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Marxism and Urban Culture

Edited by Benjamin Fraser - Foreword by Andy Merrifield - Contributions by Les Roberts; Malcolm Alan Compitello; Marc James Léger; Cayley Sorochan; Heather A. Vrana; Jeff Hicks; Kimberley DeFazio; Jelle Versieren; Brecht De Smet; Manuel Yang; Takeshi Haraguchi; Kazuya Sakurada and Benjamin Fraser

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Marxism and Urban Culture is the first volume to reconcile social science and humanities perspectives on culture. Covering a range of global cities—Bologna, Buenos Aires, Guatemala City, Liverpool, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Mahalla al-Kubra, Mexico City, Montreal, Osaka, Strasbourg, Vienna—the contributions fuse political and theoretical concerns with analyses of urban cultural practices and historical movements, as well as urban-themed literary and filmic art. Conceived as a response to the persistent rift between disciplinary Marxist approaches to culture, this book prioritizes the urban problematic and builds implicitly and explicitly on work by numerous thinkers: not only Karl Marx but also David Harvey, Henri Lefebvre, Friedrich Engels and Antonio Gramsci, among others. Rather than reanimate reductive views either of Marx or of urban theory, the chapters in Marxism and Urban Culture speak broadly to the interdisciplinary connections that are increasingly the concern of cultural scholars working across and beyond the boundaries of geography, sociology, history, political science, language and literature fields, film studies, and more. A foreword written by Andy Merrifield (the author of Metromarxism) and an introduction by Benjamin Fraser (the author of Henri Lefebvre and the Spanish Urban Experience) situate the book’s chapters firmly in interdisciplinary terrain. « less more »
Lexington Books
Pages: 282Size: 6 x 9 1/8
978-0-7391-9157-6 • Hardback • April 2014 • $95.00 • (£65.00)
978-0-7391-9448-5 • Paperback • April 2017 • $46.99 • (£31.95)
978-0-7391-9158-3 • eBook • April 2014 • $43.99 • (£29.95)
Benjamin Fraser is associate professor of Spanish film and cultural studies at the College of Charleston.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Acknowledgments
Foreword: Urbanism as World Culture and Here Comes Everybody by Andy Merrifield
Introduction: What Is Urban Culture? by Benjamin Fraser
Part I. MOBILIZING THE FILMIC CITY
Chapter 1. The Archive City: Film as Critical Spatial Practice
Les Roberts
Chapter 2. Capital, Mobility and Spatial Exclusion in Fernando León de Aranoa’s Barrio (1998)
Malcolm Alan Compitello
Part II. THE HUMAN SENSES IN URBAN CONTEXTS
Chapter 3. Henri Lefebvre in Strasbourg: The City as Use Value in José Luis Guerín’s Dans la ville de Sylvie (2007)
Benjamin Fraser
Chapter 4. Sensing Capital: Sight, Sound and Touch in Esteban Sapir’s La antena (2007)
Benjamin Fraser
Part III. CULTURES OF URBAN PROTEST
Chapter 5. Psychoprotest: Dérives of the Quebec Maple Spring
Marc James Léger and Cayley Sorochan
Chapter 6. The Huelga de Dolores and Guatemalan University Students’ ‘Happy and Wicked’ Reproduction of Space, 1966-1969
Heather A. Vrana
Part IV. THE HOUSING QUESTION
Chapter 7. Residential Differentiation in the Vertical Cities of J. G. Ballard and Robert Silverberg
Jeff Hicks
Chapter 8. Red Vienna, Class and the Common
Kimberly DeFazio
Part V. (INTER)NATIONALIZING THE URBAN
Chapter 9. Urban Culture as Passive Revolution: A Gramscian Sketch of the Uneven and Combined Transitional Development of Rural and Urban Modern Culture in Europe and Egypt
Jelle Versieren and Brecht De Smet
Chapter 10. The Urban Working-Class Culture of Riot in Osaka and L.A.: Toward a Comparative History 
Manuel Yang, Takeshi Haraguchi, and Kazuya Sakurada
Index
Notes on Contributors
This is a bold, thoughtful, and transformative book on ‘the urban’ as a point of encounter that enables an interdisciplinary understanding and transcending of alienation in urban culture from a Marxist point of view. It is required reading for anyone seeking to challenge the ‘dematerialising’ condition of urban culture in and beyond the academy.
Adam David Morton, Professor, University of Sydney, author of Revolution and State in Modern Mexico: The Political Economy of Uneven Development


A wide-ranging and compelling set of essays, which demonstrate the continuing importance of spatial theory in the political interpretation of books and films. This rich and evocative collection unearths both the spectacular and mundane political life of cities as diverse as Vienna, Osaka, and Liverpool, and follows a multitude of characters as they navigate the radical possibilities of their times. As serious as it shows the study of space and power to be, this is also an enjoyable travelogue through the political geographies of the capitalist city.
Donald McNeill, professor of urban and cultural geography, Institute for Culture and Society, University of Western Sydney


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