Fall 2008

Metropolis: The Politics and Cultures of Cities

Listed in: Political Science, as POSC-26


Doreen Lee (Section 01)


(CP, IR, PT) Cities are oftentimes our entry point into “civilization.” The diversity of our cities ranges from the global cities linking the old world and the new to the impoverished mega-cities of the global south. Yet, given such diversity, have we been theoretically colonized by “Metropolis”? By surveying the different uses of city space and debating various models of urbanization, from the formation of European cities to the indigenized theories of spatial formation in the “non-West,” we can begin to interrogate our model of the ideal city, our “Metropolis” in question. Our course will look critically at these models and their far-reaching implications for the way urbanization has taken place in discursive and material terms. We will consider the social processes in the production of space and urban subjectivities, reading selections from influential theorists of city-space, such as Henri Lefebvre, Walter Benjamin, and Michel de Certeau. A rich variety of contemporary and historical case studies of cities across the globe are juxtaposed in this course under city-types as provocative assertions of the urban. Limited to 20 students. Not open to first-year students. Fall semester. Visiting Professor Lee.