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Critical Excursion: Re-mapping the Arcades Project


This two-day critical excursion, organised by the Space, Place and Time Research Group and led by researcher Sam Dolbear will consist of workshops, walks and film-screenings that focus around Walter Benjamin’s The Arcades Project (1927-40). Benjamin’s project began as a short essay– co-authored in 1927 with Franz Hessel, entitled ‘Paris Arcades: A Dialectical Fairyland’ – but soon the materials became unwieldy. Note cards and papers piled up, and Benjamin began arranging his sheaves of notes into ‘Convolutes’ on various themes, episodes and figures. The project was never finished, interrupted by his death in 1940. Bundles of fragmentary citations, images and reflections were gathered together and published posthumously – the resulting text remains unsynthesised, labyrinthine, contradictory, and open-ended. This short course will aim to give a panoramic sense of this panoramic text. The first day will cohere around the themes of history, historiography, temporality, and methodology. The morning will explore these themes through a workshop, followed by a walk and a screening of films on related themes. The second day will follow the same structure, but the focus will shift to the spatial configurations of the city: to processes of urban generation and regeneration, the subterranean spaces of the city, the notion of the threshold, the street and the interior, as well as building materials and construction techniques. At all stages, the course will explore Benjamin’s relation to the contemporary and the city of Glasgow in an interdisciplinary fashion, through the textual, visual and audial.

In order to express interest, please fill in the form below. Please note there are limited spaces available. The successful participants will contacted first week of June 2018. Travel and accommodation will be organised by SPT.

Deadline for applications: 31st May 2018

Earlier Event: 22 June
Kickstart your PhD
Later Event: 28 June
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