Utopia and Urbanism
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Division: Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts
Department: Political Science
Course Number: LPOL 3033
Course Format: Seminar
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: Yes
Utopia has always had a special relationship with urbanism. Whether it is Plato’s “city in speech,” Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, or Le Corbusier’s “Ville Radieuse,” the most influential utopian (and indeed dystopian) visions have tended to be expressed in the form of the city. With this in mind, this seminar traces the history of utopian political thought alongside and through the story of urban space. Beginning with Thomas More’s genre defining work and other pre-Utopian “utopias,” students will examine the role of utopian thinking in twentieth and twenty-first century urban politics. Topics include the relationship between utopia and modernity, spatiality, urban planning, architecture, and nature. Authors discussed include, Charles Baudelaire, H.G. Wells, Guy Debord, Henri Lefebvre, David Harvey, Italo Calvino, Michel De Certeau, and Jane Jacobs. The seminar will also capitalize on our fortunate position as an urban campus and explore several New York-centric issues related to urban development, gentrification, housing, and social movements.
Course Open to: Degree Students
Open to Undergraduate students.