Article ID: CBB952420851

Fetishising the Brussels roadscape (June 2020)


Claire Pelgrims (Author)

The Journal of Transport History
Volume: 41
Issue: 1
Pages: 89-115

Publication Date: June 2020
Edition Details: Special Issue: The Historical ironies of Roads
Language: English

This explorative paper is an attempt to improve understanding of the material infrastructure and subjective affective investments into it. Building on the concept of “fetish”, it proposes a theoretical framework to analyse the entanglement of the functional, sensitive and social symbolic dimensions of Brussels’ “modern roads” to reinforce and stabilise a social imaginary of fast mobility. Examining technical reports, political discourses, press articles and cultural productions such as movies, TV broadcasts and photographs relating to the infrastructuring process, the paper reveals – beyond the case study – the aesthetic dimension of the modernisation of roads, which relates to symbolic investments in cars. The theoretical framework involves heuristic values when regarded beyond this specific Belgian context. It opens new possibilities for broader interpretations of the mobility infrastructure.

Included in

Article De Greiff A. Alexis; Hård Mikael (June 2020) The historical ironies of roads. The Journal of Transport History (pp. 3-5). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Zeller, Thomas
Summers, Mark H.
Bradley, Ben
Klocker, Natascha
Maren Elisabeth Schwab
Kerr, Sophie-May
The Journal of Transport History
Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage
Technology and Culture
Journal of Social History
Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies
Chiado Books
University of Wisconsin at Madison
University of Washington Press
UBC Press
The MIT Press
Princeton University Press
Roads and highways
Landscape; landscapes
Land transportation
Relics; fetishes
Time Periods
20th century
20th century, early
19th century
21st century
United States
Berlin (Germany)
Palisades Park

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