Posted on 24 July 2013
Dr Gareth Millington, a lecturer in the department and member of CURB (Centre for URBan Research), recently presented a paper at the Leverhulme Trust funded symposium on ‘Out of Control Suburbs? Comparing Representations of Order, Disorder and Sprawl’, held at Hofstra University in New York. Gareth’s paper was titled ‘Darkness on the Edge of Town: London, Essex and the Noir Imagination’. In the paper Gareth investigates how in a range of literature, true crime books and films Essex is portrayed using a noir aesthetic. Gareth’s argument is that Essex symbolises London’s new ‘dark place’ and noir is utilised as a way of holding a ‘dark mirror’ to post-war suburban aspiration as well as the rampant consumerism and entrepreneurialism of the Thatcher and post-Thatcher era. The paper fits within Gareth’s broader research interest in how urban transformations are represented in noir film and literature.