Milanese Encounters: Public Space and Vision in Contemporary Urban Italy
Published: March 2015© 2015
304 Pages, 6.01 x 9.02 x 0.75 in
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In a city driven by fashion and design, visibility and invisibility are powerful forces. Milanese Encounters examines how the acts of looking, recognizing, and being seen reflect social relations and power structures in contemporary Milan.
Cristina Moretti’s ethnographic study reveals how the meanings of Milan’s public spaces shift as the city’s various inhabitants use, appropriate, and travel through them. Moretti’s extensive fieldwork covers international migrants, social justice organizations, and middle-class citizens groups in locations such as community centers, abandoned industrial areas, and central plazas and streets. Situated at the intersection of urban and visual anthropology, her work will challenge and inspire scholars in anthropology, urban studies, and other fields.
Contributing to studies of urban Italy, neoliberalism, and immigration, Milanese Encounters is a welcome demonstration of ethnography’s potential to analyse the connections and divisions created by complex modern cities.
3. The Agora of the City
4. Spatial Politics
5. Creating Spaces, Constructing Selves
6. Entangled (In)visibilities
7. Walking with Women: Vision and Gender in the City
8. Places and Stages: Vision and Performance in Public Space
Conclusion: Into the Future
"This unique book should prove interesting and useful to researchers interested in public space, urban issues (particularly in Europe), neoliberalism and de-/post-industrialization, and transnational migration. Given its readability, it could also prove a useful teaching resource for classes studying any of these topics, as well as courses on visual anthropology, urban anthropology, or the anthropology of Europe. From a methodological standpoint, in her introduction Moretti tells us that one of her aims is ‘to propose strategies for research in large, complex cities.’"Kayla Rush, Queen’s University Belfast, City & Society
“Milanese Encounters is full of wonderful ethnographic descriptions, interesting observations, and evocative analytical threads. Among the innumerable studies of immigration in Europe, Moretti’s book, with its focus on contemporary European urban and spatial politics and its experimental writing style, is an original and unique contribution.”Andrea Muehlebach, Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto
“A well-researched and compelling portrait of Milanese engagements with public space, this evocatively written ethnographic study will appeal to scholars interested in urban ethnography, performance, visual culture, and multiculturalism in European cities.”Tanya Richardson, Department of Anthropology, Wilfrid Laurier University
“A fine addition to the ethnographic literature on contemporary Europe, Milanese Encounters showcases the value of anthropological fieldwork methods and experimental ethnographic writing. This book is a model for other researchers on how to conduct fieldwork in large, complex cities.”Sharon Roseman, Department of Anthropology, Memorial University