World Streets and Viae Ferae: The Nineteenth-Century Cityscape in Space and Time

December 2015
Studies in the Humanities;Dec2015, Vol. 42 Issue 1/2, p194
Academic Journal
"World Streets and Via Ferae: The Nineteenth-Century Cityscape in Space and Time." The broad subject of the essay is what happens to the material and imaginary cityscapes of the nineteenth-century European city after the nineteenth century, both in their original situations and as they travel globally. The specific topic in this article is the nineteenth-century street, and, in particular, two particular images of the nineteenth-century street that I call the "world street" and the "via fera." In the article, I discuss these images in terms of material changes in cityscapes since the nineteenth century, especially in terms of imperial and post-colonial manifestations, and in terms of cinema and the graphic novel. I am especially interested in what popular genres such as science fiction, fantasy, and horror have to offer current theories of urban culture that can both complement and contradict paradigms of realism and naturalism also inherited from the nineteenth century that continue to dominate thinking about the city.


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