About this Programme

In this programme, Emma Hayward turns to the work of the New York-based cartoonist Ben Katchor, to explore the relationship between nostalgia and the urban environment.

In his surreal rendering of New York City in the comics strip series Julius Knipl: Real Estate Photographer, Katchor paradoxically elicits a genuine nostalgic desire for a metropolis that has never existed.

Katchor’s construction of an alternative, absurdist city space gives eloquent expression to the pleasures of urban ruin and decay, and suggests how an ironic and playful nostalgia might be deployed as a powerful critical tool for the recovery of a genuine and meaningful urban-historical engagement in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

This programme is authored by Emma Hayward, Cultural Engagement Fellow at the University of Liverpool, and co-produced with The Arts & Culture Unit.

It will be broadcast as part of the second series of Modulations: Broadcasting Research in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, on Resonance 104.4fm.