Essays on Urban Culture

Edited by Alexandra Boutros and Will Straw
Publisher: McGill-Queen’s University Press
ISBN: (0773536655) 9780773536654

ISBN: (0773536655) 9780773536654

The lived experience of cities has long been defined by motion. As urban dwellers travel to work, home, and play they carve random or predictable pathways across neighbourhoods and districts. Circulation and the City investigates the urban capacity for movement, the city as a space of circulation, by taking into account not only the physical displacement of people but the circulation of cultures, things, and ideas.

A series of rich case studies examine a range of topics, including neighbourhood gentrification, subway busking, yard sales, electronic waste, and language, refining the touchstone principle of circulation for the study of urban culture, both materially and theoretically. Contributors employ a variety of disciplinary approaches to create a richly varied picture of the multiple trajectories and effects of movement in the city. An engaging work that considers city planning, urban culture, and social behaviour, Circulation and the City adds a new dimension that revitalizes the ways we have commonly looked at – and thought about – the city.




Table of Contents

Alexandra Boutros and Will Straw: Introduction

Part One: The Mobile City
Michael Darroch: Language in the City, Language of the City
Jennifer Gabrys: Telepathically Urban
Alan Blum: The Imaginary of Self-Satisfaction: Reflections on the Platitudes of the “Creative City”

Part Two: City Traffic
Jenny Burman: Absence, “Removal,” and Everyday Life in the Diasporic City: Anti-Detention/Deportation Activism in Montreal
Alexandra Boutros: The Spirit of Traffic: Navigating Faith in the City
Amanda Boetzkes: The Ephemeral Stage at Lionel Groulx Station
tobias c. van Veen: Cities of Rhythm and Revolution

Part Three: City Circuits
Will Straw: Spectacles of Waste
Alexander Sedlmaier and Barthold Pelzer: Places of Global Shape: The World of Consumption in Divided Berlin
Amanda Holmes: Modern Heroics: The Flâneur in Adolfo Bioy Casare’s El sueño de los héroes
Kieran Bonner: Temple Bay, Density and Circulation: The City as a Terrain of Many Voices


Review Quotes

“The theoretical and materialist attention to circulation, movement and rhythm in the city is part of a contemporary debate in the social sciences and humanities and this volume adds considerable depth to what is an important discussion.”

Ben Highmore, University of Sussex