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Universiy of Bayreuth, Press Release No 079/2021 June 22nd 2021

Conference on structural change in Northern Bavaria

Structural change is often equated with crisis, especially in Northern Bavaria. But how can such development be scientifically assessed? This question will be addressed at a conference organised by the Institute for Franconian Regional History (IFLG) of the Universities of Bamberg and Bayreuth, together with the Industrial Museum of Lauf, the Museum of Industrial Culture in Nuremberg, and Porzellanikon on 8 and 9 July. The title of the conference is "Region im Schleudergang - Strukturwandel in Nordbayern" (Region in the Spin Cycle - structural change in Northern Bavaria). It will be held virtually via zoom video conference system and in hybrid format.


"Kulmbacher Spinnerei" as a symbol of structural change: where at the beginning of the 20th century there was yarn production, dyeing, weaving, a sawmill, and hydroelectric power stations, in the 21st century a shopping centre, temporary teaching rooms of the University of Bayreuth, and soon "Grüne Zentrum" - a cluster of authorities and institutions associated with food production - are being built. © City of Kulmbach

The term structural change is commonly associated with the change from an industrial to a service society, which has been accompanied by a wave of deindustrialisation in large parts of Europe from the 1970s onwards. Northern Bavaria, as a highly industrialised region, was and is particularly affected by this development. Traditional industries such as textiles, porcelain, and furniture thrived after the Second World War near the former border to the "Eastern Bloc" in a subsidised niche, but were then exposed to strong competition. The conference at the Institute for Franconian Regional History will outline the current research situation together with experts from Germany. At the same time, it will develop possible prospects for the systematic academic reappraisal of this topic. A second part will be devoted to the question of how deindustrialisation is being remembered in Northern Bavaria? A third part discusses the challenges for government, business, and society. What leeway do these actors have in the face of rapid change and the high rate of innovation in new industries?

Region im Schleudergang - Conference on Structural Change in Northern Bavaria, programme (excerpts)

8 July 2021 / 2 to 5 p.m.: Structural change - explore

  • Benedikt Martin Ertl, M.A. (IFLG Thurnau): Town - Country - Ore. The Maxhütte iron ore mine in structural change
  • Margitta Grötsch, M.Sc. (IFLG Thurnau): The Upper Franconian Textile Industry in Structural Change - Development of the Upper Franconian Textile Industry from 1970-2010
  • Prof. Dr. Stefan Berger (Ruhr-Universität Bochum): Deindustrialisation and Industrial Culturalisation in Europe - Comparative Perspectives
  • Dr. Michael Unger (Diectorate General of Bavarian State Archives): Sources on Structural Change - Preservation in the State Archives

9 July 2021 / 9:15 a.m. to approx.4 p.m. Structural change - remembering - exhibiting / visualising

  • Prof. Dr. Guido Fackler (University of Würzburg): Contemporary Witnesses in Exhibitions: In the field of tension between authenticity, docutainment and scripted reality
  • Dr. Stefan Moitra (Mining Museum of Bochum): Intermediate tones in the "grand narrative". Oral history and structural change in the Ruhr region - a practical report
  • Antonia Landois (Nuremberg City Archives): The participatory oral history project "People make city history!" Field report and perspectives
  • Dr. Herbert May (Fränkisches Freilandmuseum Bad Windsheim): Wall unit instead of farmhouse cupboard? New perspectives in open-air museums

2:30 p.m. Panel discussion: Structural change - shaping (business and politics)

  • Olaf Klumpp-Leonhardt (Host)
  • Stephan Doll (Director, DGB-Bezirk Bayern, Region Mittelfranken)
  • Markus Lötzsch (Managing Director IHK Nürnberg für Mittelfranken)
  • N.N. (Representative of the Region of Oberfranken)
  • Dr. Christa Standecker (Director, European Metropolitan Region of Nuremberg)
  • Christiane Zürn (Divisional Director, Economy, Regional Development, Transport at the Regional Government of Oberpfalz)

Please register for the conference by 2 July with felicitas.kahle@uni-bayreuth.de. For the second day of the event (9 July), in addition to virtual participation, on-site participation in the AEG building in Nuremberg (N.B.: limited number of participants!) will be possible (please specify when registering).



Prof. Dr. Martin OttInstitute for Franconian Regional History

Phone: +49 (0) 921 / 55-4235,
              +49 (0) 9228 / 99605-16 (Secretariat)
E-Mail: martin.ott@uni-bayreuth.de

Campus Office University of Bayreuth:
Building GW II, Room 2.10
Universitätsstraße 30,95447 Bayreuth

Thurnau Castle (seat of the Institute for Franconian Regional History)


Anja-Maria Meister

PR Spokesperson University of Bayreuth

Phone: +49 (0) 921 / 55-5300
E-mail: anja.meister@uni-bayreuth.de