Topics include cinematic practices in rural and urban communities, development of cinema by amateur filmmakers, and use of GIS in mapping the spatial development of film production and cinema going as social practices.
My new book Antonio López García’s Everyday Urban Worlds: A Philosophy of Painting is entering production with Bucknell University Press – it should be available in August 2014 (appearing on amazon at present for pre-order).
It represents rather a new form of writing for me – inspired by the meandering and philosophical style of Spanish author / civil engineer Juan Benet’s El ángel del señor abandona a Tobías (1976) where he mixes a range of disciplinary questions together, using the famed painting of the same name by Rembrandt as a point of departure.
Here I’ve devoted a chapter each to specific paintings (Gran Vía, Madrid desde Torres Blancas, and Madrid desde la torre de bomberos de Vallecas…), which I use as points of departure to fold Spanish literature, film and urban planning together with larger interdisciplinary and philosophical, geographical questions.
If you CLICK HERE you can see a ‘prezi’ that I’ve used with a lecture focusing on an excerpt of the second chapter’s Madrid desde Torres Blancas (visuals only).
As you’ll know if you read this blog, I’ve recently been appointed Research Assistant (which is a slightly demeaning way of saying that I’m the main researcher!) on a three year project to research the spaces produced for Deaf people by the 19th century Church, and the spaces produced by Deaf people within that same Church.
That project now has a blog – at http://sdds.blogs.ilrt.org/
Catchy address isn’t it? Well, the ‘sdds’ bit is ‘Scripture, Dissent, Deaf Space’ – and then the blogs.ilrt.org bit is the home for blogs at the University of Bristol, and somewhere where I can get technical support.
Just visit and bookmark it, and you won’t have to worry about it again. I’ll get a ‘follow’ tool up there as soon as I work out how.
Until then, I’ll post here when I update it, and you can always follow me on Twitter @mikegulliver where I’ll be…
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By Andy Merrifield
‘In 1977, when Manuel Castells’ classic book, The Urban Question, was first put into English, I’d been a year out of secondary school, in Liverpool. It was five years after its original French publication, four years since an OPEC oil embargo had sent advanced economies into giddy noise dives, and a year on from the Sex Pistols’ debut hit, Anarchy in the UK. These were heady times, the 1970s, full of crises and chaos, a post-1968 era of psychological alienation and economic annihilation, of Punk Rock and Disco, of Blue Mondays and Saturday Night Fever. The decade was also a great testing ground for a book bearing the subtitle, A Marxist Approach. Indeed, the same year as The Urban Question: A Marxist Approach became available to Anglophone audiences, the Sex Pistols were screaming, “THERE’S NO FUTURE, NO FUTURE FOR YOU AND ME!”
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I attended a conference at the University of Alberta in Edmonton this past weekend after being invited to present by the Sociology Graduate Students Association. The conference was Mobilities: Ruptures, Flows, Intersections with Dr. Michael Burawoy as the keynote speaker on the first evening. Burawoy’s discussion on the “University in Crisis” analyzes third wave marketization (also known as neoliberalism) from working through The Great Transformation (1944) by Karl Polanyi. Burawoy makes connections with fictious commodities, stating that knowledge is subject to commodification, so knowledge is now appropriated for the private. He discusses four global (and local) crises: budgetary (selling knowledge produced); governance (corporatization, rankings, audit culture, etc.); identity (tension between producing work to tackle local problems versus global); and, legitimization (how the university is seen from outside and the value of a degree).
I found Burawoy’s talk to be relevant to discussions about university culture, as well as my own…
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On Sunday, China released a 31-point plan mapping out the next six years of the nation’s urban development. Between now and 2020, the government will take steps to modernize agriculture and transform into a consumer driven, service-based and environmentally friendly economy, all while ameliorating the various social and economic gaps between urban and rural, and coastal and inland that have widened since Deng Xiaoping opened the country to free market activity in 1978. China will also superintend the urbanization of an additional 100 million migrants into cities, while granting urban status to 100 million of 234 million total people who currently live in cities but can’t access basic services.
Social and economic imbalances featured prominently in the plan issued on Sunday. The document stated that while China’s urbanization rate has risen to 53%—lower still than nations with comparable per capita income levels—only about 36% are legal urban residents, meaning that…
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Misuse of The Monument: The art of parkour and the discursive limits of a disciplinary architecture
By. Matthew D. Lamb
From. Journal of Urban Cultural Studies 1.1
Parkour is an art form that does not conform to social expectations. In the eyes of a traceur (a parkour practitioner) stairs, walls and rooftops are not physical boundaries but instead they offer options to the individual – options for an alternative way to travel through an urban landscape.
In Lamb’s article, he explores the misuse of public space and asks whether parkour can be a practice of empowerment that challenges spatial expectations of use.
Parkour is ‘almost exclusively an urban practice’ (Mould 2009: 739). It is a seamless, free-flowing and improvised movement that offers a new way to move through an environment. Lamb compares the movement to the flow of water, ‘as water adapts and flows so too does the…
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