Urban History

HIST 16603  Rome: The Eternal City  (M. Andrews)  The city of Rome was central to European culture in terms both of its material reality and the models of political and sacred authority that it provided. Students in this course will receive an introduction to the archaeology and history of the city from the Iron Age to the early medieval period (ca. 850 BCE–850 CE) and an overview of the range of different intellectual and scientific approaches by which scholars have engaged with the city and its legacy. Students will encounter a broad range of sources, both textual and material, from each period that show how the city physically developed and transformed within shifting historical and cultural contexts. We will consider how various social and power dynamics contributed to the formation and use of Rome's urban space, including how neighborhoods and residential space developed beyond the city's more famous monumental areas. Our main theme will be how Rome in any period was, and still is, a product of both its present and past and how its human and material legacies were constantly shaping and reshaping the city's use and space in later periods.

HIST 20404  Troy and Its Legacy  (M. Andrews)  This course will explore the Trojan War through the archaeology, art, and mythology of the Greeks and Romans, as well as through the popular imaginings of it in later cultures. The first half will focus on the actual events of the "Trojan War" at the end of the second millennium BCE. We will study the site of Troy, the cities of the opposing Greeks, and the evidence for contact, cooperation, and conflict between the Greeks and Trojans. Students will be introduced to the history of archaeology and the development of archaeological fieldwork. The second half will trace how the narrative and mythology of Homer's Iliad and the Trojan War were adapted and used by later civilizations, from classical Greece to twenty-first-century America, to justify their rises to political and cultural hegemony in the Mediterranean and the West, respectively.

HIST 22611  Paris from Les Misérables to the Liberation, c. 1830–1950  (Colin Jones, Professor of History, Queen Mary University of London)  Starting with the grim and dysfunctional city described in Victor Hugo's Les Misérables, the course will examine the history of Paris over the period in which it became viewed as the city par excellence of urban modernity through to the testing times of Nazi occupation and then liberation (c. 1830–1950). As well as focussing on architecture and the built environment, we will examine the political, social, and especially cultural history of the city. A particular feature of the course will be representations of the city—literary (Victor Hugo, Baudelaire, Zola, etc.) and artistic (impressionism and postimpressionism, cubism, surrealism). We will also examine the city's own view of itself through the prism of successive world fairs (expositions universelles).

HIST 27307  Schools and Space: A Chicago History  (N. Kryczka, Teaching Fellow)  This course fuses urban and educational history into a two-century case study of Chicago. When the Chicago Public Schools closed fifty schoolhouses in 2013, many stressed the links between public education, uneven neighborhood investment, and racial segregation. But this episode was part of a longer regional history of how metropolitan development, labor markets, and anxieties over migration affected educational policy. The course stresses the relationship between educational policy and the politics of urban development, gender, and race. Schools were sites of gendered work, for the women who operated them and for the children who navigated the moral and vocational paths laid for their futures; meanwhile, the rise of racial ghettoes had an enduring impacts on educational inequity and the shape of African American political life. Over the time span covered by the course, the United States became an indisputably "schooled" society, and Chicago was a leading indicator of national trends. Key historic episodes in American education—the rise of the modern high school, the birth of progressive education, the origins of teachers' unions, the Catholic encounter with race, the fragmentation of suburban school districts, the civil-rights critique of de facto school segregation, the pronounced "failure" of urban education, and the triumph of choice-and-accountability reforms, and the teacher-led resistance that followed—are especially well-illustrated by this course's focus on Chicago. Assignments: This course combines lecture with discussions of primary sources and secondary literature each week, beginning with the one-room, log-stable schoolhouses of the antebellum Illinois prairie and ending with the nation's first charter-school teacher strikes in 2018. In addition to composing a research paper on a chosen school or school policy, students will take a field trip to local schoolhouses, reading the city's urban history through its educational architecture.

HIST 29656  Urban Histories: Experiencing, Using, and Representing the City  (L. Auslander)  This course will provide an analysis of the changing forms, meanings, and representations of urban life in Europe from the medieval period to the present. To that end, each session will pair secondary readings with a wide range of primary sources, including maps, municipal and legal records, newspapers, novels, prints, songs, paintings, films, planning treatises, tourist guides, memoirs, architectural drawings, photographs, and advertisements. We will address the histories of building, zoning, transportation, planning, ghettoization, segregation, and gentrification. We will consider cities as destinations for migrants, refugees, pilgrims, and tourists, as well as sites of political, social and cultural experimentation, unrest and upheaval. At the end of the term, you will have learned how cities have been shaped by their role as centers of economic, political, and cultural life, as well as how those who inhabit them have sometimes been able to use urban space to their own ends. This will be a small discussion-based course in which each student will write a fifteen-page research paper. Our work with primary sources will provide the tools you need to pursue your research project, while our close readings of both classic and experimental historiography will assure that your final paper contributes to an ongoing scholarly conversation. The material will be drawn from (imperial) Europe, but students interested in urbanism in all parts of the world are very welcome.

HIST 47503  Colloquium: Chicago in United States Urban History  (K. Conzen)  Chicago has long been one of America's most studied cities and has often been regarded as one of its most "representative" ones. This graduate colloquium aims to increase familiarity with Chicago's own history, to use Chicago as a case study in which to explore American urban development from the mid-nineteenth century to the present, as well as the historiography, methods, and sources that shape the field of US urban history. Readings and discussion each week will focus on a selected theme and moment in Chicago's development; written assignments will include three brief critical essays and a final paper in the form of a "mock proposal" for a well-conceptualized research project on a significant issue in Chicago's history.

HIST 48700  Colloquium: Social Movements in Chicago, 1950–2010  (A. Green)  This graduate colloquium considers the constellation of social movements that emerged in Chicago in the late 1960s, using old and new approaches to contentious politics. Chicago comprises an urban context that simultaneously encompasses a robust labor tradition, coherent expressions of situated or identity-oriented advocacy, a sustained radical intellectual tradition, localized community-oriented philosophy of organizing, and one of the fullest concentrations of municipal authority, as a party machine regime and also a law enforcement apparatus. Taken together, these conditions and others mark Chicago as among the most revealing crucibles for movement building in the United States over the past half century. The course seeks to survey emerging scholarship on the constitution, contradictions, and impact of movement building in Chicago, seen largely through four case studies—the Puerto Rican movement, radical feminism, LGBTQ liberation/rights, and African American struggles to achieve police accountability. Additionally, the course will survey classic and emerging models of social-movement theory, in order to offer models of analysis for a mode of politics, power, and social formation especially consequential to recent history and poised, it seems, to continue to exert significant influence. Finally, the course will introduce students to new archives, new source bases, and community-based principles and authorities, in order to suggest innovative and relevant research projects.

HIST 49700  Colloquium: The Informal—Economics, Politics, and Social Ties in the City  (D. Jenkins)  This course engages the paradox of the informal, the range of political practices, social ties, and economic modalities seemingly in but not of "formal" institutions, norms, and sectors. It begins with engaging the foundational debates on the informal, debates that challenge the neat separation between the formal and informal and which sharpen the conceptual differences between the informal, the illicit, and the underground. Readings consist of some theory, a handful of primary sources, and mostly secondary readings on cities that cut across different political economic contexts and chronological and geographical boundaries. Themes include urban space, race, gender, borders, policing and regulation. Along the way we will consider the problem of the archive (its silences and elisions) as well as the normative judgments that frame historical interpretations of the informal.