The August 2009 meeting of the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association presented three articles written by French historians, Victoria Thompson, Richard Hopkins, and Eliza Ferguson on public spaces and private lives in Paris. The articles complemented each other so well and, along with Mary Ryan's comments, which contribute a US perspective, presented the readers of the Journal of Urban History with a new understanding of 'Public Spaces and Private Lives in Paris.' The articles by Ferguson, Hopkins, and Thompson exemplified different aspects of the multilayered and multifunctional city of Paris, but the theme of the integration of public spaces and private lives unites all the articles. Thompson showed how individuals affirmed their identity as residents of the city while also asserting their right to define the city. In Hopkins's and Ferguson's articles, family life spilled into the parks and onto the streets, under the gaze of others, while reformers and politicians tried to rationalize public space.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Urban Studies