• Cult-H: Ruins We Live By: Geographies of Post-Industrial Feelings

    (Tanja Petrović, Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts)

    This Seminar is available to all students. No background required. Recommended for students interested in urban studies and post-colonial studies.

    This course focuses on the link between material aspects of radical restructuring of urban spaces in post-industrial era on the one hand, and affects, desires and imagination of people who inhabit these urban spaces, on the other. We will discuss the ways in which people and material remnants of the past are entangled in ruination, degradation, pollution, and illness, as well as how feelings of hope and desire and perceptions of agency and citizenship are anchored to material reality of post-industrial urban spaces.

    The concept of post-industrial allows us to take into account the widespread trauma of deindustrialization and to encompass different historical trajectories in which this trauma significantly shapes people’s lives, such as post-colonial, post-socialist, and post-fordist. We will discuss ruined industrial cites in various parts of the worlds, abandoned or half-abandoned harbors, large factory complexes, nuclear and military sites, ghostly mining towns, and follow the processes of ruination, “naturalization”, museumization or reclaiming of such sites. We will pay some attention to cultural phenomena such as ruinophilia, “ruin porn”, or “ruin optimism”, but our main concern will be the process of ruination itself, the ways its is related to feelings of people living by ruins, as well as the ways (political) subjectivity emerges in the midst of its relations to material remnants of industrial era.