|Semester and Year||FA 2013|
|Time||3:30 PM - 6:10 PM|
Recent and very visible social movements have reclaimed public spaces in cities around the world, prompting the question of what, exactly, are public spaces and to whom do they (and the cities around them) belong. For many scholars, the existence of public spaces - the town square, the agora, the rialto, are what makes cities distinctive, but a number of critics have, for at least the last fifty years, been decrying the end of such spaces. This course first examines a number of the classic statements on public space, followed by a close reading and interrogation of the decline of public space theses. Finally, we examine a number of attempts to recapture and reinvigorate public spaces, drawing freely from examples of public art, planning and architecture, and social movements. Among the statements on public space will be selections from classical, democratic, and critical theory, including Aristotle, Arendt, Habermas, De Certeau, and Foucault. Critical contemporary readings on urban space will include Jane Jacobs and selections from urban geographers, sociologists, feminist scholars, and critical race theorists who have engaged the question. The last third of the course, dedicated to rebirths, will include selections and materials from planners and architects, activists and artists who have reflected on the issue while engaging it. Course requirements include student presentations of materials, three short writing assignments, and a final paper on a case of a reimagined public space from NYC.
Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)