Res Publica and the Macy's on 34th Street (thesis)
AbstractThis shift in perspective in turn articulates the protean nature of New York City's worldbuilding projects--their intentional and unintentional uses--provides the framework for the history of the department store type, and helps us conceive of the Macy's on 34th Street as both a private and a public thing. From this perspective, we are able to emphasize the importance of things and, in particular, architecture in the development of political bodies. For to occupy space means to relate to others through markers of space, through the geographical and social coordinates of distance and proximity, sameness and difference. To relinquish a complete focus on human agency allows us to better analyze the world around us, how it gathers and separates us. This is the res publica, or the politics of public things and, in this case, the politics of the city, a space where public and private matters collide to simultaneously activate and deactivate mankind's contingent political potentials. Accordingly, in the first section of this investigation, I will present a theoretical conception of the city; in the second section, I will detail a brief overview of New York City and its history; in the third section, I will discuss the history of the department store type; and in a fourth and concluding section, I will tie up all of these disparate theoretical and historical ends in a history and analysis of the Macy's on 34th Street. [From introductory section]
Samuel Joseph is a member of the Class of 2019 of Washington and Lee University.
Thesis; [FULL-TEXT FREELY AVAILABLE ONLINE]