Re: CFP: Space & Culture (new journal)

Bob King (kingbx@HAMLET.UNCG.EDU)
Mon, 7 Oct 1996 09:30:40 -0400

> the
> distinction of _Space and Culture_ is its grounding in everyday life: the
> habitual and the mundane practices that make up the material of contemporary
> culture. _Space and Culture_ is a cross-disciplinary journal that fosters
> the publication of reflections on a wide range of socio-spatial arenas such
> as the home, architecture, urbanism and geopolitics.

Annie, I think this journal is attempting to get at the theory that is
inevitably (via habit) embedded in daily, taken for granted practices.
Sometimes unusual language is needed to get at the embedded theory because
usual language is what keeps it embedded.

While I sometimes feel frustrated by what seems to me initially as
unnecessarily ornate language, I think there is also the need for at
least some people to write in ways which use language as a tool for
exploration rather than a means of reportage, and this exploratory
language can make an easy target if it's judged according to the standards
of reportage.

This project of teasing the theory out of everyday stuff -- like the home,
etc. -- is not original to postmodern theory, I don't think. It's a
project of anyone seeking to take a critical look at institutions that
aren't working for them! For example, in the 1960's people talked
and wrote about institutional racism -- and they used the rather ornate
language of Marxism to describe it because they were trying to get at
theory which was "deeply nested" in daily practices, and couldn't be
looked at in the usual ways, with the usual language, without missing it.

Edward Soja is a writer who currently uses the concept of space, borrowed
from geography, to attempt to get at embedded theory in a different way,
by employing different metaphors. It's not easy reading, but it is
interesting. The book I'm a little familiar with anyway is called
_Postmodern Geographies_.