Onglets principaux

WEEKS Theodore - Modernity in European Cities (20h)

This course will examine the topics of modernity, technology, the representation of political power, and urban culture through readings and lectures.  We will start by considering just what “modernity” entails and why modernity has historically demanded an urban setting.  We will also consider the impact that technology (in particular, technologies of communication, transport, time-keeping, and consumption) had on the shift to “modernity.” The “modern European city” will be exemplified here by Berlin, Paris, and St. Petersburg, cities which reflected different aspects of the transition to modernity.  After World War I, cities – in particular in newly independent countries like Poland and Lithuania – became showcases for individual countries’ patriotism and modernity.  In the USSR, the creation of Magnitogorsk and the rebuilding of Moscow reflected the communist regime’s desire to make concrete the technological modernism of socialism.  After World War II, cities from Berlin to Warsaw to Sevastopol were rebuilt along new lines, reflecting both practical realities and political ideology.  We will look at the recasting of Warsaw, Berlin, and Vilnius to see how politics, nationality, and economic development came together in these important urban centers.  Students will write a short paper on a specific development, era, or change in a city of their choice.  The purpose of this paper is to allow students to apply knowledge and approaches learned in the course and to deepen their knowledge of a specific city and issue not covered in this course. // ECTS Card

Professor: Theodore WEEKS