A brief video to get us in the right 'mindset' [0:13 to 4:40, 5:35 - end]. Note clothes, architecture and decorative elements, the story, and the audience interaction
And of the other extreme.
Culture: there are 241,000 references to the word on the UO website. Why??
High Culture? Low Culture? Popular Culture? What role do they play in civic life? How do they bring people / citizens together? This will be a central issue in this class.
- High culture most commonly refers to the set of cultural products, mainly in the arts, held in the highest esteem by a culture. It is the culture of an elite such as the aristocracy or intelligentsia. In antiquity and in the Renaissance, literature or 'letters' were understood to include all writing of quality with any pretense to permanence.
- In contrast, low culture refers to that of the less well-educated or the masses, encompassing such things as gossip magazines, reality television, popular music, yellow journalism, escapist fiction, and camp.
- Th. Adorno: Low culture is not dialectical. that is, it does not involve discussion and reasoning by dialogue as a method of intellectual investiigation; in its original form culture is dialectiical in that it refers to Socratic techniques for exposing false beliefs and eliciting the truth. To Hegel, culture is a process by which opposites are reconciled.
- Popular culture, traditionally used synonymously to mean low culture, is the entirety of ideas, perspectives, attitudes, memes [an idea or behavior that spreads from one person to another], images, and other phenomena that are within the mainstream of a given culture. It may or may not evoke a dialectical component.
- Also: national culture [German, Scandinavian, Chineses, etc.], hyphenated culture [Italian-American, etc.], sub-cultures [youth, Goth, etc.].
In this class, we will be looking a European culture, specifically urban culture; and at three examples of 'successive' culture; that is cultures that might be described as producing a 'golden age' of enduring achievement, cultures that became models for other to emulate.
Review of the syllabus, work-load and schedule. Introduction:
Some procedures for using class time optimally.
- we will be working through four books and 'deconstructing' the argument. If I were an ESPN commentator, I would say 'breaking' down the book. What we want to get at are:
- the essential components of the argument [define??] advanced by each author
- the nature and value of the evidence cited in support of the argument; it is not enough to know his/her perspective, we also need to know how the author reached that conclusion.
What qualities make for a successful City? What three qualities do you think a successful city has or should have?
- Consider physical appearance? amenities? arrangement / management of public and private space? sanitation? security and order? and personal freedom / privacy? opportunity? urban density? etc.
- To what extent did the city you you grow up in (or near) share those characteristics?
Results from class of 2004 and 2005