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This book explores contemporary urban experiences connected to practices of sharing and collaboration. Part of a growing discussion on the cultural meaning and the politics of urban commons, it uses examples from Europe and Latin America to support the view that a world of mutual support and urban solidarity is emerging today in, against, and beyond existing societies of inequality. In such a world, people experience the potentialities of emancipation activated by concrete forms of space commoning. By focusing on concrete collective experiences of urban space appropriation and participatory design experiments this book traces differing, but potentially compatible, trajectories through which common space (or space-as-commons) becomes an important factor in social change. In the everydayness of self-organized neighborhoods, in the struggles for justice in occupied public spaces, in the emergence of “territories in resistance,” and in dissident artistic practices of collaborative creation, collective inventiveness produces fragments of an emancipated society.

Monstrosity, Ecocriticism and Socio-Political Anxieties in Two Sea Narratives
Mariaconcetta Costantini

This article analyses two recent American rewritings of the Leviathan myth: Dan Simmons‘s The Terror (2007) and Tim Curran‘s Leviathan (2013). Belonging to a tradition that has fruitfully elaborated the sea monster paradigm, both novels respond to current concerns about the spiritual and ethical decline of Western culture, the perils of anarchy, the monetarization of relations, and the impending ecological disasters. Besides exploring the biblical and Hobbesian intertextuality of the two novels, the article investigates various meanings coalescing into the scary creatures represented by Simmons and Curran. Two other objects of scrutiny are the increasing spectacularization of horror in todays literature and the potentiality of nautical Gothic, a form of writing that connotes the sea as a perturbing generator of psychoontological distress.

Gothic Studies
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Material Gothic
Stephen Shapiro

As Gothic works knock the stuffing out their subject and splatter the remains over the page and screen, their obsessive focus on an economy of decomposing bodies in distress makes a compelling case for the attraction they exert on materialist criticism. A broad and heterogeneous spectrum of left social and cultural critique has always relied on Gothic referents to make descriptive sense of the teratology of life within societies dominated by the bourgeoisie. Marx‘s Capital begins, after all, by seeing the ‘monstrous ungeheure accumulation of commodities’ as the symptom of something gone terribly wrong in liberal political economy.1 What, though, if the Gothic codex is more than simply ornamental language or images added to the otherwise dry bones of philosophical, political, and economic writings and is itself a mode of critical inquiry into capitalist modernity that may also interrogate classical Marxisms precepts and underexplored aspects? If Marxism has depended on Gothic referents to make its point, can Gothic return the favor by thinking through obstacles and potentialities within familiar Marxist claims? In this light, we mean ‘material Gothic’ as something greater than simply a less provocative name for Marxist-inflected readings of Gothic works, and understand it as a project in which Gothic studies can inform and reshape cultural and historical materialism.

Gothic Studies
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Stavros Stavrides

, narrated, shown through voluntary or involuntary body signs as, for example, in an exclamation or in a cry of anguish). Experience, then, is socially controlled through the distribution of the sensible because it is made a social fact through exchanges of actions and expressions between people. Although the distribution of the sensible tries to limit and arrange the field of possible experiences and thus cripple experience as potentiality, the social life of experiences 6 ­ Common spaces of urban emancipation is a process of sharing, which in principle may escape

in Common spaces of urban emancipation
Thomas Docherty

double-sided, might it not also follow that ‘there is no document of barbarism that is not also and at the same time a document of civilisation’? This would be the shocking possible corollary of Benjamin’s famous thesis. The status of the document would thus become genuinely problematic: aesthetic documents – the artefacts of culture – are neither intrinsically civilised nor intrinsically barbaric; rather, the document manifests itself as the merest potentiality for either civilisation or barbarism. ‘Culture’ would now be the name that we give to the inhabiting of this

in The new aestheticism
Stavros Stavrides

of challenging established common worlds, space (the site of experience and the means to 3 ­ 0 Common spaces of urban emancipation represent it and to reflect upon it) is being activated as a source of social potentialities. Insurgent public spaces, politicized cohabitation practices, territorialities of resistance and new spatial arrangements aimed at promoting democratic forms of participation: all these are rich sources for spatial potentialities that shape social potentialities. True, common space (as distinct from public space) existed and still exists in

in Common spaces of urban emancipation
Stavros Stavrides

Resisting urban renewal in Barcelona’s periphery 99 5 Commoning neighborhoods: resisting urban renewal in Barcelona’s periphery In search for the potentialities of emancipatory commoning, a lot is to be learned by studying practices of cohabitation in housing complexes. We know that in most cases people are forced to live together under conditions that they never chose merely because they don’t have other options. Neighborhoods of so-called affordable housing programs or social housing complexes more often than not become stigmatized areas for the urban poor

in Common spaces of urban emancipation
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Reading Lawrence Weiner
Katie L. Price

, indeed, need not be made at all. While this statement links Weiner to conceptual art’s emphasis on ideas over material objects, this essay argues that Weiner’s works exist as forms of potential that require close attention to materiality and language. Weiner’s primary interest, I hope to show, concerns potentiality and the ways in which language can structure potential. Working in the medium of language allows Weiner to structure specific relationships that produce unexpected results, objects, meanings and significations. Weiner’s language sculptures – which take the

in Mixed messages
Joost Fontein

Chiadzwa diamond fields in 2008/9? In this chapter I explore how these questions about the identity of the dead, the manner of their deaths and who has sovereignty over them – i.e. by whom and how they should be exhumed and reburied – were provoked by the excessive potentialities of the properties of the human substances being exhumed; by their profoundly evocative and affective, yet unstable, uncertain and ultimately indeterminate materialities. It focuses on how the mass of stinking, intermingling, leaky, half-decaying bodies and bodily substances being disinterred and

in Governing the dead
Stavros Stavrides

struggle was “the inclusion of the social function of property and the social function of the city in the 1988 Brazilian Constitution” (Maricato 2009: 203). The next turning point was equally decisive in terms of the potentialities it created for the implementation of the right to the city in Brazilian society: The City Statute Federal Law was voted by the National Congress in 2001. This very complex law actually develops the legal tools necessary for the democratization of city governance, the regularization of land ownership (in direct connection to the social function

in Common spaces of urban emancipation