Contact details

Name:
Dr Samuel Merrill
Qualifications:
PhD
Position/Fellowship type:
Visiting Fellow (CCM)
Fellowship term:
01-Sep-2015 to 31-Aug-2016
Institute:
Institute of Modern Languages Research
Home institution:
Umea University
Email address:
samuel.merrill@sas.ac.uk
Website:
https://sas.academia.edu/SamMerrill

Research Summary and Profile

Research interests:
Archaeology, Contemporary History, Cultural memory, Culture, History, Language and Literature (German), Metropolitan history
Regions:
Europe, United Kingdom
Publication Details

Related publications/articles:

Date Details
01-Jun-2015 ‘London Underground: A Cultural Geography by David Ashford’, The Journal of Transport History, 35 (1)

Review

Merrill, S. (2014) ‘London Underground: A Cultural Geography by David Ashford’, The Journal of Transport History, 35 (1), pp.134-136.

01-Feb-2015 ‘Keeping it real? Subcultural graffiti, street art, heritage and authenticity’, International Journal of Heritage Studies, 21(4)

Journal articles

Merrill, S. (2015) ‘Keeping it real? Subcultural graffiti, street art, heritage and authenticity’, International Journal of Heritage Studies, 21(2), pp. 369-389. Doi: 10.1080/13527258.2014.934902.

 

This article considers the implications of framing subcultural graffiti and street art as heritage. Attention is paid to subcultural graffiti’s relationship to street art and the incompatibility of its traditions of illegality, illegibility, anti-commercialism and transience with the formalised structures of heritage frameworks. It is argued that the continued integration of street art and subcultural graffiti into formal heritage frameworks will undermine their authenticity and mean that traditional definitions of heritage, vandalism and the historic environment will all need to be revisited. The article contributes to the current re-theorisation of heritage’s relationship with erasure by proposing that subcultural graffiti should be perceived as an example of ‘alternative heritage’ whose authenticity might only be assured by avoiding the application of official heritage frameworks and tolerating loss in the historic environment.

01-Sep-2014 'What is so Berlin? A critical review of urban research’s trajectories and issues in the German capital', sub\urban zeitschrift für kritische stadtforschung, 2(2)

Review

Merrill, S. and Jasper, S. (2014) 'What is so Berlin? A critical review of urban research’s trajectories and issues in the German capital', sub\urban zeitschrift für kritische stadtforschung, 2(2), pp. 5-14.

Merrill, S. and Jasper, S. (2014) 'Was ist so Berlin? Eine kritische Rezension aktueller Linien und Fragestellungen der Stadtforschung in der deutschen Hauptstadt', sub\urban zeitschrift für kritische stadtforschung, 2(2), pp. 5-14.

Ende 2012 hat das Zitty Magazin des Tagesspiegels seine Werbekampagne „Das ist so Berlin“ gestartet. Seither sind kleine rot-weiße Aufkleber mit dieser Aussage überall in der Stadt aufgetaucht, auf Mülleimern, U-Bahn-Schildern und Bushaltestellen. Zum Teil als Reaktion auf diese Kampagne, fragt diese kritische, bilinguale Rezension Was ist so Berlin? um die aktuellen Linien und Fragestellungen der Stadtforschung in Berlin zu diskutieren. Dazu werden die Berlin-Sitzungen zweier internationaler Tagungen des Jahres 2013 rezensiert, die Sitzungen der Jahreskonferenz der Association of American Geographers (Los Angeles 9-13 April) und es Jahrestreffen des Research Committee 21 (Berlin 29-31), sowie der Sammelband – The Berlin Reader: A Compendium on Urban Change and Activism (Transcript, 2013), herausgegeben von Matthias Bernt, Britta Grell und Andrej Holm. Im Anschluss betont die Rezension die Notwendigkeit die Vorstellungen zu Berlin und Berlins exceptionalism, die in der Stadtforschung entwickelt werden, fortlaufend so zu beleuchten, dass eine pluralistische Rhetorik, die Position und Verantwortung von Forscher_innen und wissenschaftliche Forschungslücken, berücksichtigt werden.

 

 

01-Mar-2014 ‘New York's Subterranean Paradoxes: A Review Of Subway’, Opticon1826, 16 (5)

Review

Merrill, S. (2014) ‘New York's Subterranean Paradoxes: A Review Of Subway’, Opticon1826, 16 (5), Doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.5334/opt.bp.

This review considers the recent re-publication of Bruce Davidson’s Subway series of photographs, and their exhibition at C/O in Berlin, Germany. As such, this review positions Davidson’s photographs both in relation to wider cultural analyses that highlight the paradoxical nature of subterranean space, and within a selective genealogy of subway representations. Furthermore, it views the reinvigorated interest in Davidson’s work to be reflective of the growing popularity of subterranean space that has recently re-emphasised its cultural potential.

01-Nov-2013 ‘The London Underground Diagram: Between Palimpsest and Canon’, The London Journal, 38 (3)

Journal articles

Merrill, S. (2013) ‘The London Underground Diagram: Between Palimpsest and Canon’, The London Journal, 38 (3), pp. 245-264. Doi: 10.1179/0305803413Z.00000000033.

This paper demonstrates how the London Underground Diagram can be characterized as both palimpsest and canon, contributing to the collective memory and identity of London as a representational component of the cultural landscape of the London Underground. It explicitly considers the processes that have determined the increasing canonization of the diagram and the normative past that it embodies since its inception in 1931 by: investigating its design history and context of success; reviewing its popular iconization and the official acknowledgement of its origins; highlighting the history of its copyright and commercialization; charting the creative phenomenon of map-mashing and its copyright consequences; and questioning the diagram’s status in a continuing digital world.

01-Nov-2013 ‘Introduction’, in Dennis, R., Galviz, C, L. and Merrill, S. (eds.), The London Journal, 38 (3)

Journal articles

Dennis, R., Galviz, C, L. and Merrill, S. (2013) ‘Introduction’, in Dennis, R., Galviz, C, L. and Merrill, S. (eds.), The London Journal, 38 (3), pp. 175-176. Doi: 10.1179/0305803413Z.00000000028.

01-Nov-2013 Going Underground: New Perspectives

Edited Book

Galviz, C. L. and Merrill, S. (eds.) (2013) Going Underground: New Perspectives, London: LTM.

01-Nov-2013 Special Issue of the London Journal: 150 Years of the London Underground

Edited Book

Dennis, R., Galviz, C, L. and Merrill, S. (eds.), Special Issue: 150 years of the London Underground,
The London Journal, 38 (3).
 

01-Nov-2013 ‘Frederick Abrams' Underground Cathedral: journeys of artistic discovery in the undergrounds of the world’, in Galviz, C. L. and Merrill, S. (eds.) (2013) Going Underground: new perspectives, London: LTM.

Chapters

Merrill, S. (2013) ‘Frederick Abrams' Underground Cathedral: journeys of artistic discovery in the
undergrounds of the world’, in Galviz, C. L. and Merrill, S. (eds.) (2013) Going Underground: new perspectives, London: LTM, pp. 82-91.
 

01-Feb-2013 ‘Exploring Hidden Narratives: Conscript Graffiti at the Former Military Base of Kummersdorf’, The Journal of Social Archaeology, 13 (1),

Journal articles

Merrill, S. and Hack, H. (2013) ‘Exploring Hidden Narratives: Conscript Graffiti at the Former Military Base of Kummersdorf’, The Journal of Social Archaeology, 13 (1), pp. 101-121. Doi: 0.1177/1469605312455762.

This article explores the cultural significance and interpretative potential of graffiti left by Soviet conscripts at Kummersdorf, a former military base in the German federal state of Brandenburg. The graffiti is framed as war art and its typology, distribution and content is studied in detail. In this way opportunities for further research are highlighted, as well as the potential for the graffiti to contribute to interpretative and conservation strategies. We demonstrate how the graffiti embodies multi-level interpretative narratives which can help to reveal hidden aspects of Soviet conscript life and cultural practices whilst alluding to global events and Soviet and Russian military policy. More generally, the article aims to promote the potential of graffiti and other forms of what is traditionally considered vandalism to contribute to the cultural significance and interpretation of heritage sites.

01-Feb-2013 ‘Introduction’, in Galviz, C. L. and Merrill, S. (eds.) (2013) Going Underground: new perspectives, London: LTM, pp. 8-9.

Chapters

Galviz, C, L. and Merrill, S. (2013) ‘Introduction’, in Galviz, C. L. and Merrill, S. (eds.) (2013) Going Underground: new perspectives, London: LTM, pp. 8-9.

01-Dec-2012 ‘Looking Forward to the Past: London Underground’s 150th Anniversary’, The Journal of Transport History, 33 (2)

Journal articles

Merrill, S. (2012) ‘Looking Forward to the Past: London Underground’s 150th Anniversary’, The Journal of Transport History, 33 (2), pp. 243-252. Doi: 10.7227/TJTH.33.2.6.

01-Jan-2012 ‘World Heritage, Tourism and the Millennium Development Goals: From Sites to Systems’, in André de Rocha, A. (ed.) World Heritage Today: Challenges for Interpretation, Conservation and Development.

Chapters

Merrill, S. (2012) ‘World Heritage, Tourism and the Millennium Development Goals: From Sites to Systems’, in André de Rocha, A. (ed.) World Heritage Today: Challenges for Interpretation, Conservation and Development. Verlag Dr. Köster: Berlin, pp.161-183.

01-Mar-2011 'Graffiti at Heritage Places: Vandalism as Cultural Significance or Conservation Sacrilege?’, Time and Mind, 4 (1),

Journal articles

Merrill, S. (2011), ‘Graffiti at Heritage Places: Vandalism as Cultural Significance or Conservation Sacrilege?’, Time and Mind, 4 (1), pp. 59-75. Doi: 10.2752/175169711X12893985693711.

Current heritage best practice aims to avoid strategies that focus solely on single, often arbitrary periods or narratives in a site's history in favor of those that recognize all of the site's layers of significance. This situation was born from similar concerns to those that made archaeology critically self reflect and adopt positions that attempted to overcome inherent preconceptions and biases. However, the treatment of forms of vandalism at heritage sites, such as graffiti, often stands in juxtaposition to the sites' other layers of significance and reveals that heritage management is yet to address all of its own biases. This article discusses the cultural significance of graffiti vandalism at heritage sites. It argues that new ways of theorizing about heritage and its destruction are required and that heritage management should adopt perspectives akin to archaeology's post-processualism in order to ensure that the significance of contemporary graffiti vandalism is not lost by strategies that view it primarily as conservation sacrilege. To do this, the article considers the origin, definition, and types of heritage vandalism before focusing on graffiti in relation to three case studies and then examining the relevant perspectives that archaeological and heritage theory can offer. The article aims to provide a further departure point from which to discuss the significance of vandalism at heritage places and in particular graffiti and its treatment.

01-Oct-2009 ‘Review of Ancient Hampi’, History Australia 6 (3)

Review

Merrill, S. (2009) ‘Review of Ancient Hampi’, History Australia 6 (3): pp. 80.1-80.2

Relevant Events

Related events:

Date Details
20-Nov-2014 Questioning the Temporalities of Metropolitan Memory.

Workshop and paper session at the 3rd Annual Conference of the DFG International Graduate Research Program Berlin/New York/Toronto, Center for Metropolitan Studies, Technical University Berlin, Germany, 20th – 22nd November 2014, co-organised with Emily Bereskin.

18-Sep-2014 Unexpected Technological (Dis)orders in Urban Mobility

Paper session at the International Association for the History of Transport, Traffic and Mobility’s 2014 Annual Conference, Philadelphia, USA, 18th – 21st September 2014, co-organised with Dhan Zunino Singh.

13-Jul-2013 Disused Transport Infrastructure: Interdisciplinary and Pan-European Perspectives.

An ESRC funded ‘Forge’ Mini-Symposium hosted at the Department of Geography, University College London, UK, 13th – 15th July 2013, co-organised with Sandra Jasper and Anna Plyushteva.

09-Apr-2013 The Moving to Berlin Sessions

Multiple paper sessions at the Association of American Geographers’ 2013 Annual Conference, Los Angeles, USA, 9th – 13th April 2013, co-organised with Sandra Jasper and Julia Binder.

 

24-Feb-2012 Cultural and Historical Geographies of Intra-Urban Mass Transit

Multiple paper sessions at the Association of American Geographers’ 2012 Annual Conference, New York, USA, 24th – 28th February 2012, co-organised with Richard Dennis and Carlos Galviz.

06-Oct-2011 U-Bahn, Subte, Tube

Paper session at International Association for the History of Transport, Traffic and Mobility’s 2011 Annual Conference, Berlin, Germany 6th – 9th October 2011, co-organised with Dhan Zunino Singh and Carlos Galviz.

17-Feb-2010 World Heritage for Tomorrow: What, How and For Whom?

A conference hosted at Brandenburg Technical University Cottbus, Germany, 17th – 20th February 2010, co-organised with Leo Schmidt and Smriti Pant.

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