H211 Cities in History A18/19 (154800301-A18/19)
H 211: Cities in History
This course is an introduction to urban history, exploring how cities have been shaped and in what ways urban dynamics have transformed human society. The idea is to examine urban history as a process in which economic, social, political, cultural, and morphological changes are interrelated, highlighting the interdisciplinary nature of urban history. This course does not focus on the typology or the biography of historical cities. It is rather about understanding complex dynamics of urbanisation that provides a foundation on which students can build their own research into the urban past and present of their case studies.
London, Paris, New York, and Chicago used to attract the attention of urban and social historians. Nowadays, the centre of urbanisation is shifted to Asia and the Global South, where the fast-growing mega cities are shaping the future of inter-connected global landscape of urbanisation, defined as planetary urbanisation. This new reality challenges the conventional debates in urban history and places cities of Asia and the Global South in the limelight of academic urban debates. Although this course is not focused on particular geographical regions or historical periods, it addresses those thematic topics that are more relevant to studying the past, present and future of cities in Asia and the Global South during last two centuries.
This Module is capped at 45 places. Students enrol via the on-line Module Sign-up system. Students are advised of the timing of this process via email by the Dept. administrator
Objectives and learning outcomes of the module
At the end of the course, students will:
LO1: Distinguish what makes a historical research question in the field of urban studies, identifying the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches in urban history.
LO2: Formulate and refine their research question through the identification of, engagement with, and critique of existing urban historiography.
LO 3: Understand the possibilities and limits of various kinds of sources and information that are often used in urban historical studies.
LO4. Integrate materials and information from a variety of sources, both primary and secondary, in order to pursue an urban history study based on an interdisciplinary awareness.
LO5. Present the findings of the research in a way that demonstrates a capacity to think conceptually about historical dynamics of cities, while developing competency as a historian.
- · Introduction: The origins
of cities and key concepts in urbanisation
What is urban history?
On methodologies: From
methods to methodologies, from censuses to maps
Dynamics of social makeup and
Religions and the city: A
The city as market: Dynamics
of urban Economy
and development of urbanisation
City and Power: Capital
cities and formation of new nation-states
History of urban design and
Representations of cities
as part of urban history
Method of assessment
- Written exam worth 50%
- Research proposal of 500 words –outlining
a research question, a literature discussion and
preliminary bibliography– worth 10%
- Short research paper of 2,500
words worth 40%