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Urban Studies

The City in Focus: Urbanism and Urban Studies at Gallatin

At Gallatin, we understand that cities are in constant flux, that their appeal is often ineffable, that they incubate inequality as much as innovation -- and that people are at the center of it all. That’s why we take particular pride in an impressive roster of faculty with expertise in urbanism and urban studies, and students whose individualized concentrations draw heavily from both Gallatin’s rich urban coursework and the cities in which they study.

Our students and faculty are distinctive for their work in the Global North and the Global South, their commitment to community engagement, and their ability to put truly interdisciplinary theory into practice. Gallatin’s urban courses cover topics ranging from design, literature, public space, and storytelling to governance, human rights, social movements, and foodways. And students are not limited to studying only in New York. Our urban courses also take place in Berlin, Madrid, London, Paris, Dakar, and Buenos Aires.

Outside the classroom, students can gain experience through research and working groups at the Urban Democracy Lab and Global Design NYU, as well as through the Gallatin Global Fellowship in Urban Practice, which trains students to conduct collaborative research in partnership with community-based, urban social justice organizations. Gallatin faculty member Rosalind Fredericks’s research and teaching interests are centered on development, urbanism, and political ecology in Africa and she has focused her research on urban citizenship and i­­­­nfrastructure in contemporary Dakar, Senegal, where she has conducted ethnographic research with Gallatin students on labor and youth movements. Faculty member Jacob Remes is a historian of modern North America with a focus on urban disasters, working-class organizations, and migration. Gallatin students whose concentrations build on our urban coursework have gone on to work in architecture, public policy, urban planning, city government, journalism, teaching, and community organizing.

A selection of urban courses offered between Spring 2015 and Fall 2018 is listed below. View current courses offered at Gallatin.

Gallatin Interdisciplinary Urban Studies Courses

  • IDSEM UG 1880: Cities and Citizenship: Readings in Global Urbanism (R. Fredericks)
  • IDSEM UG 1925:  Food and Nature in Cities (J. Remes)
  • IDSEM UG9150/UG 1810: Art and Politics in the City (A. Velasco)
  • IDSEM 1762: The Lives, Deaths and Rebirths of Public Space (G. Baiocchi)
  • IDSEM UG 1934: Chinatown: Politics, Praxis, and Possibilities (D. Wong)
  • IDSEM UG 1983: Africa/City (A. Siddiqui)
  • IDSEM UG 1923: Urban Matters: The Cultural Politics of Contemporary Urban Culture (A.M. Simone)
  • IDSEM UG 1987: Urban Environmental Politics: (In)Justice, Inequality, and the City (M. Arefin)
  • IDSEM UG 1867: Global Noodles: Silk Routes & Subway Connections (J. Tchen)
  • IDSEM UG 1900: Indigenous Futures: Decolonizing NYC -- Documenting the Lenape Train (J. Tchen)
  • IDSEM UG 1874: Charles Dickens' Victorian London: Fictions of Urbanization (S. Murphy)
  • IDSEM UG: A Walker in the City (M. Theeman)


Engaged Research/Project-Based Urban Studies Courses

  • PRACT-UG 1819:  Global Fellowship in Urban Practice: Methodologies (rotates)
  • ARTS UG 1633 Democracy and Design: Imagining New Public Realms (Baiocchi/ Skelton)
  • IDSEM UG 1984: Engaged Research (G. Baiocchi)
  • IDSEM-UG1826: (Dis)Placed Urban Histories (R. Amato)
  • PRACT-UG 1001: Photojournalism Lab: The City and the Outsider (L. Walsh)
  • PRACT UG 1980: Practical Utopias / Insistence and Possibility: New and
    Alternate Economy Projects in 21st Century New York (M. Read)

Urban Studies Courses at Global Sites/Travel Courses

  • SASEM UG 1925:  BUENOS AIRES: Art and Politics in the City: Buenos Aires, New York, Rio de Janeiro and Mexico City (A. Velasco)
  • SASEM UG 9250: LONDON: Seeing London's Architecture (rotates)
  • IDSEM 1633:  PARIS: Urban Ethnography (B. Epstein)
  • IDSEM-UG 9100: BERLIN: Berlin’s Modern History and Culture: A European Perspective (rotates)
  • TRAVL-UG9350: MADRID: Faces of a Changing European City (G. Baiocchi)
  • TRAVL- UG 1801: SENEGAL: Postcolonial Urbanisms: Development, Environment, and Social Movements in Senegal (R. Fredericks)
  • TRAVL-UG 9500: BERLIN: Capital of Modernity (K. Hornick)
  • TRAVL-UG 9301: PARIS: Black in the City of Light, Paris (M. Priest)

Urban Design and Architecture

  • IDSEM UG 1750:  Good Design: Objects, Bodies, Buildings, Cities (L. Harpman)
  • ARTS-UG 1614: Architecture and Urban Design Lab (L. Harpman)
  • Architecture and Urban Design Lab II
  • ARTS-UG1619: Architecture and Design Lab I (M. Joachim)
  • ARTS-UG1080: Site-Specific Performance: Art, Activism and Public Space (M. Bowers)
  • ARTS-UG1631: Sustainable New York (D. Goodman)
  • ARTS- UG 1633:  Green Design and Planning (D. Goodman)
  • ARTS-UG 1440: Technology, Art, and Public Space (T. Culver)

First Year Courses in Urban Matters

  • FIRST UG 402: FY Writing Seminar: Gimme Shelter: Dwelling and Telling in the City (K. Michael)
  • FIRST UG 105: First-Year Interdisciplinary Seminar: Urban Music, Urban Spaces (K. Coleman)
  • FIRST UG 106: First-Year Research Seminar: Shadow Cities: Literary Alterity and Urban Underworlds (A. Versteegh)
  • FIRST UG 788: Tales of the Jazz Age: New York City in the 1920s (G. Kurtz)

Courses with very prominent Urban Studies Content

  • IDSEM-UG1786: Trash Matters: Exploring Development, Environment, and Culture through Garbage (R. Fredericks)
  • IDSEM-UG1674: The Politics of Food (M. Priest)
  • CLI-UG1466: Policy, Community, and the Self (E. Brettschneider)
  • IDSEM-UG1849: Black Lives Matter: Race, Resistance and Popular Protest (F. Roberts)