Charting Literary Urban Studies
Texts as Models of and for the City
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Guided by the multifaceted relations between city and text, Charting Literary Urban Studies: Texts as Models of and for the City attempts to chart the burgeoning field of literary urban studies by outlining how texts in varying degrees function as both representation of the city and as blueprints for its future development. The study addresses questions such as these: How do literary texts represent urban complexities – and how can they capture the uniqueness of a given city? How do literary texts simulate layers of urban memory – and how can they reinforce or help dissolve path dependencies in urban development? What role can literary studies play in interdisciplinary urban research? Are the blueprints or "recipes" for urban development that most quickly travel around the globe – such as "the creative city", "the green city" or "the smart city" – really always the ones that best solve a given problem? Or is the global spread of such travelling urban models not least a matter of their narrative packaging? In answering these key questions, this book also advances a literary studies contribution to the general theory of models, tracing a heuristic trajectory from the analysis of literary texts as representations of urban developments to an analysis of literary strategies in planning documents and other pragmatic, non-literary texts.
Table of Contents
- Interdisciplinary Urban Complexity Research and Texts as Qualitative Models
- Literary Models of Urban Complexity and the Problem of Simultaneity: A Sketchy Inventory of Strategies
- Palimpsests, Rhizomes, Nodes: Texts as Structural and Functional Urban Models
- Reversing Perspectives: Urban Memory in Built and Literary Postindustrial Cities
- Urban Activist Writing and the Transition from "Models of" to "Models for" Urban Developments
- Narrative Path Dependencies: From Scenario Building in Literary Texts to the Narratology and Rhetoric of Pragmatic Texts
- ‘Scripts’ in Urban Development: Procedural Knowledge, Self-Description and Persuasive Blueprint for the Future (Barbara Buchenau and Jens Martin Gurr)
- From the ‘Garden City’ to the ‘Smart City’: Literary Urban Studies, Policy Mobility Research and Travelling Urban Models
Jens Martin Gurr is professor of British and Anglophone Literature and Culture at the University of Duisburg-Essen. He has twelve years of research experience in the field of Literary Urban Studies with five edited collections and some thirty essays in this field alone. As director of the interdisciplinary Joint Center "Urban Systems" at the University of Duisburg-Essen and Speaker of the Competence Field "Metropolitan Research" in the University Alliance Ruhr, he has directed and co-directed numerous disciplinary and interdisciplinary research projects.