Anders Ekström

Thinking publics, building society: Revisiting the history of the public realm

The overall purpose of this project is to revisit the history of the public realm. The project consists of two parts. The first is thouroughly empirical and develops an original perspective on modern public space through a history of media sociality in the long 19th century. The other is more tentative, theoretical and future-looking, and aims to contribute a structural and historical analysis of the radical displacement of public spheres, values and institutions in post-1989 Europe. The application concerns one year of funding for 1) finalizing a major research monograph entitled Exhibitionary Media: Publics Beyond Representation; and 2) writing an essay on three levels of historical change in post 1989-Europe and how they have conditioned anti-public ideas and current and emerging forms of anti-institutional activism. Taken together, these two international publications will build on and synthesize two major strands of my research: one that is concerned with the history of media and public spaces in emerging modern societies, and especially the 19th century, and another focusing on the balancing of group identities, communities and shared institutions in contemporary Europe. The project includes research visits at the University of Oslo (fall 2021) and the University of Cambridge (spring 2022).
Grant administrator
Uppsala University
Reference number
SEK 1,461,000.00
RJ Sabbatical
History of Ideas