Between Urban Topographies and Political Spaces: Threshold Experiences uses the term "threshold" as a means to understand the relationship between Self and Other, as well as relationships between different cultures. The concept of "threshold" defines the relationship between inside and outside not in oppositional terms, but as complementaries. This book discusses the cultural and social "border areas" of modernity, which are to be understood not as "zones" in a territorial sense, but as "spaces in between" in which different languages and cultures operate. The essays in Between Urban Topographies and Political Spaces identify the dimension in urban topographies and political spaces where we are able to locate paradigmatic experiences of thresholds. Because these spaces are characterized by contradictions, conflicts, and aporias, we propose to rethink those hermeneutic categories that imply a sharp opposition between inside and outside. This means that the theoretical definition of threshold put forward in these essays-whether applied to history, philosophy, law, art, or cultural studies-embodies new juridical and political stances.
Publisher: Lexington Books
Number of pages: 220
Weight: 458 g
Dimensions: 237 x 162 x 20 mm
The refreshingly transdisciplinary essays in this timely volume make an impressive case for the Benjaminian concept of threshold experiences as a key paradigm for the 21st century. Ranging from European cultural and philosophical heritage to its political reality, they encourage us to embrace the complementarity in opposites. -- Ingo Cornils, University of Leeds
The threshold has long been recognized as a central organizing concept and figure in the work of Walter Benjamin and in the broad array of work in the humanities influenced by him. Between Urban Topographies and Political Spaces represents an important contribution to our understanding of this problem. Its essays focus on a number of key issues within the broader topic of space and liminality, emphasizing not just the physical spaces explored by Benjamin himself (Naples, Paris), but the threshhold spaces between genres, disciplines, concepts, and the sexes. A particularly intriguing opening section intervenes in contemporary debates on the idea of Europe, using Benjamin's ideas as a launch pad-and hammer. This volume is a signal scholarly achievement. -- Michael W. Jennings, Princeton University