Each year the H+U+D initiative sponsors (1) an undergraduate Gateway Course that introduces the multidisciplinary study of cities, (2) two undergraduate City Seminars, one devoted to a North American city and the other to a city overseas, which examine the city in a detailed, multidisciplinary way, (3) a mixed undergraduate/graduate Anchor Institution Seminar, which examines the activities of one of the Philadelphia institutions that reflects and serves the city’s diverse population, and (4) a graduate Problematics Seminar, co-taught by Design and SAS humanities faculty, on a topic that grows out of the collaborative work of the H+U+D Colloquium.
ENG 211: Paris Modern—Spiral City
H+U+D CITY SEMINAR
The course focuses on Paris and the idea of “the future in the past.” By this we are interested in the recursive temporality of design, and its hidden laws. In this sense, Paris is the quintessentially modernist city precisely because of the constant abutment or overlapping of the past with the present—Le Louvre’s Pyramid, the Villes Nouvelle of planned suburbs such as Les Espaces d’Abraxas with its merger of science fiction with neoclassicist traits. Walter Benjamin wrote his in his Arcades Project book that “Each generation experiences the fashions of the one immediately preceding it as the most radical anti- aphrodisiac imaginable.” However, a present generation may end up embracing the styles of grandparent’s or earlier forebears. The course looks at Paris in terms of the dialectic between future and present, in that order.
Jean-Michel Rabaté, English, and Ken Lum, Fine Art
Wednesday, 9:00 am- 12:00 pm