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Title: 'Some fanatical New York promoting' : literary economies of urban regime transformation in New York City, 1970s-1980s
Author: Neculai, Catalina
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2008
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The project is an inter-disciplinary intervention into a field that may be largely called New York Studies or, more explicitly, the uses of urban, human and cultural geography for a cultural-materialist history of New York between the fiscal crisis years of the mid-1970s through to the Market Crash of October 1987. My concern is to offer a critique of urban regime transformation in New York, the kind of private-public coalitions taking shape in response to the advent and consolidation of the FIRE (finance, insurance and real estate) industries and their socio-spatial implications, through the lenses of cultural production. I am interested in the ways in which representation - the literary, the cinematic (more sparsely and tangentially), the documented and the archival in an analytically productive conjunction - encodes and arbitrates the changes in the production of urban space in New York City. Thus, the project underlines the heightened significance of literary economies for understanding the experiential structures of urban transformation in 1970s and 1980s New York. Driven by the belief that written culture, just like visual art, may prefigure and telescope urban change, a handful of New York writers dared to tread (both literally and symbolically) where the sociologist, the urban geographer or the documenter does so by professional default, and thus engaged head-on with the hard city of socio-economic networks. This kind of ‘urbanisation of [literary] consciousness’ calls for refreshed modes of enquiry, proposed in Chapter 1, at which point fetishist and aestheticist constructions of the city in the postmodernist key become inadequate, insufficient and politically ineffectual interpretative strategies. The following three-fold case study analysis of counterculture and the underground economy, of homesteading and ‘low rent’ fiction, of the finance industry, publishing and ‘financial writing’ may offer radical opportunities for revisiting both the space of representation and the represented space of urban decline and growth through a geocultural reading for the unevenness of urban space.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: University of Warwick (UoW) ; Open Society Institute (OSI) ; European Science Foundation (ESF)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: F001 United States local history