edited by Barbara Buchenau, Jens Martin Gurr and Maria Sulimma
The Ohio State University Press, 2023
Cloth: 978-0-8142-1552-4 | eISBN: 978-0-8142-8310-3
Library of Congress Classification PN56.C55C55 2023
Dewey Decimal Classification 307.76


Storytelling shapes how we view our cities, legitimizing histories, future plans, and understandings of the urban. City Scripts responds to calls by literary theorists to engage a new kind of narrative analysis that recalibrates close reading and interpretation to the multiple ways in which narratives “do things”—how they intervene in the world and take action in everyday life. A multidisciplinary cast of contributors approaches this new way of looking at cities through the stories people tell about them, looking especially at political activism and urban planning, which depend on the invention of plausible stories of connectedness and of a redemptive future. 

The stakes are especially high in cities where economic, ecological, and social futures are delimited by histories of large-scale extraction and racialized industrial labor. Contributors thus focus on cities in postindustrial areas of Germany and the United States, examining how narratives about cities become scripts and how these scripts produce real-life results. This approach highlights how uses of narrative and scripting appeal to stakeholders in urban change. These actors continually deploy narrative, media, and performance, with consequences for urban futures worldwide. 


Lieven Ameel, Juliane Borosch, Barbara Buchenau, Florian Deckers, Barbara Eckstein, Kornelia Freitag, Walter Grünzweig, Randi Gunzenhäuser, Jens Martin Gurr, Elisabeth Haefs, Chris Katzenberg, Johannes Maria Krickl, Renee M. Moreno, Hanna Rodewald, Julia Sattler, Maria Sulimma, James A. Throgmorton, Michael Wala, Katharina Wood