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The City in Contemporary History

30 Credits

The city has often been referred to as the greatest proof of human creativity and imagination.

This course treats the city as a cultural artefact, a subject about which art and architectural historians have as much to say as geographers, sociologists and urban thinkers. It begins with the question of what it means to conceptualise the city in artistic, aesthetic and cultural terms, within the broader context of the humanities and social sciences. Its aim is to give students the language they need to talk about the built environment that they move through every day, to think about the problem of cities more critically, and even to become participants in the discussions and dialogues that shape the experience of urbanity in the present.

This is not a general overview or survey of the city through time. Rather, it starts from the contemporary experience of the city, and uses that experience to reflect back across the history of this creative form.