Lee Ann Custer: Caillebotte and Height in Haussmann’s Paris
In this paper, I examine building height as portrayed by artist Gustave Caillebotte (1848-1894) in the context of Baron Haussmann’s transformation of the city of Paris. Many of
Caillebotte’s paintings of city views in the late 1870s and early 1880s depict recently Haussmannized Paris from elevated viewpoints: melancholy vistas from high up perches, plunging perspectives of the new boulevards, and vertiginous scenes of the street below. Drawing examples from Caillebotte’s entire oeuvre, I argue that his paintings can be understood as responding to the standardization of vantage points in the three-dimensional space of the city. Under Haussmann, cornice, balcony, and window levels
were mandated to create harmonious, vertical surfaces in the urban environment. As a result, facades – including the views from them – became increasingly regularized. At the same time, Parisian society was developing a visual culture of sensational height, epitomized by ballooning, aerial photography, and cartographic views of World’s Fairs.
In particular, I focus on Caillebotte’s painting Boulevard Seen from Above of 1880, which, in its unique downward angle and eschewal of a horizon line, offers an entirely novel representation of Parisian height. Combining the limiting, controlling height of residential Haussmann-era Paris with the experiential, sensational height of a society on the brink of feats such as the Eiffel Tower, Caillebotte brings a rarified, monumental view from on high into the realm of the everyday domestic experience of the city, pushing Parisian imaginations ever higher.
Megan Dickman: Identity in Exile: Ovid’s Wavering (Civic) Identity
For a poet who identified himself so strongly with the urbane, with the Roman way of life, exile stripped Ovid of his civic identity, of the ability to think of himself as a Roman citizen. Forced to come to terms with a new personal identity in Tomis, Ovid still tried to hold on to the pieces of his Roman identity, even as it seemed to slip away from him. While scholars have noted the persuasive nature of Ovid’s characterization of his poetic persona in his exile poetry, less work has been done on his own self-identification while he was in exile and the real impact that his desire to hold on to his Roman identity would have had abroad.
In this paper I look at the changing identity of Ovid in exile and the way in which his strong connection to his urbane, Roman self-identification colored the way in which he experienced exile, forcing himself to remain in a liminal social position, balanced between two cultures as he finds himself unable to be Roman, but unwilling to give up his Roman identity in favor of a Getic one.
In holding onto his civic identity, Ovid found himself unable to assimilate into life as an exile. Strikingly he remarks that he has to practice Latin on himself in an effort to keep up his abilities with the language and, furthermore, while his attempts at Getic poetry go well, he fears that the enterprise may make him somehow less Roman. To assimilate completely into the society he experiences as an exile is to fully throw off his Roman self-identification, something he is hesitant to do.
Natalie Fleming: A Segregating Lens: Arnold Genthe’s Old Chinatown and the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake
In 1908, San Francisco-based photographer Arnold Genthe published Old Chinatown, the culmination of his ten year passion project to document the streets, buildings, and people of eight city blocks known colloquially as the “Canton of the West,” a seemingly-authentic slice of China located in the metropolitan heart of the burgeoning Pacific Coast. Shooting over two hundred photographs of the city’s Chinatown, Genthe saw himself as both a tourist’s guide and the neighborhood’s guardian, an intermediary bringing knowledge of an ostensibly foreign space to curious Americans. It is no coincidence that Genthe chose to publish his book in 1908; disaster had struck Chinatown in 1906 in the form of an earthquake and after two years he had seen enough to convince him that his authentic Chinese enclave was gone for good. In Genthe’s opinion, it had been rebuilt, but sanitized, whitened, and Americanized. In his book, he mourns the loss of this previously segregated space as the loss of Chinese culture itself, stating: “The charm, the color, the atmosphere are gone…Now everywhere American clothes replace the silken gowns of old, and general ambition to be ‘American’ in manners as well as in appearance is evident. When the Chinese, from consul down to coolie, has outward sign of having broken with the traditions of their country, cut of their queues, Old Chinatown died.”1 He presents his photographs as the only record of a cultural space now extinct.
Before we accept Genthe’s passionate and woeful narrative of cultural loss, it is crucial that we examine the ways that segregated spaces are formed and maintained over time. Did the racial and cultural borders enclosing San Francisco’s Chinatown truly crumble during the 1906 earthquake? Adding to the already rich scholarship on the dialectics of urban segregation in the twentieth century, an examination of Genthe’s Chinatown photographs indicates that they should not be interpreted simply as documentation. Instead, his images function as propaganda, actively promoting and sustaining segregated space in San Francisco.
Irene Han: Mean Streets: Plato’s Cities
My research examines the mechanism of change (metabole) in the city (polis) and the phenomenology of the city. The polis provides a specular image for the individual. In the Republic, Socrates describes justice in the city to find out about the soul because the city is bigger and easier to see (368e). The metaphor of the body politic underpins the city-soul analogy: a body contains both the city and the individual’s soul, which, as the directing force of the body, tries to guide reason and the appetites together rather than allowing them to contradict each other. Plato draws on medical language and compares the city to a healthy or diseased body (372e): Socrates describes the collapse of the oligarchic city as the collapse of a sick body falling into full-blown disease (556e).
I map the various cities that Socrates builds in the Republic. After building the city of pigs (Pl. Resp. 369b-372e), Socrates turns to the luxurious city (τρυφῶσαν πόλιν) (Pl. Resp. 372e). This is the healthy city on steroids; it overflows with luxuries that gratify unnecessary appetites: delicacies such as perfume, incense, prostitutes and cakes. It produces art—painting and embroidery—and gold and ivory. Socrates proceeds to elaborate on the consequences of such luxury—war from seizing their neighbors’ land (Pl. Resp. 373d) and the need for an army (Pl. Resp. 373e) and philosophical guardians (Pl. Resp. 376c)—and realizes at a certain point that he is “purifying” the city (Pl. Resp. 399e). In Book VIII, I apply Deleuze’s concept of the movement-image and time-image. The time-image moves beyond motion by freeing itself of the “sensory-motor” link to a “pure optical and sound” (tactile) image: “In everyday banality, the action-image and even the movement-image tend to disappear in favour of pure optical situations, but these reveal connections of a new type, which are no longer sensory-motor and which bring the emancipated senses into direct relation with time and thought” (1989: 17). Plato presents us with a moving reel in his account of the degeneration of the kallipolis.
Morgan Hunter: The Fanum Voltumnae at Volsinii, a Metropolis that Might Have Been
I will argue that the Fanum Voltumnae, the most important religious and political center of the Etruscan League (cf. Livy iv.23.4-5, 25.7-8, 61.2; v.1.3-5, 17.6-7; vi.6.2) was located at Orvieto (Roman Volsinii). As we shall show, the two principal sites here were the Belvedere Temple on top of the citadel, which was the religious center and site of the key sacrifices at League meetings, and the suburban Campo della Fiera, currently being excavated by Stopponi, which was the site of League councils, plays, competitions, and other events involving larger audiences. Although Valerius Maximus, writing in the Principiate, described Volsinii as Etruiae caput (“head of Etruria”) three hundred years earlier, we will argue that in fact Volsinii represents a “failed metropolis” whose rise was prevented by the rapid growth of the Roman Republic. A unified Etruria, centered at the metropolis of Volsinii, represents a great “What If?” of history. Trips to Italy today might feature as their climax a multi-day tour of the great city of Orvieto, with a half-day side trip to the minor town of Rome.
We will suggest, based on comparisons with other festivals that it is likely that the highlight of the annual festival was a procession from the Campo site to the Belvedere Temple. The “Fanum Voltumnae” of Livy, which he understood to be a sanctuary of a deity Voltumna, “deus Etruriae princeps,” was actually a distorted memory of the Belvedere and Campo sites. The Roman Vortumnus/Vertumnus of Propertius and Ovid was a different god, who was conflated with the Etruscan god after he was evoked from conquered Volsinii in 264 BC.
As support for this hypothesis, we will closely examine both Orvietan sites and the literary and material evidence for the Fanum and for the god “Voltumna”. We will also compare the Etruscan festival with the Feriae Latinae, the annual festival of the
Latin League, at which sacrifices to Jupiter Latiaris were performed atop Mount Alba, and political meetings were held at the Lucus Ferentinae at the foot of the mountain. It seems likely that this site also represents a metropolis that might have been.
Emily Moore: The Columnar Monuments of Constantinople
Columnar monuments are freestanding memorials that formed a highly visible and common part of the urban landscapes of ancient Greece, Rome, and Constantinople. Beyond the “superstar” examples such as the Column of Trajan in Rome or the Column of Constantine in Constantinople, which are oft discussed and well published, exist a range of columnar monuments. This paper focuses specifically on the columnar monuments in the city of Constantinople from the third- to the thirteenth-century CE. The aim of this paper is to assemble the corpus of Constantinopolitan columns and to attempt to understand them within the history of columnar monuments in cities. In order to contextualize the Constantinopolitan columns, this paper first briefly summarizes the general trends in the history of columnar monuments from the Roman Republic and Empire. Specific attention is paid to questions of location, honoree, form, and function. Second, this paper then documents from material remains, textual sources, and visual representations the nineteen columnar monuments in Constantinople. Lastly, the columnar monuments of Constantinople are examined with respect to their development in an attempt to learn what continues and what changes in the late antique columnar monuments. The evidence presented demonstrates that while columnar monuments are a relatively uncommon urban phenomenon in Republican and Imperial Rome, they proliferated in the new capitol of the empire, Constantinople. Several examples reference the founding of the city and their presence can be read an indication of the new capitol’s aspirations to imitate its Italian predecessor. The Constantinopolitan columnar monuments are consistently located in highly visible and central spaces within the city. Furthermore, as the geographic focus of the city shifts between different centers over the millenium, columns are erected in these new and important locales. Thus, over the course of a millenium, the Constantinopolitan columnar monuments contribute to the urban landscape of Constantinople, as they celebrate and monumentalize the new capitol of the empire.
Kiersten Mounce: Unexpected Metropolis: English Cottages of The Studio, 1893-1908
During the first fifteen years of The Studio, the English periodical of fine and applied arts published thirty-one articles on the topic of the cottage. From 1893 to 1908, over a dozen of the magazine’s authors wrote about cottage interiors, exteriors, locations, and decorating principles. Highly concerned with occupants, dwelling practices, and financial issues, they seemingly missed nothing about these idyllic structures. Indeed, the cottages of The Studio were frequently designed by architects C.F.A. Voysey, Harrison Townsend, and Mackay Hugh Baillie Scott and situated in a liminal space between country and dense suburb. According to The Studio, these were not agrarian dwellings but individually designed homes for upper-middle-class families. They were occupied by a father who commuted into the city, children who were made healthier by the fresh air, and servants who made the lives of the wives more comfortable. Most importantly, these cottages were owned by the families living in them—an abnormal and financially ill-advised practice for nineteenth-century England.
Modern cottages have occupied pages of scholarship for their architectural significance, their connection to the Arts and Crafts movement and, most recently, how the topography of England participated in defining their structure. However, considering the building type through The Studio’s abundant and detailed reporting on specific cottages and the cottage as an ideal manifests additional aspects of the building type.
Produced and read by a large upper-middle-class population, the periodical displays how this new group mobilized the cottage aesthetic as a discursive form against other suburban dwellers and the landed gentry while redesigned the structure to accommodate their metropolitan life. Although the English cottage may be the most unexpected place to activate a discourse of the metropolis, it is only in considering the expansive reach of London that The Studio’s emphasis on members of the upper-middle-class possessing a restructured and repurposed cottage makes sense.
Jordan Rogers: Roma, Urbs Capta: Imperial Reaction in Juvenal’s Third Satire
Juvenal’s satires are well known for their scathing depictions of contemporary Roman life together with their abundance of literary references. The third satire presents an especially fruitful example of literary allusion, specifically to Aeneid II, as the primary speaker, Umbricius, delivers a declamatory speech on the moral and economic failings of the caput orbis (Staley, 2000). Scholars have been particularly interested in this Vergilian connection, citing the linguistic similiarities and mythological allusions throughout the satire while indicating Umbricius’ grand, mock-epic stylings (LaFleur, 1976; Jones, 2001; Motto and Clark, 1965); moreover, Umbricius’ self-professed role as a “pseudo-Aeneas” as he flees a second urbs capta for the Greek city of Cumae reinforces Juvenal’s play at epic (Baines, 2004; Staley, 2000). Yet all of this overlooks the very real circumstances surrounding the city of Rome at the height of empire, marked by gross discrepancies of class, abandonment of Roman virtues, and the subjugation of the Roman people at large in favor of an understanding of Juvenal-the-author as concerned solely with literary persona and allusion. There is almost certainly exaggeration present in the third satire—nevertheless, an investigation into the underlying realities of Umbricius’ diatribe can reveal both general attitudes towards imperial consequences and, perhaps, Juvenal’s own sentiments.
This paper, then, will show briefly the prevalence of reactionary rhetoric against empire in Juvenal’s third satire. I suggest, beyond the typically Juvenalian insistence on literary allusion present here in the numerous references to Virgil’s Aeneid, that Juvenal’s depiction of the urbs capta reveals Rome itself as the prototypical colonized city; ironic, of course, because it is the very heart of the empire that has found itself victim of the imperial cultural project. I will also consider Juvenal’s own stance in relation to Umbricius’, claiming that Juvenal-the-author may be closer to his satiric persona than scholars admit (Winkler, 1983; Jones, 2001; Schmitz, 2000).
Rachel Starry: Peripheral Centers? Regional Urban Connectivity in the Xanthos Valley and Kibyratis Highlands
My dissertation focuses on an analysis of the Roman impact on processes of urban development, practices of civic benefaction, and changes to the regional urban networks of the cities of two micro-regions in southwestern Asia Minor: the Xanthos river valley and the Kibyratis highlands. The paper I propose to present is a comparative case-study highlighting one city from each micro-region, Xanthos in the valley and Oinoanda in the highlands, where I investigate some ways in which details of urban planning and architectural design speak to the existence of regional urban networks, as well as changes to those networks over time.
On the basis of a detailed, diachronic comparison of architectural forms at each site, I conclude that the detectable changes to the regional urban networks during the 1st-3rd centuries CE are only partially due to Roman interference, and that ultimately these networks are strongly shaped by the needs and goals of local elites. The Roman provincial reorganization that administratively joined the cities of the Kibyratis to Lycia (in 43 CE) likely encouraged a reorientation of the attention of the elites of Oinoanda away from their traditional northern and eastern connections and towards coastal Lycia, as they began to compete with Lycian cities for regional and perhaps even supra-regional prominence. The situation appears to change in the 2nd century CE, when Oinoandian elites returned their attention to the north, especially towards the city of Aphrodisias. A connection can be similarly demonstrated between Xanthos and Pergamon, via the city of Perge in neighboring Pamphylia, which appears to show that the Xanthian elites were primarily engaged in agonistic exchange with other coastal cities, rather than the highland communities of the Kibyratis.
I believe that the variations in the architectural connections that the elites of Oinoanda and Xanthos made with other cities can be partially explained by the cities’ respective topographical situations. The Kibyratis is located at the intersection of four regions: Caria, Phrygia, Pisidia, and Lycia. The highland cities participated in urban networks that were less stable in the long term because they were constantly reacting to changes in the social, political, and economic environments of the many geo-political zones surrounding them, as the local elites sought to gain (and maintain) their status through competition with different cities at different times. In contrast, Xanthos was deeply rooted in coastal communication routes that persisted throughout the Roman period.
Katie Tipton: Insulae: Urban housing and its amenities
In the ancient Roman city where space was at a premium rental housing (e.g., insulae, cenacula, or other vernacular forms) was an attempt to capitalize on a vast market of potential investors and tenants. The archaeological and ancient textual evidence suggest that the term insulae was specifically related to commercial activity. Made up of several components, the residential section of an insula appears to have been the most lucrative and spatially significant within the structure itself. The archaeological evidence reveals features such as water and sewage lines within insulae, suggesting that these amenities were part of the buildings’ integrity and function. Most especially, repairs and additions of these features demonstrate the nature of the contractual agreement between the landlord, those who might be subletting (conductor), and finally the tenant. Many questions arise which pertain to maintenance issues. For example, when a sewage line became blocked who was liable for its repair? Moreover, did the tenant have to pay rent during this inconvenience? These are only a couple of the many examples we find within the legal discussion of the Justinian Digest (D. 188.8.131.52, 184.108.40.206, 220.127.116.11). To substantiate this claim further, this paper examines the physical evidence from Ostia Antica, particularly the presence of upper storey toilets and their vertical sewage drains. Examples found in the Caseggiato degli Aurighi (III,X,1), Caseggiato della Trifore (III,III,1) and Caseggiato del Mosaico del Porto (I,XIV,2) demonstrate repair and secondary additions of sewage downpipes. The data illustrates how Romans interpreted housing within their city and the variation of insulae that existed. Also, it highlights the social and economic relationship between dominus, conductor and tenant. By attempting to address something as rudimentary as toilets and their maintenance we can begin to peel back some of the layers in the complex nature of rental housing and its role in the urban landscape.