From the Editors’ Desk: Media, the Urban, and Current Politics

Of all the issues connected to the global upheavals caused by the outcome of the US Presidential Election, Brexit, and the global rise of right-wing populist nationalism, two of the most prominent in the discourse have been the role of media and of the urban. However, while both terms have been debated endlessly and conceptualized in multiple ways – from fake news to the mediation of the public sphere and from a locus of elitism to a shorthand for opposed demographics – they have not been discussed in connection with one another. Because the Journal’s purview and its very name are dedicated not only to the conjunction of mediation and the urban environment but also to the contention that we can no longer understand either term except in light of the other, we have created a new kind of very extended, collective and collaborative editorial note / round robin we’re calling From the Editors’ Desk – composed of our Managing Editors and members of our Editorial and Advisory Boards.

The Managing Editors will offer an introductory post, following which Board member will offer a response.

Media/Polis: City and Media in Light of Trump, Brexit, and the Global Far-Right (January 21, 2017)

In this introduction, managing editors Erica Stein & Brendan Kredell introduce the main thematic issues and questions to be addressed.

Are Cities Sanctuaries? Mapping Migration in the Mediated Metropolis (January 21, 2017)

In the first essay, advisory board member Sabine Haenni explores the limits of local warmth, sanctuary cities, and the mediation of experiences of immigration and migration in fiction films.

Class Consciousness, Cinema, and the Rise of Trump (January 23, 2017)

In the second essay, editorial board member Johan Andersson explores the relationship between political crisis and class consciousness in cinema past and present.

No Cities to Love: The Urban as Population, not People (January 24, 2017)

In the third essay, editorial board member Caitlin Bruce argues the city could not figure in public imaginaries as a space for authentic populism in the 2016 election because of its long-standing representation as a contagion in cinema.

Trump, The Wire‘s Serial Killer, and the State of the News (January 25, 2017)

In the fourth essay, advisory board member Stan Corkin claims the neoliberalization of journalism as a key cause in the rise of Trump, and looks to the fifth season of The Wire as anticipating this phenomenon.

DO NOT ADJUST YOUR SET! Recalibrating Urban Cinema & Media Studies Under Donald Trump (January 27, 2017)

In the fifth essay, advisory board member Mark Shiel calls for urban cinema and media studies to reorient its methodologies in the wake of Donald Trump’s election.

On the Outpacing of Reality and the Uses of Representation (January 31, 2017)

Managing Editors Erica Stein and Brendan Kredell kick off the second phase of From the Editors’ Desk by asking what role media and the city can play in an effective response to the rapid pace of change.

Hollywood and the Muslim Ban: The Contemporary War Film as Urban Cinema (February 2, 2017)

In the second round’s first post, Johan Andersson considers the relationship between Trump’s rhetoric and the anti-urban themes of the contemporary war film.

Migrating Globally, Fighting Back Locally (February 4, 2017)

In the second round’s second post, Sabine Haenni fills in the “points of warmth” on her migration map with examples of local resistance and local cinemas.

The Speed of Power, The Pace of Protest: Resistant Urban Rhythms (February 6, 2017)

In the second round’s third post, Caitlin Bruce identifies the polyrhythmic nature of the city as a potent model for resistance to the Trump administration’s tactics, and to anti-urban representations of the city as population instead of populace.

Trump and the Dialectic of Enlightenment (February 9, 2017)

In the second round’s fourth post, Stan Corkin discusses Trump’s affinity with televisuality and the dangers of the reality effect.

“Sous les paves, la plage!” [Under the paving stones, the beach] (February 13, 2017)

In the final post of the second round, Mark Shiel considers some historical precedents for the current moment.