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Urbanization and Mega-Cities

Informacje ogólne

Kod przedmiotu: 4219-RS236 Kod Erasmus / ISCED: 14.0 / (0310) Nauki społeczne i psychologiczne
Nazwa przedmiotu: Urbanization and Mega-Cities
Jednostka: Ośrodek Studiów Amerykańskich
Grupy: Proseminaria badawcze na studiach II stopnia
Przedmioty na studiach stacjonarnych II stopnia
Punkty ECTS i inne: 8.00
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Język prowadzenia: angielski
Rodzaj przedmiotu:


Skrócony opis:

For a decade now, more than half of humanity dwells in cities. Homo sapiens has thus transformed from a rural to an urban species. This is the gist of a planetary urbanization. Its second feature lays in the fact that the epicentre of urban growth has inevitably moved from the West to the Global South. It is no longer Paris or New York, but Lagos, Sao Paulo or Dubai that have become "future cities". This momentous change means that right in front of our eyes the meanings of “city life” and “urbanization” is being fundamentally redefined. The aim of this course is to equip students with a conceptual toolbox that will allow them to understand the dynamics of this planetary urbanization. Thus we will look at the most current developments in North (and South) American cities through the lenses of planetary urbanisation.

Pełny opis:

One of the challenges posed by planetary urbanization is trying to suture, to borrow Filip de Boeck’s term, many urban fragments into a coherent whole. On the one hand we have a myriad of theoretical texts describing the planetary scale of total urbanization (e.g. Neil Brenner’s Imposions/explosions is a good case in point), and on the other hand there is a lot of micro-scale studies on a specific urban issue (transport, environment, housing, etc.) or a specific place (neighborhood, district, etc.). There is only a handful of good analyses on the mezo scale – ones that capture what we can called the “structured urban coherence”.

How to research and write about agglomerations in which 40 million people dwell? Are we doomed only to describe fragments or can we try to forge a synthesis of these new urban spaces? Readings, which will be the basis of this seminar, show how to look for this key to understanding the uniqueness of particular places - even if they are sprawling megacities with millions of dwellers. We will compare and contrast different attempts to analyze the “spatial coherence” of these dynamic and constantly changing entities.

Thus the course will be organized around the key American urban centers: from New York City, through Los Angeles and Detroit to Bogota and Sao Paolo. Each of them will become a window into a larger conceptual problem, such as urban politics, poverty, gentrification, housing, racial and class relations, urban movements and so on.

These are some of the questions we will address in the course:

- How to make sense of the sprawling urban organism in Los Angeles? How did Latinos remake this, as Mike Davis put it, the very first Pan-American metropolis?

- How are American cities are "going South" - what if we look at New York City the Lagos of North America? How did the global politics of austery were invented during the New York fiscal crisis?

- Why did the suburbian town of Ferguson became the center of protests against police brutality? How did suburbs became the frontier of poverty and exclusion?

- Why did the 2008 financial crisis start from the housing market? How did real estate and urbanisation become the very center of the American economy?

- How is democracy refashioned from the grassroots in Sao Paulo? How did Bogota became the mecca for urban activists?


Neil Brenner, , (eds). Implosions/explosions. Towards a Study of Planetary Urbanization, Berlin, Jovis, 2014

Philippe Bourgois, In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in El Barrio, Cambridge, Cambridge UP, 1995.

John and Jean Comaroff, “Theory From the South: Or, How Euro-America is Evolving Toward Africa”, Anthropological Forum, 2012, vol. 22, pp. 113-131

William Cronon, Nature’s Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West, New York, Norton&Company 1991.

Mike Davis, City Of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles, London, Verso 1998

Mike Davis, Magical Urbanism: Latinos Reinvent the U.S. City, London, Verso 2001.

Matthew Desmond, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, London, Allen Lane, 2016

David Harvey, Rebel Cities: From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution, London, Verso 2012.

James Holston, Insurgent Citizenship. Disjunctions of Democracy and Modernity in Brazil. Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2009.

Roger Keil, Suburban Planet: Making the World Urban from the Outside In, London, Polity, 2017.

Charlie Leduff, Detroit: An American Autopsy, London, Peungin Books, 2013.

Kim Phillips-Fein, Fear City: New York's Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of Austerity Politics, New York, Metropolitan Books, 2017.

Justin McGuirk, Radical Cities: Across Latin America in Search of a New Architecture, London, Verso, 2014.

Neil Smith, The New Urban Frontier: Gentrification and the Revanchist City, London, Routledge, 1996.

Edward Soja, Postmetropolis. Critical Studies of Cities and Regions, Oxford, Blackwell, 2000.

Rebecca Solnit, Hollow City: The Siege of San Francisco and the Crisis of American Urbanism, London, Verso 2018.

Efekty uczenia się:

By the end of the course, students will have:

- a sound understanding of the research methods in contemporary urban studies

-in-depth knowledge of research on the urban Americas

- an command of major theoretical concepts in today's urban studies


By the end of the course, students will have:

- developed academic writing skills

- developed critical thinking skills

- developed in-class discussion skills

- developed a skill of an analysis of an academic text

Metody i kryteria oceniania:

The final grade will comprise of attendance (students are allowed to miss up to two classes) and active participation in class discussions (10%), in-class presentation of prescribed texts for one of the sessions (30%), annotated bibliography (10%) and a research paper (50%).

Zajęcia w cyklu "Semestr letni 2019/20" (zakończony)

Okres: 2020-02-17 - 2020-08-02
Wybrany podział planu:

zobacz plan zajęć
Typ zajęć: Konwersatorium, 45 godzin, 15 miejsc więcej informacji
Koordynatorzy: Kacper Pobłocki
Prowadzący grup: Kacper Pobłocki
Lista studentów: (nie masz dostępu)
Zaliczenie: Przedmiot - Zaliczenie na ocenę
Konwersatorium - Zaliczenie na ocenę
Opisy przedmiotów w USOS i USOSweb są chronione prawem autorskim.
Właścicielem praw autorskich jest Uniwersytet Warszawski.