Newly elected EAUH Board Members

Tanja Vahtikari (Finland, Tampere)

Tanja Vahtikari is Senior Lecturer in History at Tampere University, and the Head of the Degree Programme in History. She is also a Member of the Board and Research Fellow in the Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence in History of Experiences. Her research focuses on modern urban history, urban heritage, history of experience and emotions, history of children, materiality and visuality. She is the author and editor of several books and volumes, including City museums in the emerging cities of Eastern Europe, 1880–1939, Museum History Journal 2022:1 (with Heidi Hein-Kircher); Lived Nation as the History of Experiences and Emotions in Finland, 1800-2000 (Palgrave, 2021) (with Ville Kivimäki and Sami Suodenjoki), Humanistinen kaupunkitutkimus [Humanist Urban Studies] (Vastapaino, 2021) (with Terhi Ainiala, Aura Kivilaakso, Pia Olsson & Panu Savolainen); and Valuing World Heritage Cities (Routledge, 2017). She is also the author of European Commission Policy Review: Innovation in Cultural Heritage Research. For an integrated European Research Policy (2018) (with Gábor Sonkoly). At Tampere University, Tanja is the Head of Museum Studies, and in this role, she engages in active cooperation with Tampere museums. She looks forward to representing the interests of urban historians working in Northern Europe and beyond.

Erika Hanna (UK, Bristol)

Erika Hanna is Senior Lecturer in Modern History at the University of Bristol. Prior to this she was Chancellor’s Fellow in History at the University of Edinburgh and Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the Centre for Urban History, University of Leicester. Her research focuses on landscape, visuality, and the built environment in modern Ireland. She has published two books, Modern Dublin: Urban Change and the Irish Past, 1957-73  (Oxford University Press, 2013), and Snapshot Stories: Photography, Visuality, and the Social History of Ireland 1922-2000 (Oxford University Press, 2020) alongside a range of articles on this topic. She is currently in the early stages of a new project on landscapes of globalization in modern Ireland. She also has an interest in creative and community led approaches to history and has been involved in a range of local history projects exploring and documenting the contemporary history of Bristol.

Heiko Droste (Sweden, Stockholm)

CV Heiko Droste, Professor of Urban History, Head of Institute of Urban History, Department of History, Stockholm University, Sweden (1963) Droste is an urban historian, who studied at the universities of Cologne, Hamburg, Münster and Kiel. His dissertation concerns late medieval and early modern town historiography in the Hansa town Lüneburg (1994). He then engaged in a number of different projects and taught at eight different universities in both Germany and Sweden. Since 2015 he is head of the Institute of Urban History, Sweden’s oldest institute engaged in urban history, funded by the Swedish municipalities. He is engaged in a number of international networks (i.e. City History Museums and Research Network of Europe, since 2016) and research projects (i.e. HERA-Pleasurescapes 2019-2022). His main research interests in the field of urban history concern late medieval and early modern cities in Germany, the Baltic Area and Sweden. He has been working on matters of historiography (”The ever new heritage. On the use of historical memory in Stockholm and Lüneburg”, Creating the City. Identity, Memory and Participation. Conference proceedings, Malmö university 2019; “Cities in our hearts”, Städer & kommuner - ett institut firar hundra år!), social conflicts in urban settings, on the early modern media revolution and what it meant for urban developments (The business of news, Leiden: Brill 2021) and on the urban system in early modern Sweden (“Svenska städer under tidigmodern tid”, in: Dørum, Knut (ed.), Hvem styrte byarne? Nordisk byhistorie 1500–1800, 2022). His current research interests concern urban memory and the use of urban history in identity- making. He is also engaging in a future network for urban historians of the North and cooperations among Nordic urban historians. Last but not least, he is very much interested in questions of academic life, academic professionalism and questions of academic publica

Ilja van Damme (Belgium, Antwerp)

Ilja van Damme currently hold a chair in modern urban history (c. 1750-c.2000). Between 2013-2021, he was the Academic Director of the Centre for Urban History, and co-founder of the Antwerp Urban Studies Institute (USI), which has influenced his interest in exploring interdisciplinary, urban-theoretical approaches. He is also the chief editor of Stadsgeschiedenis, which is the most important Dutch journal devoted to the history of cities and urbanization in the Low Countries.

Central to his take on urban history is to look at modernization in cities, trying to pinpoint the historical specificity of this timeframe from a long-term and comparative perspective. Inspired by post-colonial approaches wishing to ‘provincialize’ dominant Western narratives and counterbalance the hegemonic study of world and capital cities, he is mainly interested in looking at ‘ordinary’ or ‘secondary’ cities in the nineteenth and twentieth century. His goal is to deconstruct and decenter often implicit western modernization biases, focusing on urban research topics in which processes of continuity and patterns of relatedness (between the local and the global, city and countryside, center and periphery, private and public spheres, etc.) take center stage. This has led to an interest in research topics studying the persistence of urban second-hand markets, the long-term role of shopping in the urban fabric, or ‘forgotten’ and neglected urban cultural practices: from antiquarianism, over suburban creativity, to urban tourism, and lantern lecturing. From a methodological point-of-view, he has taken interest in engendering research based on new digital methods and techniques (GIS, digital text analysis, computer vision, big data driven research, etc.), to test, and eventually apply, its possibilities for writing ‘new’urban histories of below: historically valorizing the everyday practices in the streets and homes of citizens living through modern urban change.

Athina Vitopoulou (Greece, Thessaloniki)

Athina Vitopoulou is an Assistant Professor in the School of Architecture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki – AUTh. She is currently under evaluation process to be promoted to Associate Professor in the field “Urban design and History of the city”. She studied architecture at the School of Architecture, AUTh, and pursued post-graduate studies in theories and mechanisms of architectural and urban design in Paris (DEA Projet architectural et urbain: théories et dispositifs, Ecoles d'Architecture and Institut Français d'Urbanisme-Université Paris 8). She holds a PhD in History and Cultures from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), Paris. Her PhD research on the making of public space and communal facilities in Greek cities from the 19th to 21st c. focusing on the role of large public landowners was awarded in France the “Grand Prix de Thèse sur la Ville 2011”.

She has developed rich research and writing activity on issues related to urban history and history of urban planning, focusing on the urban transformations and the evolution of urban and land policies in Greece, the theory and practice of urban design and planning, the protection and enhancement of urban cultural heritage. She has participated in 13 national and European funded research programs, has presented her work in more than 40 national and international conferences, workshops, and seminars, and has published more than 80 scientific works covering all the range of academic publications: dissertations, books, papers in scientific journals, conference proceedings and collective works, research reports, teaching material. Regarding EAUH conferences, Vitopoulou attended the ones in Berlin (2000), Edinburgh (2002), Athens (2004), Stockholm (2006), Rome (2018) and will also attend the one in Antwerp (2022). She has a longtime collaboration with Professor Vassilios Colonas and Professor Emeritus Alexandra Yerolympos in research programs concerning European urban heritage, the history of Greek cities and the history of Black Sea port-cities. She would be honored if she succeeded Professor Vassilios Colonas as a member of the International Committee of EAUH, representing a Southeastern European country.

James Lesh (Australia, Melbourne)

James Lesh is an urban historian and Lecturer at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia. He specialises in twentieth-century Australian cities with an emphasis on urban heritage. He authored the first history monograph of the Australian heritage movement: Values in Cities: Urban Heritage in Twentieth-Century Australia (2022), in Routledge Advances in Urban History, eds. Professors Simon Gunn and Bert De Munk. His research has appeared in publications including the Journal of Urban History, Planning Perspectives, Change Over Time, and International Journal of Heritage Studies. With Professor Rebecca Madgin (University of Glasgow), Lesh published the edited collection People-Centred Methodologies for Heritage Conservation: Exploring Emotional Attachments to Historic Urban Places (Routledge, 2021), following their chaired session at Rome (2018). Lesh also attended EAUH conferences in Lisbon (2014), Helsinki (2016), and will be at Antwerp (2022). He has strong urban history connections in Europe and the UK, where he completed his MA qualification (University of London, 2013–14) and held a visiting fellowship (King’s College London, 2016–21). He is also established within Australasian urban history. Emeritus Professor Graeme Davison (Monash University) authored the foreword to his monograph, while Professor Andrew May supervised his PhD at the University of Melbourne (2015–2018). He is associated to the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand and the Australasian Urban History / Planning History Group. Demonstrating committee experience, Lesh operates the Group website: He looks forward to strengthening connections between European and Australasian urban history.

Retiring EAUH Board members

  • Marjaana Niemi (Finland, Tampere, former President)
  • Shane Ewen (UK, Leeds)
  • Mats Berglund (Sweden, Stockholm, Treasurer)
  • Peter Stabel (Belgium, Antwerp, President)
  • Vassilios Collonas (Greece, Thessaly)
  • Andrew May (Australia, Melbourne)

Former EAUH Board composition, before the election

Peter Stabel (President, Antwerp)

Mats Berglund (Treasurer, Stockholm)

Manon van der Heijden (Secretary, Leiden)

Marjaana Niemi (former President, Tampere)

Shane Ewen (Leeds)

Vassilios Colonas (Thessaly)

Andrew May (Melbourne)

Andrea Pokludová (Ostrava)

Mikkel Thelle (Aarhus)

Christoph Bernhardt (Berlin)

Simon Gunn (Leicester)

Nicolas Kenny (Burnaby)

Katalin Straner (Budapest)

Gabor Czoch (Budapest)

Jacek Purchla (Krakow)

Joan Roca i Albert (Barcelona)

Ilaria Taddei (Grenoble)

Rosemary Wakemen (New York)