CAPITALS: How Cities Shape Cultures, States, and People (COMPLIT 100, DLCL 100, GERMAN 175, HISTORY 206E, ILAC 175, ITALIAN 175, URBANST 153)
This course takes students on a trip to major capital cities, at different moments in time: Renaissance Florence, Golden Age Madrid, Colonial Mexico City, Enlightenment and Romantic Paris, Existential and Revolutionary St. Petersburg, Roaring Berlin, Modernist Vienna, and bustling Buenos Aires. While exploring each place in a particular historical moment, we will also consider the relations between culture, power, and social life. How does the cultural life of a country intersect with the political activity of a capital? How do large cities shape our everyday experience, our aesthetic preferences, and our sense of history? Why do some cities become cultural capitals? Primary materials for this course will consist of literary, visual, sociological, and historical documents (in translation); authors we will read include Boccaccio, Dante, Sor Juana, Montesquieu, Baudelaire, Gogol, Irmgard Keun, Freud, and Borges. Note: To be eligible for WAYS credit, you must take the course for a Letter Grade.