Joseph Paxton, Great Victorian Way, 1855
Iowa State University, Center for Excellence in Arts and Humanities (CEAH) Symposium, April 4-5, 2016. Full details and free registration at www.whatistheurban.org)
What Is the Urban? Registers of a World Interior
The urban is an unavoidable condition of contemporary life. The ubiquity of this category as a site of scholarly research may rest on the urgency we face in accommodating ourselves to its contradictions, imposed forms of violence, and the environmental fallout it has unleashed. Yet for as much as it has opened itself to scholarly research in recent years, there is little reflection on the category itself. It appears instead as a kind of background condition–the unquestioned specification for the definition of other problems. The urban, it seems, is a given.
This symposium opens with a simple yet perplexing question: what is the urban? It brings together a range of internationally renowned and…
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