inauguration ceremonies. Through an interdisciplinary and comparative analysis of these moments I propose to rethink intellectual and political projects of (post)colonial societies who established new capitals in order to understand how their aspirations, utopias, and compromises were translated into the form and the architecture of their capital cities.


Since 2013
PhD Scholar-in-Residence at the Canadian Center for Architecture
Maîtrise in Social Sciences (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales Paris)
Maîtrise in International Law (Université Paris 2 Panthéon-Assas)


a) Publications in refereed journals and book publications
(edited with François-Olivier Dorais/Daria Dyakonova/Solène Maillet) Empires, Nations and Private Lives: Essays on the Social and Cultural History of the Great War (Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing).

“Some Considerations on the Historiography of Contemporary Capital Cities: Toward a Transnational Approach?“, in: Jaroslav Ira/Jan de Jong/Imre Tarafés (eds.), Identity, Nation, City: Perspectives from the TEMA Network (Budapest: ELTE Atelier), 203-218.

“Kazakhstan: pays ‘musulman’? Identité(s) religieuse(s) dans le Kazakhstan post-Soviétique,” Carnival 14, 111-126.

b) Other publications
“Limits of Mnemonic Malleability” (Book Review), Ab Imperio 3, 368-375.

“Brigitte Le Normand. Designing Tito’s Capital: Urban Planning, Modernism, and Socialism in Belgrade. Pittsburgh : University of Pittsburgh Press, 2014” (Book Review), Urban History Review 44:1, 80-81.

“L. Vidal (ed.), Capitales rêvées, capitales abandonnées. Considérations sur la mobilité des capitales dans les Amériques, XVIIe-XXe siècle. Rennes: Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2014” (Book Review), Urban History Review 43:2, 66-67.

Conference Presentations

Dec. 2016
What is a Capital City? A Reflection on the Elaboration and Typologies of Contemporary Capital Cities, 1850-2000
Space, Mediation and Diversity Under the Global Condition, Collaborative Workshop (IRTG Diversity, Collaborative Research Centre (SFB 1199) “Processes of Spatialization Under the Global Condition”), Leipzig, 14-15/12/2016.
Aug. 2016
Conceiving and Elaborating the Landscapes of Power: Comparative Perspectives on Capital Cities, 1800-2000 (Panel Convenor)
13th International Conference on Urban History (EAUH) Helsinki, Finland, 24-27/08/2016.
Aug. 2016
Theory Chapter
Conference, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Studies, Université de Brasília, Brasil, 10/08/2016.
Apr. 2016
Urban Planning, Architecture, and National Identity in a Post-Soviet Capital City, 1994-2014: The Case of Astana
21st Annual ASN (Association for the Study of Nationalities) World Convention, Harriman Institute, Columbia University, New York, USA, 14-16/04/2016.

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