ANTH 290 Fall 2012 Urban Space, Culture, and Power (D) (W)

We will address two central questions with which scholars of urban life have wrestled. First, does city life engender certain kinds of social relationships? And second, can one reshape society by changing the physical spaces people inhabit? To answer the first question, we will read classic theories about urban life and compare them to ethnographic case studies, paying close attention to the question of whether urban living leads to the breakdown of traditional social ties and to the production of "modern" rationalities. To answer the second question, we will examine the politics of urban restructuring, studying struggles over urban space to understand different constellations of power from the colonial era to the globalizing present. We will tease out the moral, racial, and modernist ideologies that have underpinned both colonial and postcolonial urban projects, as well as the relationships between those ideologies and scholarly theories of the city. In the final section of the course, we will focus on the repositioning of cities as sites of capital investment, global economic integration, and elite consumption in the contemporary era. We will examine the social and aesthetic visions that have inspired attempts to produce "World Cities" as well as the implications of urban restructuring for the politics of citizenship, access to urban services, and the production of inequality.
Class Format: tutorial
Requirements/Evaluation: participation; short response papers; midterm; final paper
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Prerequisites: none; open to all students
Enrollment Preference: Anthropology & Sociology majors
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Divisional Attributes: Division II,Exploring Diversity,Writing Intensive
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Enrollment Limit: 10
Expected Enrollment: 10
Class Number: 1799
ANTH290-T1(F) TUT Urban Space, Culture, & Power (D) (W) Division 2: Social StudiesExploring Diversity InitiativeWriting Intensive Llerena G. Searle
TBA 1799
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