002 – Tokyo – Thornbury on Trains, Gender and Mobility – Urban Cultural Studies Podcast

UCS 002 Thornbury on Trains, Gender, and Fictional Characters in Tokyo (3 August 2013)  Conversational interview inspired by scholar Barbara Thornbury‘s article “Tokyo, Gender, and Mobility: Tracking Fictional Characters on Real Monorails, Trains, Subways, and Trams,” forthcoming in the Journal of Urban Cultural Studies (1.1, 2013). Focusing on “My Slightly Crooked Brooch” by Noboru Tsujihara,  other prose works and films discussed include Real World (Natsuo Kirino), The Thief (Fuminori Nakamura), “Newlywed” (Banana Yoshimoto), Train Man (Shosuke Murakami), and Café Lumière(Hsiao-Hsien Hou). [LINK TO ORIGINAL PUBLISHER]

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T2M Conference–Transportation and Mobility (Madrid 2012)

The 2012 T2M Transportation and Mobility Conference was held in Madrid — since this was my first time attending I would have to say I would definitely go back. It was a very cozy and even intimate conference with a conversational feel, sessions were well attended and discussion was lively. Each year they take what I would call a ‘class photo’ above you can see the photo from this year. Usually there are optional excursions highlighting the theme of the conference — the one I went on was a tour of the ‘ghost station’ Chamberi in Madrid that is open to those interested, now as a museum of sorts–not to be confused with the Railway Museum / Museo del ferrocarril, which was the conference’s central location (Delicias). The session comprised by Susan Larson, Araceli Masterson and myself was framed as a way of blending trains/transportation with culture in general terms, and the discussion was quite interesting indeed, (thanks to those who made it so worthwhile!), and even though most of the other sessions were not as ‘cultural’ (in humanistic terms) there was a great talk on intermodality in Anglophone film as well as some fascinating airport talks (the phrase “airports are about cars” is now etched in my memory). Anyone who attended the excursion to the ghost museum should take a look at Araceli’s paper on that very museum, which can be found with some other excellent articles in this book (ch. 8) – Trains, Culture and Mobility: Riding the Rails (2012). See the full program below… Continue reading

Urbanized – view entire documentary online here

I’m currently about 30 minutes (out of approx. 86 minutes) through Urbanized which I am watching here, I see it is the third documentary in a series by Gary Hustwit who also did Helvetica (a documentary on what is aptly called there something along the lines of the ‘font of gentrification’ – watch it when you get a chance).

The images and composition are incredible, and I can imagine using this as a first assignment in an Introduction to Urban Studies course or equivalent…

Many basics and themes that could be expanded upon in subsequent discussions – Haussmann, Garden Cities, public transportation and democracy Robert Moses vs. Jane Jacobs – specific locations featured so far include Santiago Chile, Mumbai, Bogota, Brasilia, Copenhagen, un-cumbersome interviews with a variety of architects, nyc city planner, etc. so far seeming to be very inclusive geographically.