Jennifer Keating, Courtney J. Campbell, and Allegra GiovineOct 28, 2021
Perspectives on Emptiness in Modern History
University of London Press 2019
How is emptiness made and what historical purpose does it serve? What cultural, material and natural work goes into maintaining 'nothingness'? Why have a variety of historical actors, from colonial powers to artists and urban dwellers, sought to construct, control and maintain (physically and discursively) empty space, and by which processes is emptiness discovered, visualised and reimagined?
Courtney J. Campbell, Allegra Giovine, and Jennifer Keating's Empty Spaces: Perspectives on Emptiness in Modern History (U London Press, 2019) draws together contributions from authors working on landscapes and rurality, along with national and imperial narratives, from Brazil to Russia and Ireland. It considers the visual, including the art of Edward Hopper and the work of the British Empire Marketing Board, while concluding with a section that examines constructions of emptiness in relation to capitalism, development and the (re)appropriation of urban space. In doing so, it foregrounds the importance of emptiness as a productive prism through which to interrogate a variety of imperial, national, cultural and urban history.
Sergio Lopez-Pineiro (Harvard Graduate School of Design) interviews authors on how the portrayal of emptiness and allied concepts (such as voids, nothingness, or limbo) in philosophical, political, religious, and social studies is influenced by the imagination and construction of physical space.