Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …


Journal of the International Association for Semiotic Studies / Revue de l'Association Internationale de Sémiotique

Editor-in-Chief: Danesi, Marcel

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 0.509

CiteScore 2018: 0.23

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.232
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.478

Agenzia Nazionale di Valutazione del Sistema Universitario e della Ricerca: Classe A

See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 2009, Issue 175


Spatial reification, or, collectively embodied amnesia, aphasia, and apraxia

Michael Landzelius
Published Online: 2009-06-05 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/semi.2009.042


The transformative powers of global capitalism presently dispossess and unsettle millions of people as well as comprehensively reshape the built environment on previously unseen scales of creative destruction. When the world is constantly dis(re)membered in ever new ways remembrance as a both individual and trans-generational complex of experience, memory, and knowledge loses significance in everyday life. Confronting rapidly transforming neo-liberal landscapes across the globe, critical scholars no less than dispossessed migrants find themselves in a memory crisis akin to the one observed as part of the context of the French Revolution and the profound transformations of European modernization.

In the article, this collective crisis of memory-knowledge-politics is addressed through an engagement with the four concepts “reification,” “amnesia,” “aphasia,” and “apraxia,” the former elaborated through the latter three. Time-space disjunction and dislocation, irrelevance of memory, incapacity to combine, and inability to practice, equates passivity and obedience in relation to the havoc wrought upon masses of people and places. A core concern of the article is to articulate the four concepts in relation to built space and its role not simply as reflection of but rather as effecting and exacerbating the memory-knowledge-politics crisis.

The article suggests that the memory crisis has political urgency in the particular sense that a radical politics against reification needs to be articulated in relation to an understanding of built spaces as collective mnemonic assemblages of memory-knowledge-politics, while also suggesting that spaces might be mobilized to topologically articulate past and present intersectional relations of forgetfulness-ignorance-power, and thus possibly be made to contribute to rather than deflect political consciousness and continued struggles for democracy.

Keywords:: reification; spatiality; embodiment; amnesia; apraxia; Lukács

About the article

Published Online: 2009-06-05

Published in Print: 2009-06-01

Citation Information: Semiotica, Volume 2009, Issue 175, Pages 39–75, ISSN (Online) 1613-3692, ISSN (Print) 0037-1998, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/semi.2009.042.

Export Citation

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in