Writing and Urban Life (at FAS)

In this seminar we will study representations of urban experience, and how the evolution of cities has been shaped by writing. Each week will pair literary and planning texts from the 1860s onward. We will discuss shared aspirations and tense relations among various urban dwellers, focusing on literature, urban planning, and everyday life. Topics include the impact of technology on cities as lived and imagined spaces; interfaces between literacy, orality, and visual cultures; intersections between fiction, poetry, and social history; porous boundaries between built and natural environments; relationships between modernity, writing, and urban planning. Focus will be placed on major cities where Romance languages are spoken, such as Paris, Rome, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, and Luanda.

Course Notes: Readings will be in translation, and discussions will be in English. There are no requirements for enrollment.

This course is offered by FAS as ROM-STD 135 and jointly listed with the GSD.

GSD students who wish to enroll in this limited enrollment course will need to obtain instructor consent. When attempting to enroll, students will be asked to submit a brief statement explaining their motivation for taking the course. If approved, students can then proceed with enrolling. Please contact the instructor with questions.