PRINT February 1990


Men in Space

WITH THE PUBLICATION OF TWO NEW BOOKS—both by geographers—urban studies has decisively entered “the postmodern debate,” determined, apparently, to win. Indeed, Edward Soja’s Postmodern Geographies: The Reassertion of Space in Critical Social Theory (1989) and David Harvey’s The Condition of Postmodernity: An Enquiry into the Origins of Cultural Change (1989) possess a winning combination: they bring together critical discourses about space, culture, and esthetics within the framework of a social theory that purports to explain postmodern life. This formula has been used before—though never so thoroughly—by a disparate group of scholars writing not only about postmodern culture but about modernism as well.

For anyone in the art world eager to escape the control that traditional esthetic categories exercise over how art is defined, such interdisciplinary approaches have a strong, even fatal

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