What Kerbstones Do: A Century of Street Space from the Perspective of One Material Actor
- Journal Article
In this article, kerbstones are analysed as historical actors that participated in the changes of urban space and street traffic during the hundred years between the 1880s and the 1980s. Using the approach of new materialism and a large photographic source material from the Finnish city Turku, the article provides a new perspective into the tremendous changes many cities went through during this period and proposes possibilities of including non-human actors in the historical analysis of such change. Focusing on non-human actors also sheds new light on human agency. Such actions as moving in street space or planning cities and traffic infrastructure appear as co-actions of shifting and affective constellations of soft and hard bodies. In the changing street space, the kerbstone was able to assume both enabling and resisting agency as a rather permanent, hard and persistent presence. In intra-actions with the other bodies of the street space it softened or hardened as a border toward different vehicles, living bodies, materials and artefacts, thus also forming them. © Edinburgh University Press Show more
Journal / seriesCultural History
Pages / Article No.
PublisherEdinburgh University Press
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