Amy Lavender Harris

Amy Lavender Harris teaches in the Department of Geography at York University, where her work focuses on urban identity and the cultural significance of place. She is the author of Imagining Toronto (Mansfield Press, 2010), which was shortlisted for the Gabrielle Roy Prize in Canadian literary criticism and won the Award of Merit, the highest honour given to a book at the 2011 Heritage Toronto Award.

GEOG 4900 (Public Space) Week 3: Theorizing the Public Sphere

Today in the Public Space course we’ll explore the idea of the public sphere and consider what it means to belong to a ‘public’ or counter-public and to engage in public address.

Our discussion will begin with an introduction to German philosopher Jurgen Habermas’ notions of the public sphere and will go on to consider some criticisms of it, including Nancy Fraser’s discussion of what happens in “actually existing” democracies. 

Slides are available here: GEOG 4900 Public Space Summer 2012 Class 3 lecture slides Theorizing the Public Sphere

Theorizing the Public Sphere

Craig Calhoun, Habermas and the Public Sphere (Introduction; via Craig  Calhoun at New York University’s Institute for Public Knowledge)

Douglas Kellner, Habermas, the Public Sphere, and Democracy: A Critical Intervention

Public Space Interventions

“Go on, share your thoughts on a wall (Real, not Facebook);” Globe & Mail; 10 May 2012.

Before I Die

What’s that tent doing in the library? (YFile, 23 January 2012)

Piano Stairs (by The Fun Theory)

Phil Dancing on the Subway! (2011; via Youtube)

Goodbye Graffiti: A Short Story about Toronto’s Street Art Movement (produced by Char Loro, 2012; via Vimeo)

Billboards Converted to Swingsets (via MAKE blog) 

CCTV/Creative Control (Marcos Zotes, via Youtube)

EVOKE! 10 – “Public Art Space” Installation in Trafalgar Square, London by Contra (via Youtube)




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