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Free Content Inaugural editorial: Urban cultural studies – a manifesto (part 2)

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This two-part editorial launching the first volume of the Journal of Urban Cultural Studies (JUCS) details the need for and significance of an urban cultural studies (UCS) method, broadly conceived. Focusing on two specific areas of interdisciplinary study – the ever-shrinking gap between film studies and geography and the rise of spatial theory in literary studies, this installment of the editorial hopes to tease out the problems and potential that arise with discipline-crossing scholarship. Overall, UCS foments a dialogue between art and society – between textual/representational (humanities) understandings of culture and anthropological, geographical, sociological (social science) approaches. This is ideally accomplished within a reconfigured urban studies paradigm that continues to embrace its characteristic focus on architecture, built environment, city planning, everyday life, identity formation, landscape, space/place and transportation, while venturing further into artistic terrain than ever before – films, literature, music, sequential art, painting, digital humanities approaches and more.

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Keywords: Henri Lefebvre; disciplinarity; film; geography; interdisciplinarity; literature; spatial theory; urban cultural studies

Document Type: Editorial

Affiliations: East Carolina University

Publication date: 01 September 2014

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  • Cities have been increasingly at the forefront of debate in both humanities and social-science disciplines, but there has been relatively little dialogue across these disciplinary boundaries. Journals in social-science fields that use urban-studies methods to look at life in cities rarely explore the cultural aspects of urban life in any depth or delve into close readings of the representation of cities in individual cultural products. As a platform for interdisciplinary scholarship from any and all linguistic, cultural and geographical traditions, the Journal of Urban Cultural Studies prioritizes the urban phenomenon in order to better understand the culture(s) of cities.
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