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Reinventing Modern Dublin: Streetscape, Iconography and the Politics of Identity

Streetscape, Iconography and the Politics of Identity

Yvonne Whelan takes the reader from the contested iconography of Dublin as it evolved in the years before Independence through to the contemporary plans for the millennium spire on O’Connell Street, showing how a shift has taken place from an intensely political symbolic landscape to one that is increasingly apolitical, in tune with the changing nature of Irish politics, culture and society at the turn of the 21st century. In her comprehensive discussion of how the streetscape has changed, Whelan explores the capacity of the cultural landscape to underpin and reinforce particular narratives of identity and reveals the ways in which issues of street naming, building, designing and memorializing became firmly grounded in space and bound up with the politics of representation. Incorporating many pictures, maps and plans, "Reinventing Modern Dublin" is a work of historical, cultural and urban geography, a valuable addition to the growing body of knowledge about Dublin’s historical geography and Irish urbanism.

336 pages


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Table of Contents

Part 1 Unravelling the cultural geographies of landscape - interrogating the cultural landscape. Part 2 City of empire, site of resistance - representing empire contested identities and the monumental landscape naming Dublin - imperial power, nationalist resistance. Part 3 A capital once again - reinventing post-independence Dublin - symbolizing the state - planning, power and the architecture of nationhood scripting public memory - the power of public monuments removing icons of empire street naming and nation building in Dublin the power of space - towards a postmodern iconography.

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