The Modern City

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The Modern City
Humanities Course
Course CodeCITY
Years Of Operation1997-1998
Sites OfferedBTH, LOS, OMS
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Course Description

From the CTY Catalog (1997):

The word "city" conjours up many images—tall skyscrapers, crowded streets, traffic jams, and noise. It may also create images of parks, museums, and theaters. In fact, cities are all of these things and more. In this course, students will learn what actually constitutes a city both in the past and in the present. Students will learn about the history of early cities, medieval and pre-Columbian cities, the Renaissance and the emergence of the global city, and the effects of events like the Industrial Revolution and the World Wars on cities. They will consider topics such as the architectural elements of cities and how they relate to the social politics of various eras; the why and how of street placement and their connections to nearby areas; what infrastructure is and how it determines the fate of a city; the economic role of the city; and the politics of change in today's cities.

As a class, students will focus on the past and present of paricular cities selected by the instructor (Paris, Beijing, Calcutta, Sao Paulo, Los Angeles, and Johannesburg are examples). For their individual projects, students will select other cities to research. Each student will then deliver a presentation on his/her city at the end of the course.