Making Space Public in Early Modern Europe: Performance, Geography, Privacy

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-03-20
  • Publisher: Routledge
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Broadening the conversation begun in Making Publics in Early Modern Europe(2009), this book examines how the spatial dynamics of public making changed the shape of early modern society. The focus is on the process of "making publics" - the active creation of new forms of association that allowed people to connect with others in ways not predetermined by family, rank, or vocation. The publics visited in this volume are the voluntary groupings of diverse individuals that could potentially coalesce through the performative uptake of shared cultural forms and practices. Contributors develop analyses of a range of cases of early modern public-making that together demonstrate the rich inventiveness and formative social power of artistic and intellectual publication in this period. They argue that by creating new forms of association, cultural producers and consumers challenged dominant ideas about just who could enter the public arena, greatly expanding both the real and imaginary spaces of public life to include hitherto excluded groups of private people. The consequences of this historical reconfiguration of public space remain relevant, especially for contemporary efforts to meaningfully include the views of ordinary people in public life. Chapters explore a range of cultural and intellectual activities in the period such as early modern theatre performances; travel, migration, and motion; practices of persuasion; the embodied experiences of lived space; and the central importance of media and material things in the creation of publics and public spaces. The book thus bring forward diverse ways in which cultural representations and early modern people came together in actual and virtual space, and how these things were used, moved, and contested, potentially to spawn new affiliations and spaces or create new understandings of the social world.

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