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Studiegids

nl en

Remapping the City in Modern Literature and Visual Cultures

Vak
2021-2022

Admission requirements

A relevant BA degree. If in doubt, please consult the Coordinator of Studies: ms.L.L.J.Kouters MA
Students from all tracks of Literary Studies, including the ResMA. Crosslisted with Latin American Studies MA/ResMA.

Description

This course focuses on the modern city as a physical, spatial phenomenon but also as a cultural, mental artifact, shaped by imagination. Ever since the 19th century, when European cities began to grow, artistic representation has helped shape the images of cities we hold in our minds. The course follows the evolution of the metropolis from the 19th and early 20th century centralized capitals of increasing high density, complex social make-up, congestion and pulsating cultural hubs – London, Paris or Berlin – towards the contemporary megalopolis: huge, sprawling cities developing mainly in the Global South. Mobility will be a keyword in this course: how do we – as city users and strollers – bodily experience and map urban space? How do we move and invent our daily urban life within it? Can we see contemporary cities as mobile spaces, constantly growing, shifting and expanding through migration? What happens to cities at night?
These and other issues will be at the heart of this course, in which we will study a variety of literary texts, films and street art taken from Europe, Africa and Latin America. We explore the city as a site of cultural production, contestation and regeneration in intercultural, transatlantic, perspective. Thus, for example, reflections on the urban self might take us from Baudelaire’s flaneur and Poe’s ‘man of the crowd’ to contemporary figurations of this urban wanderer in Brazilian cinema, night trespassings, or renditions of the kaleidoscopic megalopolis in South American cinema.

Course objectives

  • Knowledge and insight into keyworks of modern and contemporary urban literature and –cinema in their historical and cultural context;

  • Knowledge of current theoretical texts and debates about the metropolis and of some important critical texts about urban literature and cinema;

  • Ability to analyze a relevant subject of one’s choice and to present one’s findings in presentations and written assignments

  • Ability to share analytical and theoretical arguments during class discussion.

  • Research MA students should reveal in their coursework a more nuanced understanding of the complex relationship between social formations and cultural productions by means of a more detailed and thorough theoretical/methodological framework.

Timetable

The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

Seminar

Assessment method

Assessment

  • presentation or audio-visual film clip of approx. 10/15 min duration (30% of mark)

  • 1 final essay or podcast (podcast of approx. 25-30mins) – approx. 4500-5000 words. Either way students should submit the written script. (70% of mark)

    ResMA students should give more substantial attention to the theoretical underpinning of their essay.

    How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Weighing

  • Oral presentation: 30 %

  • Final paper: 70%

Resit

Only the final paper

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

Initial key theoretical texts students can consult:

  • Michel de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life (University of Minnesota Press, 1998)

  • Tim Cresswell, Place: a Short Introduction (Wiley, 2014)

  • GUST N.V., The Urban Condition: Space, Community and the Self in the Contemporary Metropolis (Rotterdam, Uitgeverij 010, 1999, freely available through the internet)

NB: Full bibliography will be available via Brightspace at the start of the course.

Registration

Enrolment through uSis for classes, exams and final paper for classes, exams and final papers is mandatory.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable

Contact

Remarks

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