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Nostalgie / Nostalgia

Imaginierte Zeit-Räume in globalen Medienkulturen / Imagined Time-Spaces in Global Media Cultures


Edited By Sabine Sielke

Nostalgie boomt – als kulturelles Phänomen wie als Forschungsgegenstand. Was aber ist und wie wirkt Nostalgie? Dieses Buch zeigt auf, wie Nostalgie die Zeit anzuhalten sucht und unsere Wahrnehmung steuert. Eng verknüpft mit dem Aufkommen neuer Medientechnologien und Prozessen des Konsums schaffen Nostalgie und Retro imaginierte Zeit-Räume, die Vergangenes neu erfinden und sich Zukünftigem öffnen.

Nostalgia booms – both as cultural phenomenon and as research object. Yet what is nostalgia, and how does it work? This book shows how nostalgia aims at arresting time and channels our perception. Inextricably entwined with the rise of new media technologies and processes of consumption, nostalgia and retro create imagined time-spaces which reinvent the past and face the future.

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Nostalgia for New York (Sabine Sielke)


Sabine Sielke

Nostalgia for New York

Abstract: Nostalgia for New York, this essay argues, is the longing for a place that never was but may be. The very sense of New York City as both a dense intercultural site of creative collaboration and an arena of fierce cultural clashes and economic competition echoes America’s self-conception as an unfinished – and ultimately nostalgic – enterprise.

Step One. “New York, New York,” or: “Mayor, Make It Like It Was!”

As a paradigmatic modern phenomenon, feelings of nostalgia, it seems, have come to overdetermine the way we approach and experience certain cities – cities whose history is tightly interwoven with the rise of modernity and whose ultimate embodiment is the U.S. American metropolis New York City. Attitudes toward New York, in turn, embody the ways in which nostalgia works in U.S. American culture. Exploring what I call the nostalgia for New York, I mean to show how this longing for a time that never was allows reenacting the very self-conception of ‘America’ as a work-in-progress whose completion is projected into a not-too-far future.

My argument here takes three steps and the first one is entitled “‘New York, New York,’ or: ‘Mayor, Make It Like It Was!’” I am thus taking a double cue into to make my way into the issue: the first from Frank Sinatra’s notorious 1979 tune and the second from the 1999 PBS documentary New York, an eight-part, seventeen-and-a-half-hour history of...

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