Whitechapel, dark city: performative recuperation of urban identity in Gilded Age Chicago’s Whitechapel Club

Bleakley, Paul ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2512-4072 (2020) Whitechapel, dark city: performative recuperation of urban identity in Gilded Age Chicago’s Whitechapel Club. Urbanities: Journal of Urban Ethnography, 10 (2) . pp. 56-70. ISSN 2239-5725 [Article]

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Chicago was in a phase of negotiating its urban identity in the ‘Gilded Age’ of the early 1890s. The city took the opportunity presented by the Great Fire of 1871 to reinvent itself as a beacon of a new age of American innovation, culminating in its hosting of the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893. While this managed reinvention was taking place in the corridors of power, Chicago remained a city of contrasts where the wealth of industry sat uncomfortably next to the deprivation of impoverished communities plagued by the social problems of the industrial era. For some who were aware of this contrast, the Whitechapel Club represented the reality of life in Chicago — a city where violence and mortality were central to the urban character. This article explores the Whitechapel Club’s role as a reflection of Chicago’s identity of contrasts, as well as the lasting impact it had on shaping the city during the Gilded Age. It focuses on the Club’s recuperation of death and morbidity through the use of performative tactics designed to cathartically process the reality of urban life.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Criminology and Sociology
Item ID: 31838
Notes on copyright: © 2020 Urbanities
First published by Urbanities http://www.anthrojournal-urbanities.com/
The final, definitive version of this article has been published in Urbanities, Volume 10, Issue No 2, November 2020 and is available at https://www.anthrojournal-urbanities.com/journal-issues/all-volumes-issues-and-supplements/
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Depositing User: Paul Bleakley
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2021 14:56
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2022 08:08
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/31838

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