Articles by: Stephen Pascoe

Author Biography:

Stephen Pascoe is a historian and urbanist from Melbourne. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Laureate Centre for History and Population at UNSW.

Melbourne’s Aesthetic Turn: Coffee Culture, Industrial Chic and Global-city Elites

In this process of the re-aesthetisation of the refuse of industrial society there was an emptying out of the history of the inner city. What mattered was the appearance of grit, the chic of industrial production, not the social realities of it for those who were by now long departed from these places.

Alan Roberts Prize Essay: The Cars That Ate Paris, by Stephen Pascoe

Complicity with our own destruction: can we break out of our cultural dependencies?

Informit: The cars that ate Paris

There's a feeling that has been gnawing at me for a long time now. Each time I go to the petrol station, take out the bowser and start to fill the tank of our family car, an overwhelming sense of guilt, dread and wastefulness comes over me. I can't stop thinking about the profligacy embedded in this routine act of daily life: the energyintensive life cycle of extracting, refining and transporting this oil halfway across…

Informit: The summer of love, half a century later

Here in California, summer is becoming a memory. The kids are back at school, the baseball season has finished, and camping gear is now accumulating dust in the cupboards. The momentary carelessness of the northern summer is fast fading behind us. The American summer of 2017, however, was anything but carefree. Against the backdrop of an erratic Trump presidency, the lingering threat of war with North Korea, the parading of violent white supremacists on the…

Viewing the New War in Syria, by Stephen Pascoe

Stephen Pascoe

20 Apr 2017

Stephen Pascoe on Trump's air strikes in Syria, and the historical resonance of the aerial view

Informit: The fall of the ottomans [Book Review]

Review(s) of: The fall of the ottomans: The great war in the middle east, 1914-1920, by Eugene Rogan, Allen Lane, 2015.

Putting Syria Back Together Again by Firas Massouh, Yoni Molad and Stephen Pascoe

A response to Jeremy Salt

Informit: Making modernity from the Mashriq to the Maghreb

The recent wave of revolutions across the Arab world has brought to the surface the contradictions in popular understandings of the Middle East and North Africa. The place of the region in the global history of modernity has been unsettled yet again. It is possible to identify several major trends in responses to the momentous events, coinciding with various stages in the unfolding of the revolutions. Firstly, many commentators embraced the early stages of the…

Informit: Making the Middle East modern: Shifting historical frameworks

Writing the history of modernity entails a certain conceptual contradiction. The idea of the 'modern', after all, expresses a sense of 'now', the contemporary moment, the world as it currently exists. By its very nature, modernity implies a drawing away from the past. It is future oriented, looking ahead to new possibilities. To speak of modernity in a past tense still seems a little jarring. Even if proclamations of 'postmodernity' at the end of the…

Informit: Ibn khaldun’s gaze

Three months in post-revolutionary TunisIn the centre of Tunis, where the once-walled medieval medina meets the nineteenth-century ville nouvelle, the visitor is struck by an imposing statue of Abu Zayd 'Abdu r-Rahman bin Muhammad bin Khaldun Al-Hadrami, which commands the Place de L'Independence. Ibn Khaldun, as he is better known, is an exceptional figure in the history of ideas. He is often credited with having invented modern sociological history; he was certainly one of its…

Informit: Putting Syria back together again

A response to Jeremy SaltJeremy Salt's essay on Syria published in this edition of 'Arena Magazine' is a misguided contribution to the debate on recent events in that country. Salt's central contention is that the Syrian revolution is not a genuine popular uprising, but instead something more sinister. His essay constructs a rather elaborate theory, the essence of which can be expressed as follows: that the people of Syria who have chosen the path of…

Informit: Overcoming the Arab malaise

The recent outbreak of civil unrest in the Arab world has once more put that region in the spotlight of the international media. The spirit of revolt at the heart of the uprisings has taken the world by surprise. So too has the speed at which the inclination to revolt has spread, inflaming country after country like spattering wildfire. Since the flames were first lit (metaphorically and literally) in Tunisia, smouldering fires of protest have…