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Linguistic landscapes: the cultural production of urban spaces

Project: Other


Drawing on fieldwork in Berlin (October 2010 to June 2011) this project examines the role of writing and visuals in the cultural production of urban spaces. Cultural production here refers to the way urban spaces are turned recognizable and recognised 'places' - for example neighbourhoods that have an identity as 'middle-class' or fashionable or areas that are known to be 'traditional' or 'multiethnic'. While the built environment undoubtedly shapes the way a neighbourhood or an area is seen, signs such as shop signs, street art, graffiti, inscriptions on monuments or builidings also contribute to the image of a place and to how it is depicted and its character described in for example travel guides, postcards or websites. Using a combination of textual and visual analysis with interviews with sign producers the project examines the changing linguistic (or rather semiotic) landscape of an area located in the former East Berlin and which was transformed from working class neighbourhood to one of the most sought after places in the new Berlin.
Effective start/end date1/10/10 → …

Research outputs