Showing posts from December, 2009

the notion of 'public' space

The ongoing debate about photography in 'public' spaces has many parallels with my own work on space in the eighteenth century.
This recent article and Steve Bell's excellent 'If' series last week raise the same issues that have been troubling eighteenth century historians ever since Jurgen Habermas's Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere was translated into English in the late 80s. In fact, streets, squares, town halls, and other seemingly 'public' buildings have in essence always been 'private', controlled by local authorities, private estates and landowners, who determined their uses, who had the right to use them, and when.
I'm looking at loitering as a means of protest at the moment, not just during obvious types of action such as strikes and demonstrations, but also during what de Certeau would term the resistance of 'everyday life'.
Loitering disrupted authorities' control over the streets, but its very disorganisa…

article on Gillray cartoons

new university webpage