Course Catalog for URBAN STUDIES
URST 101
Introduction to Urban Studies
This course provides a general introduction to the interdisciplinary field of urban studies. Using a variety of Western and non-Western cities as illustrative examples, the course aims to give a broad survey and understanding of the distinctive characteristics of urban places. Students will learn definitions, concepts, and theories that are fundamental to the field. Topics covered include the role of planning in shaping cities, the economic structure and function of cities, the evolution of urban culture, community organization and development, gentrification and urban renewal, and urban governance policy. ( )
1.00 units, Lecture
URST 102
Blogging in the City
Community activists, entrepreneurs, and researchers in the city use blogs to tell stories. Simple written blogs now include video and audio components such as podcasts, as well as other interactive components. Whether they focus on education, politics, business, or community issues, blogs are now ubiquitous parts of our lives. This class will teach how to start a blog, perform basic operations on Wordpress, and maintain a blog during the J-term about a topic related to the city (e.g. education, business, sports, community issues). While blogs are useful tools, they also require responsibility. This course will also explore the ethics of blogging on the web. Students new to blogging are encouraged to enroll. ( )
0.50 units, Seminar
URST 108
Electronic Dance Music Cultures since 1980
This seminar explores the origins and evolution of the two main music scenes that have dominated electronic dance music since the late 1980s: House Music, which grew out of mostly African American, Latino, and Gay nightclubs in Chicago and New York, but flourished more in England and Europe beginning in the late 1980; and Techno, which emerged from African American Detroit, but flourished more Berlin and elsewhere in Europe. As an Urban Studies seminar, the seminar’s core focus is on the urban geographies of these music scenes, as well as issues of gender, sexuality, race, international migrations, globalization, and political economy. Sources include readings, documentary films, music videos, music playlists, as well as articles and posts in blogs, online magazines, and social media. (GLB)
0.50 units, Seminar
URST 150
The Infrastructure of Cities: Power, People, Politic
Infrastructure is the material basis of urban life. Roads, railways, electric grids, and telecommunication networks support the flows of labor, capital, credit, debt, and knowledge. Infrastructures also express ideals of democracy, progress, and modernity and, in their seeming hiddenness, make visible issues of belonging, identity, and citizenship. Infrastructures reveal racist colonial legacies and patterns of inequality. In this course we will explore the infrastructure of cities via an interdisciplinary lens, asking such questions as, what is the importance of infrastructure to modern state-making projects? How are demands for urban livability expressed via infrastructures such as the water supply? From the corroded pipes in Flint, Michigan to the gridlocked roads in Jakarta, Indonesia, we will explore the meanings, matter, and materiality of what is beneath us. ( )
0.50 units, Seminar
URST 200
Hartford: Past and Present
Focusing on both Hartford and its region since the 1630s, this course explores key themes in American urban, social, economic, cultural, and political history, paying close attention to issues of race/ethnicity, gender/sexuality, class relations, religion, and urbanism. We first examine interactions between Native groups, English settlers, African slaves, and their descendants, from the Colonial Era to the Early Republic (1630s-1830s). We then explore urban cultures, abolitionism, European and African American migration, and Hartford's as a global financial and manufacturing center (1830s-1940s). Finally, from the 1940s to the present, topics include suburbanization, deindustrialization, racial segregation, Civil Rights movements, West Indian and Puerto Ricans migration, neoliberalism, globalization, and relations between Hartford and its suburbs. We also track Trinity College's history since 1823. (HUM)
1.00 units, Lecture
URST 201
From Hartford to World Cities: Comparative Urban Dynamics
The 21st century is truly a global urban age characterized by the simultaneous decline and revival of post-industrial cities in the United States and the co-existence of boom and poverty in the rapidly industrializing cities in developing countries, as well as by how globalization is exerting a growing impact on urban places and processes everywhere. This course adopts an integrated and comparative approach to studying the local and global characteristics, conditions, and consequences of the growth and transformation of cities and communities. Using Hartford—Trinity's hometown—as a point or place of departure, the course takes students to a set of world or global cities outside the United States, especially a few dynamic mega-cities in developing countries to explore the differences and surprising similarities among them. (GLB5)
1.00 units, Lecture
URST 203
Urban Nightlife since 1850
Dance music scenes and their urban spaces are social arenas in which discriminatory norms of sexism, homophobia, racism, nationalism and elitism can be subverted and transformed. Using New York City as our base in comparison to cities like Accra, Berlin, Chicago, Havana, London, Philadelphia, Rio de Janeiro, and Shanghai, we examine urban nightlife's music scenes, from the 1800s to the present, highlighting the roles played by the evolution of capitalism, and regional and international migrations. To do this, we tap into a growing, innovative research in Critical Race Studies, Ethnic Studies, Feminist Studies, Queer Studies, and Urban Studies, which has recast nightlife as far more than banal entertainment and debauchery, viewing it instead as a force propelling broader dynamics of cultural, political, and social change. (GLB2)
1.00 units, Lecture
URST 204
Urbanization and Development
This course takes a comparative approach to urbanization and development. It not only draws case studies from different world regions, but also pays particular attention to China's urban transformation. The first segment, 'foundations of urbanization', introduces key themes and builds up theoretical foundations about urbanization in relation to economic development. Segment two, entitled 'process of urban development', focuses on the physical dimension of the cities, exploring the power of urban landscapes and how cities are built. The third segment, entitled 'people and place', highlights social dimension of urbanization and socio-spatial inequality. Finally, the fourth segment, entitled 'governing global urbanization', explores the changing governance and policy making in response to urban problems. ( )
1.00 units, Lecture
URST 206
Organizing by Neighborhood: An Internship/Seminar Experience
Have you ever wondered why some neighborhoods thrive and others appear to fail? Are you mystified about what can be done to stem deterioration and provide decent, affordable housing and clean and safe neighborhoods? One way to explore answers to these questions is to intern with a community-based organization dedicated to working with a community as it defines and responds to its problems. In this seminar each student will do a community learning project/ internship at such an organization in Hartford. Equally important is a way to understand and interpret your experiences at the organization. The rich theoretical literature that you will read in this seminar on how neighborhoods are organized and function and on models of community responses to neighborhood conditions provides a lens through which to evaluate your experiences with your organization and community. ( )
This course is not open to first-year students.
1.00 units, Seminar
URST 210
Sustainable Urban Development
With the era in which city dwellers comprise a majority of the world's population has come a new urgency for understanding the balance between urban development and the environment. This course introduces students to the sub-field of urban studies which deals with sustainable development, including exploration of the debates on the meanings of sustainability and development in cities. Taking a comparative approach and a global perspective, topics to be examined may include the ecological footprint of cities, urban programs for sustainable urban planning, urban transportation and service delivery, energy issues, and the critical geopolitics of urban sustainability around the world. May be counted toward INTS major requirements. (GLB)
1.00 units, Lecture
URST 211
The Politics of Real Estate
The course examines the political, social, and economic dimensions of real estate in Hartford and New York. The course delves into the tension between use and exchange values and how political context shapes the balance of power between stakeholders in these cities. Specific topics include growth machine politics, rent control, gentrification, tenant organizing, and Business Improvement Districts. This course has a community learning component and will feature invited guest speakers and include a field trip to New York. ( )
1.00 units, Seminar
URST 212
Big Data and China’s Urbanization
Big data provides a comprehensive and in-time approach for studying the material and social spaces of cities and improving the understanding of cities as urban systems. It also generates broad and timely information for improving urban planning at various scales. This new course will deal with the use of big data to study the main characteristics and dimensions of China's urban development by addressing such topics as population migration, credit card use, high-speed rail flows, coal consumption, environmental quality, and other dimensions of urban development. The course will also touch on how the big-data approach to Chinese cities can be extended to other urban systems. (SOC)
1.00 units, Seminar
URST 215
Latin American Cities
Topics include: urbanism, religion and power in the ancient civilizations of Mexico, Central America and the Andes; colonial-era urbanism, religion, slavery and politics (1520s-1810s); post-colonial nation-building, modernization, Europeanization and early radical politics (1820s-1920s); populist-era industrialization, urban growth, class conflicts, revolutionary politics, and authoritarianism (1930s-1970s); democratization, social movements, and exclusionary and progressive urbanism in the era of neoliberalism and globalization (1980s-present). Throughout the course, we pay particular attention to gender, sexual, racial and ethnic identities, as well as to both popular culture and the fine arts, using examples from Bahia, Buenos Aires, Bogotá, Brasilia, Caracas, Cusco, Havana, Lima, Mexico City, Montevideo, Rio de Janeiro, San Juan de Puerto Rico, São Paulo, and Santiago de Chile. (GLB2)
1.00 units, Lecture
URST 222
Ancient Cities of the Near East, Egypt, and the Mediterranean World
This course traces ancient urbanism from the development of Neolithic sedentism to the massive cities of the Hellenistic kingdoms and the Roman Empire. We will examine both primary and secondary texts, together with evidence from art and archaeology, to assemble a composite view of urban life and the environmental, topographical, political, cultural, and economic factors that shaped some of the most impressive cities ever built, many of which remain major metropolitan centers today. (HUM)
1.00 units, Lecture
URST 243
Barcelona: Reading the City
In this course we will analyze the various cultural processes-such as literature, art, architecture, film and sports-through which urban identities are formed. The particular object of our study will be the city Barcelona and its inhabitants. Using a wide variety of written and spoken texts, including books, films, tourist guides and advertising, we will analyze the genesis the various, and at times conflicting, representations of that 2000 year-old Mediterranean city and its people. (GLB2)
1.00 units, Seminar
URST 301
Community Oriented Development Strategies to Address Urban Decline in the United States
In this course we will explore the causes of neighborhood decline, examine the history, current practice and guiding policies of community development, and see firsthand selected community development strategies at work in the local communities surrounding Trinity College. We will pay close attention to the influence of ideas in good currency in the field of urban development such as smart growth, transit oriented development, land-banking and place-making. The course is organized around four questions: What are the underlying forces behind neighborhood decline? How and why did community development emerge? How has community development practice reconciled itself with current concepts that guide urban development such as new urbanism, smart growth, place-making and land-banking. What does the future hold for disinvested communities and for community development practice? ( )
Prerequisite: Urban Studies 101 or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Seminar
URST 302
Global Cities
This seminar examines the contemporary map of interactions between cities in the world. There is now a considerable array of research analyzing what are variously termed global or world cities in the hierarchy of the world economy, and a counter-critique has emerged which seeks to analyze all cities as ordinary, moving beyond old binaries of 'developed' and 'developing' worlds of cities. We will interrogate this debate in both its theoretical and its empirical dimensions, with case studies from Africa and assessment of cultural, political, economic and environmental globalization. (GLB)
1.00 units, Seminar
URST 306
From Troy to Zhujiajiao (“Shanghai’s Venice”): Ancient Cities of Mainland Asia
This course traces ancient urbanism from the development of Neolithic sedentism to the massive cities of ancient China, Anatolia, Mesopotamia, and the Indus Valley. We will examine evidence from art, archaeology, and written texts to assemble a composite view of urban life and the environmental, topographical, political, cultural, and economic factors that shaped some of the most impressive cities ever built, many of which remain major metropolitan centers today. (GLB2)
1.00 units, Seminar
URST 307
Silk, Pearls, and Glass: Ancient Trade and Trade Routes between the East and the West
Roman glass and coins have been found in China, and accounts of Chinese silk in the Roman world are numerous. How were commodities and currencies transported over land and by sea? Where were the trade routes? What archaeological sites, cities, and shipwrecks have been explored along these routes? Who controlled the trade routes? How? In this course we will examine evidence from art, archaeology, and written texts to explore evidence for trade and trade routes between East Asia and Europe in antiquity (GLB2)
1.00 units, Seminar
URST 307
Architecture and Urban Planning on the Swahili Coast
This course uses Zanzibar as a laboratory for understanding Swahili Coast urbanism. For millennia, cities along East Africa’s coast have linked Africa with trade networks across the world, from China to Connecticut. Zanzibar was central to these networks for centuries. After independence in December 1963, and a socialist revolution in January 1964, Zanzibar became a semi-sovereign part of Tanzania. From less than 50,000 people in 1964, it has now grown to a metropolitan area of more than 600,000. Zanzibar’s society and culture are very cosmopolitan, with diverse influences, notably in the city’s architecture and built environment. Zanzibar is thus a spectacular place in which to explore the challenges of balancing historic preservation and urban development in architecture and urban planning. ( )
0.50 units, Seminar
URST 313
Silk Road Cities: A Field Investigation
The Silk Road stimulated and connected the growth of cities between China and Europe as trading posts and resting places. These mostly overland cities or towns created long-distance connections between national and local histories, cultures, religions, and ethnic groups across borders. While some of these past connections have been eroded by shifted political boundaries, a number of Chinese Silk Road cities have resurged in growth and influence due to the favorable policies under China’s “One Belt One Road” initiative. Adopting an interlinked historical and contemporary approach, this course will investigate the original status and subsequent change of these historic cities through classical and contemporary readings and local field studies of the built environment and other evidence. Through a cultural lens, the course will introduce film as a learning medium for enhancing the benefits from text reading,discourse analysis, and on-site visits. By integrating historical and cultural perspectives in multiple local settings, this course aims to provide students with a broad but grounded understanding of the diverse intersections between the past, present, and future of several distinctive Silk Road cities in China. ( )
1.00 units, Seminar
URST 313
River Cities of Asia
Today, throughout Asia, many cities are undergoing rapid growth resulting in dramatic economic, social, cultural, and environmental transformation. Because of the strong relationship between cities and rivers, such rapid growth puts increasing pressures on water resources, river ecosystems, and the human frameworks. Using two prominent river/city systems, the Yangtze and the Irrawaddy, as case studies, this summer course will provide integrated historical, cultural, and environmental understandings of four key cities — Shanghai, Chongqing, Mandalay, and Yangon — located on the banks of these waterways. The course will examine the historical emergence of the cities we visit, explore interrelationships between urban expansion and environmental consequences of rapid economic growth, and examine people’s perceptions of environmental and cultural change in China and Myanmar. (GLB)
1.50 units, Seminar
URST 320
Urban Research Practicum
This research seminar is designed to prepare students for conducting urban research, in Hartford or in any city. The course will include an in-depth survey of methods and approaches in the field. Students will develop research proposals and conduct research projects for term papers. The seminar is geared both for seniors working to produce honors theses and urban studies majors and minors planning on conducting independent study projects. The aim is to foster skill development and enhance training in research methodologies and techniques, including projects with applied components, community learning connections, and/or pure research endeavors. ( )
Prerequisite: A grade of C- or better in URST 101 and URST201
1.00 units, Seminar
URST 321
Geographies of Transport: Being on the Move in the 21st Global Urban Century
Mobility is a permanent aspect of life. Transport infrastructures are a determinant of the spatial, economic, and social structures of cities. This course will introduce students to the spatial and social aspects of transportation and mobility across the globe. This course will act as a forum for research into transport and mobility, including debates on the planning and formation of transport policymaking. (SOC)
Prerequisite: Urban Studies 101 or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Seminar
URST 328
Comparative Urbanism: Life Since 1850
This course explores urban history and urban planning by focusing on how certain models of urbanism emerged alongside modernity and capitalism since Paris was transformed into the emblematic city of capitalist modernity in 1850-1870. Topics include urban spaces, urban planning and architecture; the interplay between politics and social movements; finance capital and real-estate development; and mass consumption and sports mega-events. Examples will include cities in Europe, the Americas, Africa, and Asia. (GLB)
1.00 units, Seminar
URST 395
Academic Internship
Students enroll by submitting a contract through Career Development. ( )
1.00 units, Independent Study
URST 399
Independent Study
Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar's Office, and the approval of the instructor and director are required for enrollment. ( )
Prerequisite: Urban Studies 101 or permission of instructor.
0.50 units min / 1.00 units max, Independent Study
URST 401
Senior Seminar
This course serves as a capstone seminar with two purposes. First, it provides a comparative and integrated treatment of the urban scholarship through an intensive and interdisciplinary reading of advanced books and articles, rigorous discussions, and in-depth writing. This course allows students to widen and deepen the cumulative content and experience they have gained from previous urban courses, study abroad programs, and urban engagement and internship projects. Secondly, by connecting and even tailoring some of the seminar’s content to individual students, the course prepares and guides students to undertake and successfully complete a senior thesis for the Urban Studies major. (WEB)
Prerequisite: Urban Studies 201, Sociology 227 or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Seminar
URST 466
Teaching Assistantship
No Course Description Available.
0.50 units min / 1.00 units max, Independent Study
URST 490
Research Assistantship
From time to time the opportunity exists for students to assist professors in their research. Hours and duties will be determined on the basis of project needs and student interests. Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and the approval of the instructor and chairperson are required for enrollment. ( )
0.50 units min / 1.00 units max, Independent Study
URST 497
Single Semester Thesis
Submission of special registration form, available in the Registrar's Office, and the approval of the director are required for enrollment. (WEB)
1.00 units, Independent Study
URST 498
Senior Thesis, Part 1
Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar's Office, and the approval of the instructor and director are required for enrollment. (WEB)
2.00 units, Independent Study
URST 499
Senior Thesis, Part 2
Written report and formal presentation of a research project. Required of all students who wish to earn honors in Urban Studies. Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar's Office, and the approval of the instructor and director are required for enrollment. (WEB)
2.00 units, Independent Study