UBC Lectures, Seminars, and Symposia

Les Cris de Paris : The Intermediality of the Nineteenth-Century Urban Soundscape Franzel, Sean


This talk examines nineteenth-century representations of the cacophonous vocalizations of itinerant urban merchants in Paris and London. Street criers were an all-too popular topic of German cultural magazines and fashion journals reporting back to curious readers in Germany on foreign customs. I argue that these journals approach heterogeneous urban soundscapes through the lens of the periodical’s own definitive intermediality, presenting les cris de Paris (and de Londres) as a thick ethnographic detail in a broader urban tableau but also as a representative phenomenon characterized by layering and interactivity of distinct media.

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