The book is structured in four parts. In part one, literary and theoretical utopias from the early modern period to the nineteenth-century are reconsidered. Part two investigates twentieth-century urban utopianism and contemporary alternative settlements focusing on social and environmental issues, activism and eco-village living. Part three looks to wider horizons in recent practices in the non-affluent world, and Part four reviews a range of cases from the author’s visits to specific sites. This is followed by a short conclusion in which a discussion of key issues is resumed.
This book brings together insights from literary, theoretical and practical utopias, drawing out the characteristics of groups and places that are part of a new society. It links today’s utopian experiments to historical and literary utopias, and to theoretical problems in utopian thought.
The book begins with introductory chapters on the concepts of a city and a culture (the latter in the anthropological sense as well as denoting the arts), citing cases from modern literature. The book then moves from a critical account of cultural production in a metropolitan setting to the idea that a city, too, is produced through the characteristic ways of life of its inhabitants. The cultural industries are scrutinised for their relation to such cultures as well as to city marketing, and attention is given to the European Cities of Culture initiative, and to the hybridity of contemporary urban cultures in a period of globalisation and migration. In its penultimate chapter the book looks at incidental cultural forms and cultural means to identify formation; and in its final chapter, examines the permeability of urban cultures and cultural forms. Sources are introduced, positions clarified and contrasted, and notes given for selective further reading.
Playing on the two meanings of culture, Miles takes an unique approach by relating arguments around these meanings to specific cases of urban development today. The book includes both critical comment on a range of literatures - being a truly inter-disciplinary study - and the outcome of the author's field research into urban cultures.
This book looks back to past avant-gardes from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries examining the theoretical and critical terrain around avant-garde cultural interventions, and profiles a range of contemporary cases of radical cultural practices. The author brings together material from a wide range of disciplines to argue for cultural intervention as a means to radical change, while recognizing that most such efforts in the past have not delivered the dreams of their perpetrators.
Distinctive in that it places works of the imagination in the political and cultural context of environmentalism, this book asks how cultural work might contribute to radical social change. It is equally concerned with theory and practice - part one providing a theoretical framework and part two illustrating such frameworks with examples.
Opening up areas of thought previously unexplored in arts and education, this book introduces students of visual culture, peformance studies and art and design to broad contextual frameworks, new directions in practice, and finally gives detailed cases from, and insights into, a changing pedagogy.