By Subject: General Geography
Transforming Place in a Unified Germany
A benchmark study in the changing field of urban anthropology, Berlin, Alexanderplatz is an ethnographic examination of the rapid transformation of the unified Berlin. Through a captivating account of the controversy around this symbolic public square in East Berlin, the book raises acute questions about expertise, citizenship, government and belonging. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in the city administration bureaus, developers’ offices, citizen groups and in Alexanderplatz itself, the author advances a richly innovative analysis of the multiplicity of place. She reveals how Alexanderplatz is assembled through the encounters between planners, citizen activists, social workers, artists and ordinary Berliners, in processes of popular participation and personal narratives, in plans, timetables, documents and files, and in the distribution of pipes, tram tracks and street lights. Alexanderplatz emerges as a socialist spatial exemplar, a ‘future’ under construction, an object of grievance, and a vision of robust public space. This book is both a critical contribution to the anthropology of contemporary modernity and a radical intervention in current cross-disciplinary debates on the city.
Concepts and Intersections
Schimanski, J. & Wolfe, S. F. (eds)
Few concepts are as central to understanding the modern world as borders, and the now-thriving field of border studies has already produced a substantial literature analyzing their legal, ideological, geographical, and historical aspects. Such studies have hardly exhausted the subject’s conceptual fertility, however, as this pioneering collection on the aesthetics of borders demonstrates. Organized around six key ideas—ecology, imaginary, in/visibility, palimpsest, sovereignty and waiting—the interlocking essays collected here provide theoretical starting points for an aesthetic understanding of borders, developed in detail through interdisciplinary analyses of literature, audio-visual borderscapes, historical and contemporary ecologies, political culture, and migration.
Building on Water
Venice, Holland and the Construction of the European Landscape in Early Modern Times
A fundamental natural resource, water and its use not only reflect "modes of production" but also that complex interplay between resources and their exploitation (and domination) by various social agents, who in their turn are inevitably influenced by the abundance or rarity of water supplies. Focusing on scientific, social and economic issues from the 16th to the 19th century, the author, one of Italy's leading historians in this field, looks at the innumerable conflicts that arose over water resources and the environmental impact of projects intended to control them. Venice and Holland are undoubtedly the two most fascinating cases of societies "built on water," with the conquest of vast expanses of marshland - either inland or on the coast (the Dutch polders or the Venetian lagoon) – not only stimulating agricultural production, but also nurturing a deeply-felt relationship between the local populations and the element of water itself. The author rounds off his study by looking at the influence the hydraulic technology developed in Holland would have on many European countries (France, England and Germany in particular) and at questions raised by contemporaries about the environmental impact of agricultural progress and its effects upon the social-economic equilibria within the communities concerned.
Changing Identifications and Alliances in North-east Africa
Volume I: Ethiopia and Kenya
Schlee, G. & Watson, E. E. (eds)
Forms of group identity play a prominent role in everyday lives and politics in northeast Africa. Case studies from Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Kenya illustrate the way that identities are formed and change over time, and how local, national, and international politics are interwoven. Specific attention is paid to the impact of modern weaponry, new technologies, religious conversion, food and land shortages, international borders, civil war, and displacement on group identities. Drawing on the expertise of anthropologists, historians and geographers, these volumes provide a significant account of a society profoundly shaped by identity politics and contribute to a better understanding of the nature of conflict and war, and forms of alliance and peacemaking, thus providing a comprehensive portrait of this troubled region.
'City of the Future'
Built Space, Modernity and Urban Change in Astana
Astana, the capital city of the post-Soviet Kazakhstan, has often been admired for the design and planning of its futuristic cityscape. This anthropological study of the development of the city focuses on every-day practices, official ideologies and representations alongside the memories and dreams of the city’s longstanding residents and recent migrants. Critically examining a range of approaches to place and space in anthropology, geography and other disciplines, the book argues for an understanding of space as inextricably material-and-imaginary, and unceasingly dynamic – allowing for a plurality of incompatible pasts and futures materialized in spatial form.
National Parks in Global Historical Perspective
Gissibl B., Höhler, S. & Kupper, P. (eds)
National parks are one of the most important and successful institutions in global environmentalism. Since their first designation in the United States in the 1860s and 1870s they have become a global phenomenon. The development of these ecological and political systems cannot be understood as a simple reaction to mounting environmental problems, nor can it be explained by the spread of environmental sensibilities. Shifting the focus from the usual emphasis on national parks in the United States, this volume adopts an historical and transnational perspective on the global geography of protected areas and its changes over time. It focuses especially on the actors, networks, mechanisms, arenas, and institutions responsible for the global spread of the national park and the associated utilization and mobilization of asymmetrical relationships of power and knowledge, contributing to scholarly discussions of globalization and the emergence of global environmental institutions and governance.
European Regions and Boundaries
A Conceptual History
Mishkova, D. & Trencsényi, B. (eds)
It is difficult to speak about Europe today without reference to its constitutive regions—supra-national geographical designations such as “Scandinavia,” “Eastern Europe,” and “the Balkans.” Such formulations are so ubiquitous that they are frequently treated as empirical realities rather than a series of shifting, overlapping, and historically constructed concepts. This volume is the first to provide a synthetic account of these concepts and the historical and intellectual contexts in which they emerged. Bringing together prominent international scholars from across multiple disciplines, it systematically and comprehensively explores how such “meso-regions” have been conceptualized throughout modern European history.
Subjects: General History General Geography
Extreme Heritage Management
The Practices and Policies of Densely Populated Islands
Baldacchino, G. (ed)
Conflicting and competing claims over the actual and imagined use of land and seascapes are exacerbated on islands with high population density. The management of culture and heritage is particularly tested in island environments where space is finite and the population struggles to preserve cultural and natural assets in the face of the demands of the construction industry, immigration, high tourism and capital investment. Drawn from extreme island scenarios, the ten case studies in this volume review practices and policies for effective heritage management and offer rich descriptive and analytic material about land-use conflict. In addition, they point to interesting, new directions in which research, public policy and heritage management intersect.
Earthquakes and Urbanism in Modern Italy
Earth’s fractured geology is visible in its fault lines. It is along these lines that earthquakes occur, sometimes with disastrous effects. These disturbances can significantly influence urban development, as seen in the aftermath of two earthquakes in Messina, Italy, in 1908 and in the Belice Valley, Sicily, in 1968. Following the history of these places before and after their destruction, this book explores plans and developments that preceded the disasters and the urbanism that emerged from the ruins. These stories explore fault lines between “rural” and “urban,” “backwardness” and “development,” and “before” and “after,” shedding light on the role of environmental forces in the history of human habitats.
An Appraisal from the Gulf Region
Sillitoe, P. (ed)
With growing evidence of unsustainable use of the world’s resources, such as hydrocarbon reserves, and related environmental pollution, as in alarming climate change predictions, sustainable development is arguably the prominent issue of the 21st century. This volume gives a wide ranging introduction focusing on the arid Gulf region, where the challenges of sustainable development are starkly evident. The Gulf relies on non-renewable oil and gas exports to supply the world’s insatiable CO2 emitting energy demands, and has built unsustainable conurbations with water supplies dependent on energy hungry desalination plants and deep aquifers pumped beyond natural replenishment rates. Sustainable Development has an interdisciplinary focus, bringing together university faculty and government personnel from the Gulf, Europe, and North America -- including social and natural scientists, environmentalists and economists, architects and planners -- to discuss topics such as sustainable natural resource use and urbanization, industrial and technological development, economy and politics, history and geography.
When Things Become Property
Land Reform, Authority and Value in Postsocialist Europe and Asia
Sikor, T., Dorondel, S., Stahl, J. & Xuan To, P.
Governments have conferred ownership titles to many citizens throughout the world in an effort to turn things into property. Almost all elements of nature have become the target of property laws, from the classic preoccupation with land to more ephemeral material, such as air and genetic resources. When Things Become Property interrogates the mixed outcomes of conferring ownership by examining postsocialist land and forest reforms in Albania, Romania and Vietnam, and finds that property reforms are no longer, if they ever were, miracle tools available to governments for refashioning economies, politics or environments.
Subjects: General Anthropology General Geography