Toward an Urban Cultural Studies [video posted online]

For anyone interested in watching it here is a link to the lecture–or rather to the exercise in organized rambling–I gave at the University of Kentucky, now on UK vimeo:

“Toward an Urban Cultural Studies: Henri Lefebvre, Space and the Culture(s) of Cities”

To watch video, click above or go here: http://vimeo.com/50215247

Thanks again to the Department of Hispanic Studies there. The prezi itself can be seen in the background on the screen, but as announced before can also be viewed here. See also this previous post for more general information about the talk.

CFP-edited book on Marxism and Urban Culture

CFP-edited book on Marxism and Urban Culture

Submissions are invited for an edited book on Marxism and Urban Culture that has received initial interest from an international publisher known for their strength in Marxian-themed series and titles.

While all abstracts using a Marxian framework to approach culture in urban contexts are welcome, it is anticipated that submissions will conform to one of two subtypes reflecting the division of the book into Continue reading

Toward an Urban Cultural Studies [prezi]

I just returned from delivering an invited lecture at the University of Kentucky, which I titled:

Toward an Urban Cultural Studies: Henri Lefebvre, Space and the Culture(s) of Cities.

Clicking on the above link will take you to the prezi that accompanied the talk, which includes video and audio clips, although it leaves out the first 15-20 minute set-up which was devoted to the academic spat between C.P. Snow and F.R. Leavis in their 1959 and 1962 lectures (see an earlier post). The talk was a form of organized rambling at a general level about Lefebvre’s insights into cities, the timeliness of urban cultural studies, interdisciplinary issues in general, David Harvey, city rhythms, and so on, so a lot is left out of the prezi alone, but it may still be interesting to watch. Given that I was pitching the talk so broadly, I was thrilled that so many non-Hispanic Studies faculty/students were able to make it.

If you haven’t seen or used prezi before (higher functionality/privacy free for educators with an .edu email address) I can say that it may blow your mind as a presentation format (I was blown away when I first saw this used at a conference last year). After watching a prezi (many are ‘public’/freely available on the site to view) it becomes clear just how much power point presentations are linked to the cultural moment in which I grew up–which revolved around linear slideshows of non-digital photography (didn’t you hate it when that one slide got stuck in the projector?).

Special thanks to U Kentucky Professors Susan Larson and Aníbal Biglieri in particular, and also to many other faculty members from both the Department of Hispanic Studies there (and its fantastic graduate students) and beyond, for making it such a great experience!

CFP–new Journal of Urban Cultural Studies launched

Visit the new Journal of Urban Cultural Studies site here.

Call for Papers

The Journal of Urban Cultural Studies is a new peer-reviewed publication cutting across both the humanities and the social sciences in order to better understand the culture(s) of cities. The journal is open to studies that deal with culture, urban spaces and forms of urbanized consciousness the world over.

Although we embrace a broad definition of urban cultural studies, we are particularly interested in submissions that give equal weight to: a) one or more aspects of urban studies (everyday life, built environment, architecture, city planning, identity formation, transportation…) and b) analysis of one or more specific forms of cultural/textual production (literature, film, graphic novels, music, art, graffiti, videogames, online or virtual space…) in relation to a given urban space or spaces.

Essays of 7,000-10,000 words (including works cited and notes) should be sent by attachment to the Editor at urbanculturalstudies@gmail.com. JUCS is also open to proposals of special issues by guest editors working individually or in teams of two. All citations in other languages should be translated into English for the journal’s international reading public, in addition to including the original text.

While the journal does not publish book reviews, we do publish review essays—which should discuss 3-5 recent books on a shared topic or theme (or place) and run from 2,500 to 4,000 words. Review essays of urban-themed installations or other works of art are also welcome. These essays will be reviewed in house. Given our visual focus, we are interested in original, unpublished artwork on the topic of cities and in publishing articles accompanied by images where appropriate.

We encourage a variety of approaches to the urban phenomenon—the strengths of the editorial board run from urban geography to literature and film, photography and videogames, gender and sexuality, creative economy, popular music, Marxist approaches, fashion, urban planning, anthropology, sociology, Deaf culture, built environment, philosophy, architecture, detective fiction and noir, and more…

Are the (spatial/digital) humanities more than historical? (and a link to spatial.scholarslab.org)

So more on the spatial/digital humanities–

I’ll start by noting that  friend getting a degree in digital humanities recently told me the following: although her program stresses the need to bridge A) literary (English?) scholars with B) computer science/technologists–that is have an A person work with a B person on a project, she is being trained to be the B person in the literary-science pairing when her base is actually that of an A person and when she would like to continue to be the A person. I interpret this to mean that in collaborative projects, she would like to say ‘wouldn’t it be neat if literary scholars could have x’ to the B person and then have the B and A person work together on making that happen, assuming that a certain amount of unpredictable evolution would occur in the process. Sounds good–and I would venture to guess that this may not be an uncommon approach to digital humanities.

The idea or model of interdisciplinary pairings, clusters and research communities–in short, people working together on projects is certainly Continue reading

London Lives – Digital Humanities site

I found the following through a link included in a post on the Early Modern Online Bibliography, seems of potential interest, particularly in light of the HyperCities post on this blog some time ago… I wonder if there are similar sites for other cities?… (please comment or post if you know of any)

Main URL

http://www.londonlives.org

Description

London Lives makes available, in a fully digitised and searchable form, a wide range of primary sources about 18th-century London, with a particular focus on plebeian Londoners. It includes over 240,000 manuscript and printed pages from eight London archives and is supplemented by 15 datasets created by other projects. It provides access to historical records containing over 3.5 million name instances. Facilities are provided to allow users to link together records relating to the same individual, and to compile biographies of the best documented individuals.

While the bulk of the sources included concern criminal justice and poor relief, there are also records of a guild (the Carpenter’s Company) and a hospital (St Thomas’s), as well as databases of tax and voting records, wills, fire insurance registers and urban directories.

Worth a Read: F. R. Leavis (on C.P. Snow, technology and… Digital Humanities?)

I’m reading F. R. Leavis (of Scrutiny fame) at present–the book Nor Shall My Sword: Discourses on Pluralism, Compassion and Social Hope (1972, New York: Barnes & Noble[Harper & Row]) to be precise.

So many reasons you’d want read this. First: it includes the Richmond Lecture he delivered as a response to C.P. Snow’s 1959 Rede lecture that popularized the notion of ‘The Two Cultures’ and he LAMBASTES Snow, not without a certain dose of humor I would add; what Leavis considers to be Snow’s laughable career as a novelist, the fact that Snow could even think to talk about literature when he knows nothing about it, the first chapter alone had me in stitches–not that it’s written that way, but the criticisms are so direct and specific [perhaps personal] (and apt) that it is amusing to read.

But there are other reasons to read the book, which compiles several essays together and is not purely an attack on Snow. One of Snow’s statements (evidence for him of the split between two cultures) had been that Continue reading

Three Spatial/Geo Humanities books…

I finally found time to grab a few books from the library that have looked interesting:

The Spatial Humanities: GIS and the Future of Humanities Scholarship (Indiana 2010)

Envisioning Landscapes, Making Worlds: Geography and the Humanities (Routledge 2011)

GeoHumanities: Art, History, Text at the Edge of Place (Routledge 2011) (this link is a review)

(let’s see if I can find time to read them)…

I’m particularly interested to gauge the extent to which geographers are engaging with the literary text without reducing it to content, something that seems to have been a temptation for David Harvey in particular. Just having reread the introduction to Engaging Film–a great book, but one whose introduction attempts to reinvent the wheel in that it simplifies the notion of film as a “representation of reality” and then seeks to provide an “antiessentialist” vision of film that of course can be traced back to the very complex nature of the theories it cites (e.g. Siegfried Kracauer’s theory of film)–it seems that a more thorough reconciliation of the humanities and social sciences is necessary.

Lefebvre-bot on the city: (1) Introduction

A robot possessing the urban knowledge of French philosopher and spatial theorist Henri Lefebvre (1901-1991) explores the multidimensional nature of the city.

[multi-authored project, submit your own…!]