Mobs and Microbes

Global Perspectives on Market Halls, Civic Order and Public Health

Edited by Leila Marie Farah and Samantha L. Martin

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Market halls at the intersection of civic order and public health
Markets and market halls have always been more than about trade and nourishment. A detailed look at the histories of marketplaces provides evidence of the public health concerns they faced, as well as the social commotion, mobilization and, at times, unrest they hosted. This edited volume reappraises the market hall, examining both its architectural and its social and political significance.
Focusing on how these buildings embodied transformations in architecture and urbanism from the mid-nineteenth century until the age of COVID-19, Mobs and Microbes situates market halls at the intersection of civic order and public health. Central to this are advances in sanitation and hygiene. These radical interventions also mediated conflicting interests. Through their rational designs, market halls intertwined government policies and regulations, which formalized, controlled and literally imposed order. Additionally, markets served as demonstration grounds for community-led mobilization efforts. With case studies spanning North America, Europe, Asia, India and Africa, this edited volume provides a global perspective on covered market halls across many disciplines, including architecture, history of art and architecture, landscape architecture, food studies and urban history.

Contributors: Samantha L. Martin (University College Dublin), Leila Marie Farah (Toronto Metropolitan University), Ashley Rose Young (Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History), Daniel Williamson (Savannah College of Art and Design), Zhengfeng Wang (University College Dublin), Nkatha Gichuyia (University of Nairobi), Xusheng Huang (Southeast University), Ruth Lo (Hamilton College), Emeline Houssard (Sorbonne Université), Henriette Steiner (University of Copenhagen), Andrea Borghini (Università degli Studi di Milano), Min Kyung Lee (Bryn Mawr College).

Ebook available in Open Access.
This publication is GPRC-labeled (Guaranteed Peer-Reviewed Content).


Samantha L. Martin & Leila Marie Farah

Public Amenity or Public Threat? Epidemiology and Grassroots Activism in the Food Markets of New Orleans, 1900–1940 
Ashley Rose Young

The Crawford Market: Sanitary Problems, Engineered Solutions, and Symbolic Gestures in Late Nineteenth-Century Bombay 
Daniel Williamson

The Central Market in Hong Kong: Urban Amenities in a Speculative Field
Zhengfeng Wang

Nairobi City Market: The Versatile Afterlife of a Colonial-Era Building in a Postcolonial World 
Nkatha Gichuyia

The St. Lawrence Market, Toronto: Changes and Continuity 
Leila Marie Farah

Between a Government Project and a Commercial Space for Ordinary Citizens: Dongan Market, 1903–1937 
Xusheng Huang

Hygiene, Urbanism, and Fascist Politics at Rome’s Wholesale Market 
Ruth W. Lo

Modernization and Mobilization: Parisian Retail Market Halls, 1961–1982 
Emeline Houssard

Finding Food at Torvehallerne: Market Halls in Copenhagen between Gastrosexual Consumerism and the Coronavirus Pandemic 
Henriette Steiner

Pandemics and Marketplaces: A Coda from Viareggio, Italy 
Andrea Borghini & Min Kyung Lee

About the Authors 

Format: Edited volume - free ebook - ePUB

329 pages

ISBN: 9789461664969

Publication: March 20, 2023

Languages: English


Leila Marie Farah is associate professor at Toronto Metropolitan University and a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes académiques de la République française. She holds a PhD and M.Arch from McGill University and a professional degree from l’École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture Paris-Malaquais.
Samantha L. Martin is associate professor at University College Dublin and editor-in-chief of Architectural Histories. She received her MPhil and PhD in Architecture from the University of Cambridge and is a graduate of Smith College.
By presenting new research on market halls, this anthology of essays is a clear contribution to its field. It is a thorough amalgam of architectural history, urban history and urban studies approaches, drawing on archival evidence, including visual evidence.
Victoria Kelley, University for the Creative Arts