Visualizing Dublin: Visual Culture, Modernity and the Representation of Urban Space

Edited by Justin Carville

Oxford: Peter Lang

316 pp. | ISBN 978-3-0343-0802-1 | £42.00

Dublin has held an important place throughout Ireland’s cultural history. The shifting configurations of the city’s streetscapes have been marked by the ideological frameworks of imperialism, its architecture embedded within the cultural politics of the nation, and its monuments and sculptures mobilized to envision the economic ambitions of the state. This book examines the relationship of Dublin to Ireland’s social history through the city’s visual culture. Through specific case studies of Dublin’s streetscapes, architecture and sculpture and its depiction in literature, photography and cinema, the contributors discuss the significance of visual experiences and representations of the city to our understanding of Irish cultural life, both past and present.

Drawing together scholars from across the arts, humanities and social sciences, the collection addresses two emerging themes in Irish studies: the intersection of the city with cultural politics, and the role of the visual in projecting Irish cultural identity. The essays not only ask new questions of existing cultural histories but also identify previously unexplored visual representations of the city. The book’s interdisciplinary approach seeks to broaden established understandings of visual culture within Irish studies to incorporate not only visual artefacts, but also textual descriptions and ocular experiences that contribute to how we come to look at, see and experience both Dublin and Ireland.

Contents: Justin Carville: Introduction: Visual Culture and the Making of Modern Dublin – Jeffrey A. Cohen: Dublin Streets Sideways: Henry Shaw’s 1850 Pictorial Directory – Ian Morley: Place, Race and Grand Architectural Statements: Civic Design in Early-1900s Dublin – Gary A. Boyd: Dublin’s Ephemeral and Imaginary Architectures – Sean Mannion: Celtic Arc Light: The Electric Light in Early Twentieth-Century Dublin – Denis Condon: ‘Temples to the Art of Cinematography’: The Cinema on the Dublin Streetscape, 1910-1920 – Paula Gilligan: Between Guinness and Holy Water: Alexandre Trauner’s Dublin – Justin Carville: ‘The Glad Smile of God’s Sunlight’: Photography and the Imaginative Geography of Darkest Dublin – Síghle Bhreathnach-Lynch: Political Sculpture in Twentieth-Century Dublin: Art as a Barometer of Political Expression – Jennifer Way: O’Connell Street as the ‘Nation’s Main Street’: The Image of Ireland’s Modernity and Irelantis – Christopher Lowe: Dublin’s (in)Authentic Vista – Eamonn Slater: Visualizing ‘History’ in a Dublin Suburb: The ‘forlorn little’ Dolmen of Ballybrack – Silvia Loeffler: Deep Mappings of Dublin: Spot the Blind Spot.

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