The City

This course examines the city as an object of scholarly investigation in order to introduce students to the rigours of academic writing and research. By reading publications from a range of disciplines, we will become familiar with the conventions and goals of academic criticism.
Guiding this work will be questions about urban space and experience. What kinds of thinking, action, and community give rise to cities? What social, cultural, political, technological, and economic forces impact the lives of city dwellers? How have cities changed throughout history and in what important ways do cities differ? How should cities be organized—both spatially and politically? What role to city dwellers play in impacting and/or remedying the problems of the modern world, a world marked by unprecedented changes, from the rise of industry and capitalism, to the forces of colonialism and globalization, to the trauma of war and the threat of ecological collapse, to the emergence of new forms of identity that trouble conventional notions of class, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, etc.? In response to course material and discussion, students will reflect on their own evolving positions as modern city dwellers.