Invisible Cities: The Dark Underbelly of Modern China’s Urban Spaces

By Carlos Rojas Yuan Muzhi’s (袁牧之) 1937 film Street Angel (馬路天使) opens with a three-minute montage that begins with a rapid sequence of nighttime images of Shanghai’s neon signs, and which culminates with a series of shots panning up Shanghai’s buildings. The first shot following this montage opens with the camera angled directly up to […]

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The Moveable Archive of the Sadly Neglected Postcard

By Anton Rosenthal I first encountered the moveable archive of postcards by accident some 25 years ago during a research trip to Montevideo, Uruguay. I had been experiencing a sharp contrast between written accounts of the daily life of the city that I was reading in the national library and the national archives and the […]

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Member of the Week: Paige Glotzer

Paige Glotzer Assistant Professor and John W. and Jeanne M. Rowe Chair in the History of American Politics, Institutions, and Political Economy University of Madison-Wisconsin Department of History @apaigeoutofhist  Describe your current research. What about it drew your interest?  I look at the long history of housing policy in the United States by tracing how […]

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Register for the SAH Latrobe Chapter 2020 Symposium!

The Washington, DC Latrobe Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians will be hosting a two-day symposium on the topic of Race, Ethnicity, and Architecture in the Nation’s Capital, April 18-19, 2020 at the Catholic University School of Architecture and Planning. The keynote lecture will be delivered by Dr. Amber Wiley of Rutgers University, a […]

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“In the Future” Postcards as Popular Urbanism

By Peter Soppelsa This post focuses on a remarkable source for illustrating popular urbanism and urban imaginaries: European and American photomontage postcards from around 1900 to 1920 that visualize future cities. Cobbling together an online archive of over 400 future cities photomontages, I discovered an under-utilized body of evidence about popular urbanism. Visual and textual […]

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Member of the Week: Harold Bérubé

Harold Bérubé Full Professor of History Université de Sherbrooke (Canada). @HaroldBerube https://haroldberube.com Describe your current research. What about it drew your interest? I recently published a book on the history of Quebec’s main municipal association, created in 1919. In a way, it completes a research cycle on municipal governance that started with my research on […]

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Postcards and United States Cities

By Robert Bogdan Although picture postcards can provide an extensive resource of visual information about urban American they are seldom mined by serious researchers. Postcards’ reputation as repetitive, poor-quality, commercial images that only capture structures and landscapes that attract tourists work against their use. The reputation is not totally wrong, as most postcards fit that […]

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The Visual City: Photography, Film, and Postcards

“If the city is the raw material for production, for economic development, and for academic research, it has also been available to artists,” writes Helen Liggett in her 2003 work, Urban Encounters. “Photographs can function as sites of participatory reading that provoke urban encounters, first, in the relationship between the photographer and the city, and, […]

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The Metropole Bookshelf: Boston University’s Paula Austin Discusses How African American Washingtonians Navigated the City in Her New Book, Coming of Age in Jim Crow DC

The Metropole Bookshelf is an opportunity for authors of forthcoming or recently published books to let the UHA community know about their new work in the field. Austin, Paula. Coming of Age in Jim Crow D.C. Navigating the Politics of Everyday Life. New York: New York University Press, 2019. By Paula Austin Coming of Age […]

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Detroit Autoworkers’ Elusive Postwar Boom

By Daniel Clark For most of the twentieth century, autoworkers and their families were a large share of metro-Detroit’s population, and the decade and a half after World War II has been widely considered to be their heyday. Those familiar with the literature on Detroit history will immediately, and correctly, point out that Tom Sugrue’s […]

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