Written Communication in Urban Spaces

Publication, textual materiality and appropriations*

Authored by: Antonio Castillo Gómez

The Routledge Companion to Cultural History in the Western World

Print publication date:  September  2020
Online publication date:  September  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138649460
eBook ISBN: 9781003080206
Adobe ISBN:


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Communication in the early modern cities did not consist exclusively of printed texts: posters and loose sheets fulfilled the same functions, often in interaction with orality and the visual culture. This production was fixed, displayed or disseminated in squares, streets and other public places, which were appropriated by the institutions of power, but also made visible political contestation, religious dissent, social tension or personal confrontations, while commercial signs and advertising posters proliferated. Except for inscriptions in stone, most of the texts that circulated in the public space belong in the category of urban ephemera, some of them handwritten, and many printed – all objects whose preservation has been exceptional.

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