About the Author

Wibke Schniedermann

E-Mail: Wibke.Schniedermann@gcsc.uni-giessen.de

Website:

Wibke Schniedermann is a postdoctoral researcher and coordinator of the Teaching Centre at the International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture (GCSC) at Justus-Liebig University, Giessen. In her current research project, she focuses on representations of homelessness in US-American culture. Her research foci also include narrative theory, relational sociology in literary and cultural studies, spatial politics, and class and poverty studies. She is the co-editor of Class Divisions in Serial Television (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) and has published on Henry James, Black homeless characters, and the cultural geography of the American West.

Contributions by Author: Wibke Schniedermann

Bypassing the Law in a Homeless Vehicle

Alan Bennett’s The Lady in the Van

Polish artist and social activist Krzysztof Wodiczko received much attention during the late 1980s and early 1990s for his “Homeless Vehicle Project.” [1] The Homeless Vehicles were carefully engineered and constantly improved devices designed to make life for urban street dwellers easier and to afford them a form of protected visibility in the streets of the modern metropolis. Protection and visibility are also two major functions fulfilled by the ‘homeless vehicle’ in Alan Bennett’s The Lady in the Van, published as a book in 1989, adapted to the stage in 1999 by the author, and brought to the screen by Nicholas Hytner in 2015. [2] […]

The Trouble With Emergence

I have grown suspicious of the word emergence and the concepts it designates. More often than not, the term seems to serve as a deus ex machina whenever other models or theories cannot account for a certain new aspect or object. Emergence is then used as though it were based on a concept or a theory, when all the term does is label something as complex, unpredictable, and only comprehensible after the fact. It is my contention that, particularly in the study of culture, we need to carefully scrutinize the ways in which we use […]