Over many years, IASTE has helped shape the discourse around frameworks of tradition in the built environment. Since our conference in 2000, at the start of this new millennium, IASTE has defined tradition as a transient process and a never-ending contingent and dynamic project to define and redefine the past and operationalize it for the purposes of the present. Our previous conferences have attempted to examine, among other topics, the value of tradition, the manufacture of heritage, the consumption of tradition, identity and tradition, and fundamentalist traditions. We have learned from previous IASTE conferences that values are ever changing, and identities can never be fixed. It is precisely this dynamism of culture that we seek to explore further in IASTE 2025.

The theme of the conference “Cosmopolitanism and Tradition” builds on previous IASTE conferences and will be held in Alexandria, Egypt. «Cosmopolitan» is here used to describe places where people of various ethnic, cultural, and/or religious backgrounds live together and interact with each other. The term comes from the ancient Greek kosmos,” world,” and polis,” city.” A person described as cosmopolitan is thus a” citizen of the world.” Yet, like many other notions, cosmopolitanism is a multidimensional and contested concept and has meant different things to different people at different times.

The three main tenets that form the core of cosmopolitanism are individualism, universalism, and multiculturalism. Individualism means that every person has the right to choose a course not determined by the nation. Universalism means that every person, irrespective of class, gender, race, or religion is equally worthy of recognition by others. Multiculturalism promotes the idea that different groups should be able to coexist and maintain their unique identities, traditions, and practices while participating in a larger society.

In the twenty-first century, cosmopolitanism has reemerged in the context of globalization as a way of understanding the implications of social, cultural, and political transformations and contacts that transcend territorial boundaries. The essence of cosmopolitanism is the idea of moving beyond one’s specific communal, territorial, and cultural attachments to give allegiance to the wider human community. Its proponents point to the declining capacity of territorially bounded political units, and raise the hope that cosmopolitans will gradually establish institutions and values which are not embedded within national societies. Opponents of cosmopolitanism are usually nationalists who define the concept negatively as a rhetorical weapon against alien cultures and ideas they see as threatening national traditions. The relationship between cosmopolitanism and tradition is complex. On the one hand, cosmopolitanism encourages people to embrace and celebrate different cultures, which can lead to the preservation and revitalization of traditional practices and customs. On the other, critics argue that cosmopolitanism can undermine traditional cultures by promoting homogenized, globalized views and practices that challenge local traditions and identities. This fear is often tied to the perceived danger of Western cultural values and the global dominance of Western media and technology. Yet many cosmopolitan cities have also found ways to balance the celebration of diversity with the preservation of traditional cultures. Cities like Alexandria, Istanbul, and Hong Kong have substantial histories of cosmopolitanism, having been home to many different cultures and civilizations throughout time. Nowadays it is London, New York, and Los Angeles that epitomize this meeting of diverse cultures.

This conference seeks to investigate the relationships between urban tradition and cosmopolitanism. The organizers of IASTE 2025 invite prospective participants to engage in a dialogue regarding how built environment traditions can learn from the experiences of cosmopolitan cities. As in past IASTE conferences, scholars, professionals, and practitioners from anthropology, architecture, architectural history, conservation, design, folklore, geography, history, planning, urban design, landscape architecture, urban studies, and related disciplines are encouraged to submit papers that address one of the following tracks:

Papers in this track should examine the pluralist past and the multilayered history of cities in the global North and South, and interrogate the connection between their urban fabric and rural hinterlands. Papers should attempt to address some of the following questions: What constitutes a cosmopolitan community? What is common between cosmopolitanism and indigenous tradition? What are the origins of cosmopolitanism? What is the connection between colonialism and cosmopolitanism? What is the connection between cosmopolitanism and multiculturalism?

Papers in this track are encouraged to interrogate the problems and opportunities of hybrid built environments within multicultural contexts in an attempt to identify the qualities of cosmopolitan spaces. Questions that need to be posed include: What are the attributes of cosmopolitan architecture? Does a cosmopolitan community necessarily create a cosmopolitan built environment? How does a cosmopolitan community maintain its identity?

As with previous IASTE conferences, IASTE members and scholars who have produced new and innovative work on popular, vernacular, indigenous, spontaneous, and other forms of traditional dwellings and settlements that may not directly address the theme of the conference are invited to participate in this open track. Papers will be selected on the basis of quality and will be assigned with other similar papers in theme sessions.

IASTE 2025 is offering special sessions and panels related to conference themes that are collectively organized or sponsored by specific groups or institutions. To facilitate outreach to researchers from disciplines not normally engaged with IASTE, or to introduce new topics or debates, such proposals are again welcome in 2025.

Deadline for abstract submission: July 15, 2024
Notification of acceptance of abstracts: September 15, 2024
Deadline for registration: November 1, 2024
Deadline for Presenters registration: January 1, 2025
Deadline for paper submission: March 1, 2025
Deadline for presentation submission: April 15, 2025
Conference activities: May 23-26, 2025
Post-conference tour: May 27, 2025

Please refer to our website (iaste.org) for detailed instructions on abstract submissions. A one-page abstract of 500 words and a one-page CV are required. For further inquiries, please email coordinator@iaste.org. Proposals for complete panels of four to five papers are also welcome. Please indicate the track in which the panel fits. Panel submissions must include an overall abstract in addition to abstracts and CVs from all proposed speakers. IASTE may accept the panel as a whole or only accept individual abstracts and place them in appropriate tracks. All papers must be written and presented in English.

Contributors whose abstracts are accepted must preregister for the conference, pay the registration fee of $450 (which includes a one year IASTE membership), and are expected to prepare a full-length paper of 20-25 double-spaced pages. Registered students and spouses may qualify for a reduced registration fee of $250 (which also includes a one IASTE membership). 

Please note that expenses associated with hotel accommodations, travel, and additional excursions are not covered by the registration fee and must be paid directly to the hotel or designated travel agent. The registration fee covers the conference program, conference abstracts, and access to all conference activities, theme sessions, keynote plenary talks, receptions, and a walking/bus tour of the city.

Prof. Abdelaziz Konsowa, President, Alexandria University 
Prof. Ahmed Zayed, Director, Bibliotheca Alexandrina

Mark Gillem, University of Oregon, IASTE President and Conference Director
Mohamed Assem, Alexandria University Local Conference Director
Hesham Issa, Cairo University, IASTE Secretary General and Conference Co-Director
Nezar AlSayyad, U.C. Berkeley, IASTE President Emeritus and Program Committee Chair
Montira Horayangura, UNESCO, IASTE Vice President
Adnya Sarasmita, IASTE Conference Coordinator
Dina Taha, Alexandria University Local Conference Coordinator
Mohamed El Gamal, Bibliotheca Alexandrina
Marwa El Wakil, Bibliotheca Alexandrina

Ahmed AbdelMoneim, Bibliotheca Alexandrina
Aya Samir Badawy, Alexandria University
Mohamed El Awwad, Bibliotheca Alexandrina
Zeyad El Sayad, Alexandria University
Emad Khalil, Bibliotheca Alexandrina
Dina Nassar, Alexandria University

Nezar AlSayyad,Chair, Mohamed Gamal Abdelmonem, Hassan Abdel Salam, Heba Abul Fadl, Adham Hany Abulnoor, Heba Ahmed, Howayda Al-Harithy, Khaled Ali, Mohamad Al-Jassar, Sahar Attia, Hany Ayad, Anne Marie Broudehoux, Cecilia Chu, Lyndsey Deaton, Hazem Eldally, Dalila Elkerdany, Emad Elsherbiny, Hesham El-Shimy, Nevin Gharib, Tarek Farghaly, Yasser Farghaly, Akram Farouk, Joseph Godlewski, Nouby Mohammed Hassan, Basill Kamel, Mui Ho, Puay Peng Ho, Alaa Mandour, Ibrahim Maarouf, Dietrich Neumann, Ayman Othman, Rania Raslan, Ashraf Salama, Gehan Selim, Dina Saadallah, Heba Safey Eldin, Tanu Sankalia, Dina Shohayeb, Ahmed Soliman, Mau Sobti, Ipek Tureli, Maye Abbas Yehia.

University of Oregon 
The Society of Egyptian Architects (SEA)
Egyptian Engineering Syndicate
Orouba Misr Development
Alexandria and Mediterranean Research Center (ALEXMED) 

Three awards will be given for papers presented to the conference: the Jeffrey Cook Award for the best paper by a scholar dealing with traditional dwellings; the Eleni Bastea Award for the best paper on an urban Issue; and the IASTE- Berkeley Prize for the best paper by a student or junior scholar. Most of the winners will receive a monetary award, and their papers will be published in the IASTE journal Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review (TDSR) after appropriate review and revision. In addition to these standard paper awards, IASTE will offer a number of Conference Attendance Grants. These stipends will be awarded on a merit-need basis to graduate students and junior scholars. The funds may be disbursed prior to the conference to offset registration fees or after the conference as reimbursement for travel or accommodation expenses.

CONFERENCE VENUE: Bibliotheca Alexandrina
A center of excellence in the production and dissemination of knowledge and a place of dialogue, learning, and understanding between cultures and peoples.

Locations to be visited will include the site of the old Pharos (Lighthouse), QaytBay Citadel, Turkish Town, Roman Amphitheater, Catacombs and Pompey’s Pillar, Graeco-Roman Museum, Alexandria National Museum.

Cairo: The old Fatimid and Khedival Cairo
Giza Pyramids and the New Grand Egyptian Museum

Paradise Inn-Le Metropole Hotel
Little Venice Grey Studio Apartments (operation starts May 2024)
All hotels are within walking distance from Bibliotheca Alexandrina

CONFERENCE Tour Operator
Perla Di Mare Tours
Phone : (+20) 100-147-1745 / (+20) 101-222-1409
Email: youssef.khalil@perladimaretours.com /  mina.wadgy@ perladimaretours.com
Website : http://www.perladimaretours.com

Mailing Address and Inquiries:
International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments
207 East 5th Avenue, #258, Eugene, OR, 97401
Phone: (+1) 541-712-7832
Email: coordinator@iaste.org
Website: https://iaste.org