HC 232h: The City: WinterTerm 2017

Annoucements Important!

(An ancient street map of the city of Rome, preserved on marble)

The City: Renaissance Florence, 19th Cent Vienna and 2oth Cent. Berlin

The Course: Cities have traditionally been the catalyst to political, cultural, scientific and economic development. In this course we will look at the experiences of four cities. We will spend two sessions on Classical Athens and do so because this city became the model / 'golden age' for what should happen in modern cities. That it has become the standard against which we measure the achievement of western cities; Renaissance Florence is our second model of a city that enjoyed a golden age, and one that built indirectly on Athens and Rome; Vienna in the 19th Century and Berlin in the 20th century had distinctive urban experiences, ones that were both distinctive in their own right and yet also characteristic of what many other European cities experienced. We will devote about a third of the course to each of these cities.

The readings look at the achievements of each city in terms of its politics and philosophy; its art, literature, theater, architecture and urban planning.

Instructor John Nicols
Office Hours Tu 14-15 and by appointment.
Office 301 McKenzie Hall
Telephone 541.346.4817
E-mail nic@uoregon.edu
Class meetings We & Fr, noon to 13:40
Course home page http://klio.uoregon.edu/city
ClassroomAsst Molly Maloney

Molly Maloney, who took the course a year ago, will serve as a classroom assistant and is available to work with you on papers and other assignments. You can contact her via email as noted above, or schedule a time with her before or after class.

Grading: Participation (30%), short papers (40%); final examination (30%).

Course books and readings:

There is a great deal of overlap between the books in terms of their basic themes. Nonetheless, they follow somewhat different patterns, and you may find the differences more interesting than the similarities. Thornton focuses on the ideal of the Classical City as a model for those that follow. He relates the Greek/Athenian experience directly to contemporary US. Brucker's book on Florence is more conventional, but he does address all the issues of contemporary urban life. Schorske and Friedrich analyse 19th Century Vienna and 20th Century Berlin respectively and focus on "modernism" and cultural achievement in the context of political uncertainty.

Expectations: This course is designed as a "seminar" (the course has an enrollment cap). I do expect students to come prepared and ready to discuss the material; lectures are short and are designed to give some structure for that discussion. There will be two short papers, one on Athens and Florence as models, and a second one on Vienna and Berlin, The short papers may be up to 1000 words. There will be a final exam, and the papers will prepare you for it.

Note too: we will be meeting for two sessions per week, some sessions will go for 8o minutes and others for up 100 minutes depending in part on whether we do a classroom exercise.



Papers and Essays:

The papers may be submitted electronically or in paper form. If the paper is submitted electronically, it must be attached as an .rtf (rich text format) file. If you don't know what the .rft format is, then please ask me.

The papers:

Schedule and Assignments:

Day/Date Assignment
I. Wed., 11 Jan.

Opening Day. The themes of the course. Qualities of urban life; geographical and environmental factors that contribute to the selection of sites for cities; what factors contribute to growth and decline of cities. What qualities are necessary for life? and what qualities for leading 'the good life'? How to account for a "golden age"? Read Thornton "Introduction"pages 1-14.

II. Fri., 13 Jan. Read: Thornton: Ch3 Emancipation. Notes on reading.
III. Wed., 18 Jan.

Read: Thornton Ch 4 Warfare and Ch5 Consensual Govt. Notes on reading Ch4. Notes on Chp5.

IV. Fri., 20 Jan.

Read: Thornton Ch 6 Rationality and Ch7 Freeedom. Notes on Ch6; Notes on reading Chp7.
First Paper Assignment
. "We know that art can flourish under despots, but we're reluctant to admit it - if creativity and tyranny can co-exist, the value of freedom seems diminished." From the article cited at the top of this page on 'art and tyrany"

V. Wed., 25 Jan

Florence Images Florence: slide lecture. Brucker, Cp.1.and Ch2 chp 2-reading-notes.

VI. Fri., 27 Jan

Florence Ch4 chp 4-reading-notes, editorial "The Death of Europe"

VII. Wed., 1 Feb.

NOTE: 1st paper due at midnight 28 Jan. Florence Ch6. chp 6-reading-notes.

VIII. Fri., 3 Feb.

PPTs on "Florentine Art" and on Vienna: city and style. Music: Ave Maria--> Magnificat; "Kaiserwaltz --> Radetzkymarsch.
Vienna, pages xvii-- xxix; Ch1 Politics & the Psyche, pages 3-10. Some heavy going here, but you will recognize several themes. I will provide more context in class.

IX. Wed., 8 Feb. Ch2 Ringstrasse, birth of urban modernism. Second Paper Assignment.
X. Fri., 10 Feb. Review. Factors affecting civic culture in Florence and Vienna. What have we seen so far?
Berlin: read the Prologue = Chp 1: images and notes, chps 1-2; 1890-1918.
XI. Wed., 15 Feb.

Berlin: Friedrich, chps 2-3. reading notes for chps 3-5; images of the city chps 3-5;

XII. Fri., 17 Feb. NO CLASS. But read Berlin: Friedrich, chps 4-5
XIII. Wed., 22 Feb NOTE:2nd paper due on 18Feb.
Berlin: Friedrich, reading notes for chps 4-6; images
XIV. Fri., 24 Feb . Berlin: Friedrich, reading notes for chp. 6 AND 7; AND FOR 7- 8 [SOME OVERLAP]; images
NOTE also this exhibit: On The Gist, a show about art and prostitutes up now at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. “New Objectivity: Modern German Art in the Weimar Republic, 1919–1933” on display through Jan. 18, 2016....
images 1924-1926.
XV. Wed., 1 Mar.

Berlin: extended notes for chps 8-10,and discussion points;

XVI. Fri, 3 Mar.

Berlin: Friedrich, extended notes for chps 8-10,and discussion points;. images 1924-1926.
Consider: how does artistic freedom interact with notions of liberty vs. license? And what ultimately is the role of 'creative destruction' in cultural innovation? This will put us behind a half class, but I think we need to get at these issues now. In brief, we will discuss the contents of chapters 9 and 10 in the second hour.

XVII. Wed., 8 Mar.

Berlin: chps 11-12; images, 1927-1928; Paper Assignment-Berlin.

XVIII. Fri., 10 Mar.

Berlin: chps 13-15. Images, 1927-1929.

XIX. Wed., 15 Mar.

Berlin: Friedrich, chps 16-17 ; Images2015. Summary and Conclusions for the Course.