Spring 2010

Cityscapes: Imagining the European City

Listed in: European Studies, as EUST-50


Ronald C. Rosbottom (Section 01)


Cities, the largest human artifact, have been at the center of Europeans’ relationships with nature, gods, and their own kind since their first appearance. With the advent of capitalist energy, the European city went through radical change. The resultant invention, re-invention and growth of major metropolises will be the subject of this course.

We will discuss histories and theories of the city and of the urban imagination in Europe since the 18th century. We will consider Paris, London, Berlin, Rome, and St. Petersburg among others, and the counter-example of New York City. We will study examples of city planning and mapping, urban architecture, film and photography, painting, poetry, fiction, and urban theory. And, we may study Atget, Baudelaire, Benjamin, Calvino, Dickens, Joyce, Rilke, Truffaut, Zola, and others.

Questions addressed will include: To what extent do those who would “improve” a city take into account the intangible qualities of that city? How do the economics of capital compromise with the economics of living? How does the body-healthy and unhealthy-interact with the built environment? How and why does the imagination create an “invisible city” that rivals the “real” geo-political site? Two classes per week.

Spring semester. Professor Rosbottom.


2015-16: Offered in Fall 2015
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Spring 2010, Fall 2013, Fall 2014
Submitted by Ronald C. Rosbottom on Wednesday, 3/17/2010, at 10:21 AM
This is the last revised syllabus for our course. Read it carefully. Note dates, and let's discuss it next week.


Submitted by Ronald C. Rosbottom on Sunday, 1/24/2010, at 11:01 AM