Fall 2017

Cityscapes: Imagining the European City

Listed in: Architectural Studies, as ARCH-203  |  European Studies, as EUST-203

Formerly listed as: EUST-50


Ronald C. Rosbottom (Section 01)


(Offered as ARCH 203 and EUST 203.)  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 eighteenth 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.

Limited to 25 students.  Fall semester.  Professor Rosbottom.

ARCH 203 - L/D

Section 01
Tu 08:30 AM - 09:50 AM CONV 209
Th 08:30 AM - 09:50 AM CONV 209

This is preliminary information about books for this course. Please contact your instructor or the Academic Coordinator for the department, before attempting to purchase these books.

ISBN Title Publisher Author(s) Comment Book Store Price
Invisible Cities Penguin Calvino, Italo Amherst Books TBD
The Gold-Bug and Other Tales Dover Publications Edgar Allan Poe Amherst Books TBD
Jekyll and Hyde CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform Robert Louis Stevenson Amherst Books TBD

These books are available locally at Amherst Books.


2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Spring 2010, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2017