East Central European Cities in Comparative Perspective
This course uses readings from cultural history and urban sociology, literature, film, and the arts to shed light on the East-Central European urban experience from the early nineteenth century to the present. Cities in this region share a common experience of transformation of urban space from modernization in the late nineteenth century (mostly under foreign rule), independence and further development between the wars, rebuilding and expansion under state socialism and Soviet hegemony after WWII and new kinds of rebuilding and expansion since 1989. Though the nations in this region have frequently thought of themselves as emerging from rural “peasant” cultures, that identity is usually defined from cities – whether through government, the social sciences, or the arts. The language of course readings will be English, although those with other language skills will be encouraged to explore sources in their original language.