UCL Urban Laboratory


The archive in the city: Reading space into written sources at Cities Methodologies 2014

31 October 2014, 5:00 pm–6:00 pm

Archive in the City

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Slade Research Centre, UCL, Woburn Square, London WC1H 0HB

Join us for this informal discussion on 'The archive in the city: Reading space into written sources', an attempt to move beyond the study of history through its traditional preoccupation with time, and instead thinking about ways in which historians can talk about space.

The session aims to answer questions such as: How can historians, geographers and others find ways to let written sources speak to us about space? How can we use new sources, or our traditional sources in new ways, to consider this subject? How do we position ourselves between theories of space in the city that emphasise planning, infrastructure and the urban expert, versus attempts to find agency in the urban subaltern? Short papers will be presented; 'My Top 5 Nineteenth Century Lille Municipal Councillors' and 'A cinema is a recreational machine: architecture and modernity in Santiago, 1915-1935'.

Rather than a traditional, formal academic seminar, this discussion will bring the audience into an ongoing discussion, rich with visual aids; not only copies of cinema plans or cartoons, but also transcripts of council debates, showing where the stenographer recorded asides such as "Laughter" or "Angry noises". In this sense the exhibitors intend to bring their sources to life, and thus bring their research to life.

The event will be chaired by the cultural and historical geographer James Kneale (UCL Geography) and feature two PhD students from UCL History, Harry Stopes and Camila Gatica Mizala.

This event requires no prior booking.