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Le Champ des Possibles: notes toward a politics of enchantmnent


Le Champ des Possibles: notes toward a politics of enchantmnent

Besanger, Kendra Michelle (2013) Le Champ des Possibles: notes toward a politics of enchantmnent. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Situated at an intersection between place studies and political theory, this thesis presents a yearlong exploration of le Champ des Possibles, a peculiar urban site in the Mile End neighbourhood, of Montréal, Québec. As a rail yard left to grow wild over several decades, it has become a site of revelry, urban agriculture, civic engagement, and artistic intervention: it is a vibrant and coveted urban wild place in the city. Place studies theorists such as Lucy Lippard, E.V. Walter, Henri Lefebvre, and Doreen Massey present place as a complex object of study; one that requires a heterodox methodology capable of incorporating the complexity of human experience, which is suggested to be central to the formation place. Similarly, the literary and artistic works of Italo Calvino, Becky Cooper, and Rebecca Solnit demonstrate a range of ways in which place can be told through narrative objects: stories, images, and maps. This thesis intervenes in contemporary place studies by moving away from subject-centred modes of analyses and toward an understanding of place itself as possessing agentic capacities. The central claim of this work suggests that cultivating an attentive, curious, and materialist approach to place forms a kind of praxis that holds the potential to interrupt our human-centred attention to place and place-based politics. From such praxis, we might learn how to pay attention and, ideally, care about the agency of non-human bodies, rhythms, and patterns. Such attention is an important component of what political theorist Jane Bennett frames as an urgent ethical project – one that might reframe the way we communicate, analyze, and act in a material world that is, always-already, a combination of human and non-human.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Communication Studies
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Besanger, Kendra Michelle
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Media Studies
Date:28 August 2013
Thesis Supervisor(s):van Wyck, Peter C.
Keywords:place studies; spatiality; enchantment; vibrancy; storytelling; civic engagement; in situ praxis; urban; wild place;
ID Code:977811
Deposited On:25 Nov 2013 17:08
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:45
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