Walkers, Voyeurs and the Politics of Urban Space
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This issue of Radical History Review explores walking and seeing in the city over time, with essays that range from nineteenth-century Paris to mid and late twentieth-century England and Australia, and reflections on how the flâneur has and might be conceptualized to rethink the urban.
Three lively essays compel a rethinking of urban photography and surveillance, the queering and “cripping” of the city through the lens of disability studies, and the ways in which history and memory are reshaping how the postindustrial city is being experienced and represented.
Ralph Kingston illustrates the economic role of shopkeepers, not simply Hausmann’s planners, in shaping in mid-nineteenth century Paris pedestrian shopping arcades; Heather Vrana documents how Guatemala City students used “funereal flanerie” for radical ends; Eva Giloi explores how male Berlin youths in the early twentieth century charted pathways through the city to create autonomy; Barbara Schmucki offers a history of the pedestrian in motorized urban Britain; and Tess Lea and her colleagues illustrate how white economic imperatives aligned with racialized urban policy to constrain Aborigines in two Australian towns.
Don Mitchell reviews three books on the politics of sidewalks, pedestrians and “traffic logic.”
Teaching Radical History
Elihu Rubin illustrates how the urban dérive can challenge conventions of the walking tour.
Todd Miller and Neigel Smith describe Total Detroit, a walking tour inspired by performance studies.
Gabrielle Bendiner-Viani describes the power of the image and public art on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.