Progress in Human Geography has just published a great overview of the academic study of ruins by Caitlin DeSilvey and Tim Edensor called “Reckoning with ruins.”

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Abstract:
Scholarly interest in ruins and derelict spaces has intensified over the last decade. We assess a broad selection of the resulting literature and identify several key themes. We focus on how ruins may be used to critically examine capitalist and state manifestations of power; we consider the way in which ruins may challenge dominant ways of relating to the past; and we look at how ruins may complicate strategies for practically and ontologically ordering space. We speculate about the motivations for this surge of current academic interest, draw out resonances with current trends in geographical thinking, and suggest directions for future research.