Rethinking the American City


Rethinking the American City. An International Dialogue 

Miles Orvell and Klaus Benesch, Editors. Foreword by Dolores Hayden 

“While specialists in the history of the American city will enjoy this collection of essays and the provocative dialogue they spark, these investigations of the processes of shaping space will also appeal to readers in many interdisciplinary programs including American studies, cultural studies, urban studies, visual culture, technology studies, and environmental studies.”—From the Foreword, by Dolores Hayden 

Whether struggling in the wake of postindustrial decay or reinventing themselves with new technologies and populations, cities have once again moved to the center of intellectual and political concern. Rethinking the American City brings together leading scholars from a range of disciplines to examine an array of topics that illuminate the past, present, and future of cities. 

Rethinking the American City offers a lively and fascinating survey of contemporary thinking about cities in a transnational context. Utilizing an innovative format, each chapter opens with an iconic image and includes a brief and provocative essay on a single topic followed by an extended dialogue among all the essayists. Topics range from energy use, design, and digital media to transportation systems and housing to public art, urban ruins, and futurist visions. By engaging with key contemporary concerns—public and private space, sustainability, ethnic and racial divisions, and technology—this volume illuminates how global society has imagined American urban life. 

Contributors: Klaus Benesch, Dolores Hayden, David M. Lubin, Malcolm McCullough, Jeffrey L. Meikle, David E. Nye, Miles Orvell, Andrew Ross, Mabel O. Wilson, Albena Yaneva. 

Miles Orvell is Professor of English and American Studies at Temple University and author of The Real Thing: Imitation and Authenticity in American Culture, 1880-1940 and The Death and Life of Main Street: Small Towns in American Memory, Space, and Community. He is also coeditor of Public Space and the Ideology of Place in American Culture

Klaus Benesch is Professor of English and American Studies at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, author of Romantic Cyborgs: Authorship and Technology in the American Renaissance, and coeditor of Space in America: Theory History Culture (with Kerstin Schmidt). 

Dolores Hayden is Professor of Architecture and American Studies at Yale University, former president of the Urban History Association, and author of many books, including The Power of Place: Urban Landscapes as Public History