Neil Brenner, The urban age in question: towards a new epistemology of the urban – University of Melbourne, 17 March 2015

Progressive Geographies

Neil-brenner_3Neil Brenner, “The urban age in question: towards a new epistemology of the urban”, University of Melbourne, 17 March 2015 – details and registration here.

In what sense is the 21st century world urban? In this lecture, Neil Brenner critiques contemporary ideologies of the “urban age,” which confront this question with reference to the purported fact that more than 50% of the world’s population resides within cities. Against such demographic, city-centric understandings, Brenner excavates Henri Lefebvre’s (1970) notion of generalized urbanization for conceptual and methodological insights into the 21st century planetary urban condition. He argues that the geographies of urbanization can no longer be conceptualized exclusively with reference to cities, metropolitan regions or even megalopolises, but today encompass diverse patterns and pathways across the planetary sociospatial landscape, from Manhattan to the Matterhorn, from the Pearl River Delta to Mount Everest, from the Nile River valley to the Pacific Ocean…

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[new book] Toward an Urban Cultural Studies: Henri Lefebvre and the Humanities [April 2015]

Fraser_Toward_9781137498557_EB_Cover.inddThe cover for Toward an Urban Cultural Studies: Henri Lefebvre and the Humanities, the first of many new books in Palgrave’s new HISPANIC URBAN STUDIES book series, edited by B. Fraser and S. Larson.

[click here to pre-order on Amazon]

Toward an Urban Cultural Studies is a call for a new interdisciplinary area of research and teaching. Blending Urban Studies and Cultural Studies, this book grounds readers in the extensive theory of the prolific French philosopher Henri Lefebvre. Appropriate for both beginners and specialists, the first half of this book builds from a general introduction to Lefebvre and his methodological contribution toward a focus on the concept of urban alienation and his underexplored theory of the work of art. The second half merges Lefebvrian urban thought with literary studies, film studies and popular music studies, successively, before turning to the videogame and the digital humanities.

Physical Map Projection Mapped

ART & CARTOGRAPHY

Projection mapping offers exciting opportunities to animate and alter our perceptions of a physical space through light. More often the physical space projected on to is buildings with mesmeric light sequences and often contextual narratives.

Image © 2015 Dalziel and Pow

Much like Louis Daguerre & Charles Bouton achieved a sense of movement through altering the play of light on a large transparent screen with the Diorama in 1822, projection mapping can create this immersive and moving scene onto any 3d object or screen. Through altering the play of light with large amounts of lumens generated by today’s digital projectors, artists and designers can become the theatrical painters without being limited to dark purpose built venues and opaque or translucent paints, instead projections can be achieved in other lighting situations with custom built screens & pixels.

Dalziel + Pow have moved the play of light onto a physical map where they experiment…

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‘The Hidden Light of Objects’

Architecture Here and There

Kuwait City before the oil boom. (kora.com) Kuwait City before the oil boom. (kora.com)

The fragility of culture, even of culture wrought in the hardness of masonry, is one of the themes of the ten short stories in Mai Al-Nakib’s first book, The Hidden Light of Objects. The second story, “Echo Twins,” is set after oil was discovered but before its exploitation. It is backdropped by life in traditional mud brick houses around courtyards and bunched in groups separated by very narrow winding alleys leading, mostly, to the nearest souk, or market.

Mai Al-Nakib. (thenational.ae) Mai Al-Nakib. (thenational.ae)

Over dinner on her book-tour stop in Providence, Mai told me she thought this story would tickle my own interest in the natural rhythms of traditional architecture.

Throughout the Middle East, old residential patterns are being eradicated, leaving the culture and social mores in tatters. This is happening not only in Kuwait but in Mecca itself. The latter is…

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Qatar among the least sustainable countries in the world

Sustainable Doha

From Doha News:

An inaugural index by Dutch firm Arcadis has ranked Qatar among the least sustainable countries in the world, though the Gulf state fared slighly better among its regional peers, coming in third. The ARCADIS Sustainable Cities Index, carried out by the Centre for Economics and Business Research, a British third-party analysis and forecasting firm, examined 50 cities from 31 countries. To arrive at the findings, the survey ranked cities on the basis of three sub-categories – people, planet and profit – which corresponded to three dimensions of sustainability (social, environmental and economic). Doha was ranked 41st out of the 50 cities overall. For two of the categories, its scores were relatively average. In terms of social sustainability, including measures such as transportation infrastructure, health, education, income equality and green spaces, it came in 34th. And it ranked 30th in economic sustainability, based on factors such as public…

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AAG 2015 – Urban Cultural Studies (Interactive Short Paper Session)

Interactive Short Paper Session

at the Association of American Geographers Conference in Chicago

2669 Urban Cultural Studies

is scheduled on Wednesday, 4/22/2015, from 5:20 PM – 7:00 PM in Randolph, Hyatt, East Tower, Ped Path

Organizer(s):
Stephen Luis Vilaseca – Northern Illinois University
Araceli Masterson-Algar

Chair(s):
Stephen Luis Vilaseca – Northern Illinois University

Abstract(s):

5:20 PM   Author(s): *Benjamin Fraser – East Carolina University

Abstract Title: Urban Cultural Studies as Interdisciplinary Field in the Lefebvrian Mode

5:25 PM   Author(s): *Stephen Luis Vilaseca, Associate Professor of Spanish – Northern Illinois University

Abstract Title: Mapping the Marginalized in Barcelona and Valencia, Spain

5:30 PM   Author(s): *Steven Spalding – United States Naval Academy

Abstract Title: From Wheel to Reel: Documenting the Mobile French City in 1920s & 1930s

5:35 PM   Author(s): *Matthew D. Lamb, PhD – Penn State University

Abstract Title: PARTY CITY: Architecture, Well-being, and Cities as Adult Playgrounds

5:40 PM   Author(s): *Thomas Heise, Assistant Professor – Ryerson University

Abstract Title: The Geography of Crime Fiction

5:45 PM   Author(s): *RICHARD JOHN WILLIAMS, Professor of Contemporary Visual Cultures – University of Edinburgh

Abstract Title: Urban Ruins And Urban Citizens

5:50 PM   Author(s): *Araceli Masterson-Algar – Augustana College

Abstract Title: Urban Cultural Studies as an approach to human mobility

5:55 PM   Author(s): *Ghayde Ghraowi – University of Texas – Austin

Abstract Title: As Tenses Implode: Encountering Post-Traumatic Urbanism in Ghassan Kanafani’s “?A?id ila Hayfa”

6:00 PM   Author(s): *Briana Meier, MURP, AICP – University of Oregon

Abstract Title: The city and me, the city in me: Posthumanist subjectivity and informal urbanism


Session Description: The Urban Cultural Studies session features innovative research that connects urban geography and cultural studies in order to better understand the culture(s) of cities. The interactive short papers will explore aspects of urban studies through humanities texts such as literature, film, graphic novels, music, art, graffiti, videogames and other textual forms of culture. This session is linked to the Journal of Urban Cultural Studies with Intellect publishers and its accompanying blog and podcast series at urbanculturalstudies.wordpress.com.