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Out now! Urban Microcosms. 1789-1940 (eds. M. Dirscherl; A. Köhler); includes contributions on spa towns and artist colonies in seaside resorts

Cover Urban Microcosms

Cover Urban Microcosms
Image Credit: University of London

News from Sep 06, 2019

Urban microcosms are small-scale communal spaces that are integral to, or integrated into, city life. Some, such as railway stations or department stores, are typically located in city centres. Others, such as parks, are less quintessentially metropolitan, whilst harbours or beaches are often located on the peripheries of cities or outside them altogether. All, however, are part of a network of nodes establishing connections in and beyond the city. Together, they shape and inflect the infrastructure of modern life.

European Spa's Principal Investigator Astrid Köhler in her contribution "Nineteenth-Century Spa Towns and Urban Microcosms: The Case of Karlovy Vary" analyzes how spas "established urban structures in general, and urban microcosms in particular, in decidedly rural environments." 

By introducing the concept of urban microcosm into social, cultural, and literary studies, this interdisciplinary volume challenges the widely held assumption that city life is evenly spread across its spaces. Sixteen case studies focus on selected urban microcosms from across Europe between 1789 and 1940, and examine the external appearance, representation, histories, and internal rules of these organizational structures and facilities. In so doing, they contribute to an understanding of modernity, and of the impact of the dynamics of urban life on human experience and intersubjectivity.

Dirscherl, Margit; Köhler, Astrid (eds.). Urban Microcosms 1789-1940. London: University of London, 2019, 310 pp. 

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