An Unhemmed Dress: Popular Preservation and Civic Disobedience on the Manhattan Waterfront from the 1960s-2010s
Keywords: New York City, Manhattan, waterfronts, preservation, urban studies, maritime history
Abstract: This article examines preservationist attitudes towards the derelict Manhattan waterfront from the early 1960s to the present. It explores the complex relationships between civic disobedience, selective public engagement and ‘proper’ metropolitan citizenship that have characterised the constantly-shifting urban geography and built landscape of Manhattan for over two hundred years and have been complicated at the island’s perimeter. Looking at popular preservationist writing by New Yorker staff writer Joseph Mitchell, the photographer Walker Evans, and the New York Times architectural critic Ada Louise Huxtable, among other sources, I argue that Manhattan’s identity as a city of, in novelist Henry James’ words, “restless renewals” (1907: 111), is cast in relief at its watery edges. A study of the waterfront’s particular place in Manhattan’s public imagination and popular culture, provides a unique vantage point from which to consider the city’s complex and exclusive notion of public access and acceptable citizenship, its longstanding disinclination to archive itself in its promotion of urban developments that tend to resist the renewal of existing buildings and landmarks, and the commitment of its citizens to engaging Manhattan’s past in the service of its present and future.
Cockatoo, The Island Dockyard: Island Labour and Protest Culture
Keywords: Cockatoo Island, unions, labour history, Sydney
Abstract: The Cockatoo Island dockyard, off the shores of Balmain in Sydney Harbour, was the largest and most important shipbuilding and repair site in Australia for many decades. It has also been the nation’s most convoluted and industrially complex and disputatious site. The nature of the island and its dockyard workforce from 1850 until its closure in 1992 made for unique industrial and social outcomes, and affected how people were organised, and how they shaped the physical and cultural spaces of Cockatoo Island. Cockatoo Island constituted a geographically concentrated force of power.
This article interrogates the cultural and industrial constitution of the Cockatoo Island workforce through its industrial life in the mid-twentieth century. Employing the perspectives of labour geography with its emphasis on space and place, and an emphasis on worker agency, it discusses the importance of a spatially, locally and globally constituted island workforce to the nature of Cockatoo Island’s working culture. It argues that interrogating the concept of place is vital to understanding the industrial history of the island-dockyard.
- Career Decision Making in Island Communities: Applying the concept of the Aquapelago to the Shetland and Orkney Islands
Keywords: Orkney, Shetland, aquapelago, careers, migration
Abstract: Geographical location plays an important part in the career decision making of young adults, both in terms of the economic opportunities provided by the local labour market, and in terms of framing the social and cultural context within which decisions are made. Despite employment and migration being key concerns within island settings, little research has been done into the role of island contexts within career decision making of young islanders. In order to conceptualise the role of island contexts, this paper explores the potential of the concept of the aquapelago – identifying how the notion of the aquapelago brings together three key aspects of island contexts: labour markets, migrations and cultural background. The paper concludes that the concept provides a useful reframing of island contexts, but suggests that a greater awareness of diversity between different island aquapelagos and different inhabitants within these aquapelagos may be necessary.
- Cocos Malay Language Since Integration with Australia
Keywords: Cocos Malay, linguistic imperialism, language extinction, language convergence
Abstract: The Cocos (Keeling) Islands are a remote Australian territory in the Indian Ocean and are home to the Cocos Malay people, who have developed a distinct dialect. It was predicted over 30 years ago that the Cocos Malay language faced extinction, perhaps even within the timeframe of one generation. Two possible threats to the Cocos Malay language were identified. It was felt that English, as the language of power, may replace the Cocos Malay language. The other possibility was language convergence, where Cocos Malay would be subsumed by another, larger Malay dialect. With these issues in mind, I explore developments in the Cocos Malay language since the Islands’ full integration with Australia in 1984. Drawing from extensive ethnographic work and linguistic research into Cocos Malay I also refer to the work of other researchers to analyse how the Cocos Malay language has developed over the past 30 years, in a time of great social change. I argue that integration with Australia and attempts at assimilation have resulted in social dynamics where Cocos Malay language remains a defining marker of Cocos Malay identity positioning. In this social environment, Cocos Malay therefore remains viable and, despite language change, does not face immediate extinction.
- Fleeting and Partial Autonomy: A historical account of quasi-micronational initiatives on Lundy Island and their contemporary reconfiguration on MicroWiki
Keywords: Lundy, temporary autonomous zones, micronations, virtual micronations, MicroWiki
Abstract: Micronations are small territories that have been identified as independent by individuals or communities without recognition of that status by either the nation states within whose borders they fall and/or relevant international bodies. The term is of comparatively recent coinage and has largely been used to refer to entities that have claimed autonomous status since the 1960s. As a result, discussions of the phenomenon (such as those included the 2014 theme issue of Shima on islands and micronationality – v8n1) have tended to avoid engagement with the pre-history of the concept and have not examined how and why certain locations (and, especially in this context, types of islands) have leant themselves to quasi-micronational ventures at particular historical points. This article discusses the manner in which the history of the (now indisputably) English island of Lundy has seen a number of quasi-micronational incidents and outlines the shifting nature of their bases and manifestations. The article’s analyses emphasise the significant role that geography and, particularly, (in)accessibility play in forging micronational endeavours. The final section expands this frame of reference to discuss the imaginative reconfiguration of quasi-micronational initiatives on Lundy through the virtual micronation of the ‘New Kingdom of Lundy’ constituted within the online MicroWiki arena.
- Brecqhou's Autonomy: A Response to Henry Johnson’s ‘Sark and Brecqhou: Space, Politics and Power’ (2014)
Keywords: Brecqhou, Sark, Barclay Brothers
- The Sark/Brecqhou Dyad: Jurisdictional Geographies and Contested Histories
Keywords: Sark, Brecqhou, politics, power, space
Abstract: Over the past few decades, the islands of Sark and Brecqhou have featured in much media and legal discourse. Such factors as jurisdictional contestation, tension and criticism have arisen either between the owners of the private island of Brecqhou and the jurisdiction in which it is located, or as a result of other factors that have an association with Brecqhou on the larger island of Sark. As a type of microstate with a contested history and distinct traditional ways of life, the jurisdictional geographies in the Sark/Brecqhou dyad are of particular interest to the field of Island Studies. I use the term ‘Sark/Brecqhou dyad’ as a way of emphasising the distinct physical, political and social binaries that exist between the islands of Sark and Brecqhou. It is argued that key to understanding some of the points of contestation within and between this island dyad is a comprehension of some of the ways jurisdictional geographies and contested histories have been (re)interpreted. This article is an extension of my earlier article on the subject (Johnson 2014), and one that offers clarification, or one interpretation, of several significant points that help in comprehending this particular case of inter- and intra-island dynamics.
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