no. 4

Edward Soja

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In this first installment of "Opening the Canon," Mark Shiel reflects on Edward Soja's influence on media studies, urban studies, and their intersections.

Ruins, Representation, and the Right to the City

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In “Ruins, Representation and the Right to the City,” Spencer Cunningham provides a deft summary of the ongoing discussion surrounding the redevelopment of the City of Detroit, exploring the aesthetics (or, rather, the aestheticization) of the city’s urban ruins, and the contradictory forces of gentrification that continue into the present day.

Urban Topographies of Global Imagination

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In “Urban Topographies of Global Imagination,” Josh White investigates the geographical dimensions of global governance and its disjunction from the imaginaries of global communion that appear in contemporary popular culture, including the television program, Sense8. White’s analysis includes a critical examination of Michel Foucault’s “heterotopias.”

Infrastructural Inequalities and Digital Divides

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In “Infrastructural Inequality and Digital Divides,” Kortnee Tilson navigates through the dense theoretical content of Manuel Castells’ work on networked societies, and provides an evaluation of his insights for questions of power, inequality and access in connection with digital infrastructures.

The Challenges (and Rewards) of Teaching Media Infrastructures through Popular Culture 

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Joshua Synenko introduces the papers featured in the inaugural issue of the Student Voices section. In it, he explains the context for his course, Contemporary Topics in Media Studies, where he had his students focus on the relationships between media and urban geography with a particular focus on urban infrastructures and geomedia. He provides brief overviews of the student work featured in the section.

The Extended City Symphony

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Welcome to the first installment of “From the Archive,” a new recurring section highlighting archival-based scholarship and practice in urban media studies. To start things off, Floris Paalman discusses how the ideas of “database cinema”  informed the curation of the Extended City Symphony Program at EYE Filmmuseum’s ResarchLab. 

Public Feeling: Rethinking Memorials and Monuments

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Beyond acting as lightning rod for continued social and political divisions today, might there also be other cultural shifts related to monuments and memorials in public space at play? Recent literature on the contemporary memorial landscape from the field of art history engages with the shifting terrain of public feeling and performative utterances in the increasingly mediated contemporary city, analyzing both its pitfalls and its strengths in countering the presumed monolithic power of the monument.