Katie Scott, Courtauld Institute of Art
Richard Wittman, University of California, Santa Barbara
Art and architectural histories have traditionally approached the city in terms of the monuments and structures of its built environment and the distribution of its spaces. But the city is also, after all, its people: people who occupied and inhabited buildings, shared spaces and resources, and invested in or were inspired by ideas, labor, and beliefs. How did the city make room for that sharing? How did it inhibit it? Institutional structures—those of religion, politics, the economy, of ‘police’ in the broadest early-modern sense—played an essential part in fostering conditions in which social life occurred. How exactly did that fostering happen in the eighteenth century, and what were its intended and unintended consequences? At the same time, urban dwellers, whether elite or subaltern, continually use, transform, exploit, or otherwise make a city their own; the social forms an essential context for such appropriations. How were the limits and possibilities of social life in the eighteenth-century city defined, regulated, and sustained? In what ways did different constituencies represent those limits and possibilities, and discuss and debate them? How were they made visible, made audible, made legible? And how did different categories of labor shape and support a city’s social life?
Editors invite proposals that engage with the questions asked above, directly addressing relations between built forms and social bodies. These are some themes that are, we feel, raised by the topic: boundaries (walls, ditches) and the exclusion or protection of the faiths, nations, and trades they helped shape; bridges and the connections they cemented between neighborhoods, markets, spaces of leisure, etc.; infrastructure (roads, water, lighting, refuse collection) and the support it gave to the lived experience of the city; beauty and the collective aspiration to care and conservation, and also to better worlds that it proposed. We welcome contributions that consider actual spaces and communities and also ones that reflect critically on projects, both unrealized and utopian. We are open to essays that take as their objects of study built form, the representation of built form and the city generally, and urban material culture (e.g. guidebooks, street maps, shoes, carriages, walking sticks).
Proposals for issue #15 Cities are now being accepted.
Deadline for proposals: 15 March 2022.
Articles should not exceed 6000 words (including footnotes) and will be due by September 1, 2022.