Matt Delmont, Guest Editor of ‘Urban Sights: Urban History and Visual Culture,’ introduces this latest multimedia special issue from Urban History.


Urban History is pleased to announce the publication of an online special issue ‘Urban Sights: Urban History and Visual Culture’. Using the Scalar online authoring platform, this peer-reviewed, open access special issue argues that visual forms and ways of seeing are crucial to understanding urban history. Drawing on photography, painting, film, television and other visual and textual evidence, these essays explore how diverse visual forms not only shape metropolitan spaces, experiences and identities, but also shape the ways in which people imagine, remember and forget such spaces and events. Focusing on post-war urban history this issue attends to questions of community, race, class, gender, sexuality, modernity and memory. These questions, familiar to urban historians, can be seen from new angles by foregrounding the visual elements of urban political, economic, social and cultural life.

By presenting this special issue through Scalar, we hope to offer both new research on urban visual history and also new models for the visual and textual presentation of such research. In contrast to a traditional print issue, Scalar affords the opportunity to present a large number of images, including colour images; present selected clips from films and television that are analysed in the essays; and create visualizations to present evidence in more dynamic ways.  The authors have used digital technology to expand and extend their historical analysis of and to bring this sustained engagement with the past to a wide audience through an open access online format. It is our hope that readers will find this special issue to be generative for thinking about urban history, visual culture and their presentation online.

Table of contents (Click on title to view article online):

You can browse all work published under Urban History’s multimedia publishing initiative here.

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