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Space, power and governance in mid-twentieth century British cities

Reconstructing modernity assesses the character of approaches to rebuilding British cities during the decades after the Second World War. It explores the strategies of spatial governance that sought to restructure society and looks at the cast of characters who shaped these processes. It challenges traditional views of urban modernism as moderate and humanist, shedding new light on the importance of the immediate post-war for the trajectory of urban renewal in the twentieth century. The book shows how local corporations and town planners in Manchester and Hull attempted to create order and functionality through the remaking of their decrepit Victorian cities. It looks at the motivations of national and local governments in the post-war rebuilding process and explores why and how they attempted the schemes they did. What emerges is a picture of local corporations, planners and city engineers as radical reshapers of the urban environment, not through the production of grand examples of architectural modernism, but in mundane attempts to zone cities, produce greener housing estates, control advertising or regulate air quality. Their ambition to control and shape the space of their cities was an attempt to produce urban environments that might be both more orderly and functional, but also held the potential to shape society.

Rechnological necromancy and E. Elias Merhige’s Shadow of the Vampire
Carol Margaret Davison

of such scientific technologies as the camera, the projector, and sound recording (Neale, 1985 : 1) – technologies largely developed in the nineteenth century – regarded as possessing a deadly yet death-defying occult power. The mixed characterisation of cinema as both supernatural and scientific positions it at the threshold of modernity, at the Enlightenment crossroads of Old and

in The Gothic and death
Ali Rattansi

‘Solid’ modernity Liquids, unlike solids, cannot easily hold their shape. Fluids, so to speak, neither fix space nor bind time. While solids have clear spatial dimensions but neutralize impact, and thus downgrade the significance of time (effectively resist its flow or render it irrelevant), fluids do not keep to any shape for long and are constantly ready (and prone) to change it; and so for them it is the flow of time that counts more than the space they happen to occupy … In a sense, solids cancel time: for liquids, on the contrary, it is mostly time that

in Bauman and contemporary sociology
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Sam Rohdie

Modernity Griffith’s editing spatialised time, and Griffith established a tension between the temporal linearity of the narrative and the spatial simultaneity of his parallel alternating editing. One of the interesting aspects of Welles’s F for Fake (1973) is the circularity and overlapping of the editing as if the film was a spatial surface upon which various temporalities were edited together, the case with Griffith. Welles has three roles in The Lady from Shanghai (1947) as he has in F for Fake, Citizen Kane (1941), Mr Arkadin (1955) and The Immortal Story

in Film modernism
Bauman’s problem of agency, again
Ali Rattansi

‘Liquid’ modernity vs ‘reflexive’ modernity: Bauman’s problem of agency, again Bauman’s conception of agency has been a source of some debate, and has often been tied in to a concern over whether he is fundamentally a pessimist or an optimist (Dawson 2012). Earlier in the book I have had occasion to draw attention to some of the points at which Bauman’s sociology wipes out agency, for example when he relies on abstract reifications of social forms such as ‘modernity’ and ‘postmodernity’, or when consumers are treated as being so driven by the urge to consume

in Bauman and contemporary sociology
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The bare essentials
Ali Rattansi

Liquid modernity: the bare essentials Liquid modernity, not unlike postmodernity, is a time of ‘interregnum’, Bauman says, one in which existing institutions, because of ‘deregulation, fragmentation and privatization’, have been denuded of larger visions and the capacity to bring about change, resulting in a profound loss of trust in dominant institutions (Bauman and Donskis 2013: 84; Bauman and Bordoni 2014: 98; Bauman, Jacobsen and Tester 2013: 89). It is a ‘between and betwixt’ period ‘when the old ways of having things done no longer work properly, but new

in Bauman and contemporary sociology
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Images, words, and cross-national connections
Vanesa Rodríguez-Galindo

reason, it is important to reframe Madrid’s cultural representations within broader debates. Two feelings that commonly arose in Madrid were nostalgia and recollection, and reconceptualisations of time were fundamental in mediating change. 2 Some historians of Spain have argued that Spanish citizens resisted adapting to technological progress and advances introduced elsewhere in Europe. However, as we explored in the introduction, recent histories of Spanish modernity study the duality of new and old, reframing modernity as something other than a binary division of

in Madrid on the move
Franju’s cinema in the age of the court métrage
Kate Ince

expresses the interplay between history and modernity found particularly in Notre Dame, cathédrale de Paris , while the film as a whole picks up the emphases on everydayness, traditional popular culture, and tourism found in several other of his courts métrages . Movement, speed and modernity The sense of movement that dominates Notre Dame, cathédrale de Paris and Sur le pont d

in Georges Franju
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David Hardiman

the colonial powers. Here, it seemed, was the most fruitful prospect for a continuing missionary engagement in a postcolonial world. Missionaries were, in future, to be the bearers of medical modernity to the ‘underdeveloped’. The focus was switching from saving the ‘sin-sick body’ as a part of a ‘civilising mission’ to curing the pathological body through ‘developmental aid

in Missionaries and their medicine
The Western canon and the incorporation of the Hispanic (c. 1850–75)
Author:

Instead of modernity revisits the key moment in the mid-nineteenth century when, it is said, ‘all that is solid melts into air’. Spanning the visual arts, literature, and thought, it reconsiders artists and writers linked to the foundations of modern culture: Marx, Darwin, Nietzsche, Flaubert, Baudelaire, Whitman, Whistler and Courbet. In so doing, it offers an alternative to the obsession with notions of ‘modernity’ that underpin many influential theories of culture. It incorporates the Hispanic world (Spain and Spanish America) into the story of this time, disrupting and reconfiguring the narrative of ‘modernity’, challenging the belief the Hispanic had opened the doors to the ‘modern’ but was overtaken by cultures of the north-west Atlantic. While this points beyond the divide between a supposed core and periphery in culture, the book likewise undermines the patriarchal basis of canonical modernity, giving prominence to women from the painter Rosa Bonheur, and the photographers Jane Clifford and Julia Margaret Cameron, to the actress Matilde Díez. Instead of ‘modernity’, the book conjures visions of intimate connection between places and times, between representations and realities, between selves and others. It explores commonality and similarity. In its own prose, it envisages ways of conducting and writing comparative cultural study, beyond contextualisation and historicisation, drawing on the nineteenth-century imagination. In that spirit, the book finds its way across diverse fields and subject matter, tracing connections between them, from sexuality to optical technology, from brain slices to taxidermy. In so doing, it conjures four moods: meeting, departure, sacifice and repose.