Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


IAS Book Launch: Maxwell Street - Writing and Thinking Place

11 December 2019, 6:00 pm–8:00 pm

Maxwell Street

We are delighted to welcome Tim Cresswell (University of Edinburgh) for the launch of his book 'Maxwell Street - Writing and Thinking Place'. Hayley Newman and Sharon Morris (Slade, UCL), Tariq Jazeel (Geography, UCL) and Sabina Andron (Bartlett, UCL) will provide responses. Chaired by Albert Brenchat (IAS, UCL)

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Albert Brenchat


IAS Forum
Ground floor, South Wing, UCL
United Kingdom

Maxwell Street - Writing and Thinking Place

This book launch is part of the Waste programme at the IAS. Find out more here


What is the nature of place, and how does one undertake to write about it? To answer these questions, geographer and poet Tim Cresswell looks to Chicago’s iconic Maxwell Street Market area. Maxwell Street was for decades a place where people from all corners of the city mingled to buy and sell goods, play and listen to the blues, and encounter new foods and cultures. Now, redeveloped and renamed University Village, it could hardly be more different.

In Maxwell Street, Cresswell advocates approaching the study of place as an “assemblage” of things, meanings, and practices. He models this innovative approach through a montage format that exposes the different types of texts—primary, secondary, and photographic sources—that have attempted to capture the essence of the area. Cresswell studies his historical sources just as he explores the different elements of Maxwell Street—exposing them layer by layer. Brilliantly interweaving words and images, Maxwell Street sheds light on a historic Chicago neighbourhood and offers a new model for how to write about place that will interest anyone in the fields of geography, urban studies, or cultural history.

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