Who are some current thinkers on Space and Place?
February 5, 2014 5:43 AM   Subscribe

I'm trying to identify some current thinkers on the concepts of space and place, specifically in regards to the rise of social media, the internet, etc. I'm looking for writings from the last 5 years. Which authors (or works) should I be looking at?
posted by Stynxno to Religion & Philosophy (9 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Can you explain a little more what you mean by Space and Place? Do you mean specifically social space online vs IRL? Or something more specific? Bit more detail would be helpful otherwise most suggestions will just be: "Here's an article from the Atlantic about Facebook". (Also Hi Stynxno!)
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:52 AM on February 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

That said, this seems like a good place to recommend my friend Nathan Jurgenson's work on the supposed gulf between online interactions and IRL, and a concept of his called Digital Dualism.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:57 AM on February 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

I wish there was a McLuhan for the webz, but I find the top of mind list of people trotted out for focusing on these topics are:

danah boyd - youth in the developed world
Lawrence Lessig - law and stuff
The whole interweb of things folks of whom best known is Bruce Sterling
The Semantic Web folks
online guru types - shirky, weinberger, doc searls, dave winer and i'd add seth godin here
and then there's the whole rise of social media and the web in the developing world, such as bringing 'the next billion online' but MeMail me for writing/links/people for that topic.
Finally, Putting People First is a blog that collates writing, research papers, conference proceedings et al and is well categorized.

rest depends on what Potomac Avenue asked and yeah, hi Stynxo!
posted by infini at 6:08 AM on February 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

Geoff Manaugh writes about futurism, architecture and urbanism: BLDGBLOG the blog and the book; articles in Wired UK
posted by moonmilk at 6:23 AM on February 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

Not in the last five years exactly, but maybe Nigel Thrift?
posted by mariokrat at 6:59 AM on February 5, 2014

Nigel Thrift is one of the thinkers I'm looking at. For space and place, I'm starting to looking at geography (physical spaces) and moving out from there. I like Thrift's look at place involving embodiment, Doreen Massey's look at the power within places that contain a multiplicity of spaces (through intersections of different economic, cultural, political relations), etc. Some other thinkers I've looked at include Homi K Bhabha, Michael Foucault, and a little of Lefebrve. Yet most of what I'm looking at is from the 90s through the early 00s which is right before the rise of facebook, myspace, etc.
posted by Stynxno at 8:00 AM on February 5, 2014

If you're looking at Bhabha, i recently put together a bunch of links for a student on the concept of liminal spaces, but again, none of it is from as recent as the past half decade.

This one by Barbara Schaetti may be of interest however. And this one might be directly relevant:


posted by infini at 8:34 AM on February 5, 2014

There are some ethnographies of electronic and virtual communities of various types that might point to some useful theory. I'm thinking of Tom Boellstorff's Coming of Age in Second Life, and Chris Kelty's Two Bits, which is in open source software. I think Boelstorff has a discussion of space in one of his chapters.
posted by mariokrat at 9:41 AM on February 5, 2014

I keep hearing about Fredric Jameson's cognitive mapping (see also Postmodernism, or The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism) and spatiality (eg. Robert Tally). I don't have specific sources for newer work on Jameson, but perhaps the concepts will lead you somewhere useful.
posted by hannala at 1:16 AM on February 6, 2014

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