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Title: Urban landscapes of (in)security : affect and emotion in New York City
Author: McMorrow, Aishling
ISNI:       0000 0004 6494 3905
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis emerges from a dissatisfaction with the way that fear and (in)security are attributed to the urban landscape of New York City after the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001. I explore how three central sites in New York City - Grand Central Terminal, Rockefeller Center and Central Park - are shaped much more centrally by discourses aimed at distracting people from feelings of (in)security. So while these sites are marked by security infrastructures, they are much more about leisure, pleasure and consumption than they are about fear or vulnerability. My central claim in this thesis is that emotions do not operate uniformly or placidly at these spaces, instead, to analyse the emotional register properly, a more extensive theorisation of the discursive is required. As such, I foreground the importance of incorporating the physical body into my analysis in order to explore the power of affect and emotion, and how these registers physically shape bodies and the spaces they move through. Instead of a singular reading of fear, I focus instead on the alternative and "distracting" discourses that take people away from fear, and call attention to the complex entanglements of affect, emotion, the corporeal and the spatial that enable these discourses to continually displace feelings of (in)security. What I find across these three sites is that the official discourses aimed at distracting people from feelings of (in)security encourage certain affects and emotions, and order bodies and spaces in particular ways. Neither the dominance of fear nor the alternative mobilisation of leisure go untroubled at these spaces. It is only by focusing on the (inter)actions of affect, emotion, the corporeal and the spatial that we are able to engage with these lively and plural registers of discourse, and show how bodies are constantly negotiating with the power structures they encounter.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available