Courses

These are the courses currently offered this semester that count for the Urban Studies Minor.

For a more complete list of courses that count for the Urban Studies Minor, please visit the Bowdoin College Catalogue and Academic Handbook.

ARCH 2204. Buried by Vesuvius: The Archaeology of Roman Daily Life

Destroyed by the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79, the archaeological remains of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and the neighboring sites around the Bay of Naples are unparalleled in their range and completeness. The study of this material record reveals a great deal about the domestic, economic, religious, social, and political life in ancient Italy. Examines archaeological, literary, and documentary material ranging from architecture and sculpture to wall painting, graffiti, and the floral remains of ancient gardens, but focuses on interpreting the archaeological record for insight into the everyday life of the Romans. In addition, explores the methods and techniques employed by archaeologists since the sites were “rediscovered” in the sixteenth century. Archaeological materials are introduced through illustrated presentations, supplementary texts, and sessions in the Bowdoin College Museum of Art.


EDUC 2272. Urban Education and Community Organizing

The perspective of this course views urban schools and communities as sites of promise and innovation as well as sites for social and political struggle. Examines the significance of community involvement in urban public schools, their communities and educational policy and practice. Investigates the ways urban communities supplement educational opportunities for their youth. Topics may include "grow your own" teacher initiatives, parent trigger laws, and culturally-sustaining educational programming.


ENGL 3012. Cosmopolitanism and Creaturely Life

Advanced seminar. An exploration of the ways contemporary planetary consciousness has influenced conceptions of the human and the animal, as well as their supposed difference. Examines, in light of modern and current world literature, new models for both the exemplary world citizen and human species identity. Investigates to what extent, and by what creative means, reconsiderations of humans’ impact on the planet and place in the world are recorded in narratives of other creatures and the perceptual possibilities of their worlds. Texts may include fiction by Kafka, Rilke, Borges, Woolf, Murakami, and Sinha, as well as the philosophies of Uexkull, Heidegger, Derrida, Latour, and Agamben.

Prerequisites: ENGL 1000 - 1049 or ENGL 1100 - 2969 or ENGL 3000 (same as GSWS 3000) or higher.


ENVS 2301. Building Resilient Communities

Examines efforts by communities and regions to build resilience in the face of changing environmental and social conditions. Examines how local leaders can work in complex settings to set goals and mobilize federal, private, and non-profit resources to achieve specific, cross-cutting objectives that include strengthening local economies, safeguarding important environmental values, protecting public health, and addressing issues of economic and social justice. Provides students with firsthand understanding of how Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are playing an increasingly important role in understanding and informing effective approaches for expanding resilience at a community level by integrating social and natural data to inform policy decision. Students learn GIS as part of the course.


ENVS 2445. The Nature and Urbanism of Frank Lloyd Wright

An in-depth investigation of the buildings of North America’s most celebrated architect, with emphasis on the major theme of his work -- the complex relationship between architecture and nature. Examines Wright’s key projects for a diverse range of environments and regions while also placing the master builder and his works into a larger historical, cultural, and architectural context. Engages in a critical analysis of the rich historical literature that Wright has evoked in recent decades, along with the prolific writings of the architect himself. Note: Counts toward the art history requirement for the visual arts major and minor.


GER 1152/CINE 1152. Berlin: Sin City, Divided City, City of the Future

An examination of literary, artistic, and cinematic representations of the city of Berlin during three distinct time periods: the “Roaring 20s,” the Cold War, and the post-Wall period. Explores the dramatic cultural, political, and physical transformations that Berlin underwent during the twentieth century and thereby illustrates the central role that Berlin played, and continues to play, in European history and culture, as well as in the American cultural imagination. For each time period studied, compares Anglo-American representations of Berlin with those produced by German artists and writers, and investigates how, why, and to what extent Berlin has retained its status as one of the most quintessentially modern cities in the world. No knowledge of German is required. Note: Fulfills the non-US cinema requirement for cinema studies minors.


HIST 1321. Gotham:The History of a Modern City

Introduces students to college-level historical thinking, writing, and analysis. Covers the history of New York City from the geological formation of what became Manhattan Island through the present; however, most of the history covered spans the 1600s through the end of the twentieth century. In part, narrates a history of the United States from the colonial era to the present through the story of New Amsterdam and New York City. Another focus is the history of modern, capitalist cities and the cultures, people, economies, and governments they produce. Students work mostly with primary sources and learn how New York City became one of the preeminent modern cities in the world.


HIST 2802/ASNS 2585. Global Cities, Global Slums of India

Seminar. How have cities in the so-called "developing world" come to take their contemporary forms? How is life in these cities and slums lived? Explores these and other questions through a focus on modern India. Drawing on film, fiction, memoirs, urban planning, and other materials, examines the processes through which cities and slums have taken shape, ongoing efforts to transform them, as well as some of the diverse ways of representing and inhabiting modern urban life. Note: This course is part of the following field(s) of study: Colonial Worlds and South Asia. It fulfills the non Euro/US requirement for history majors and minors.