Urban Studies

Paul E. Raether Distinguished Professor of Urban International Studies Myers, Director; Paul E. Raether Distinguished Professor of Global Urban Studies and Sociology Chen; Paul E. Raether Distinguished Professor of American Studies Baldwin; Professors K. Curran, Harrington, and Morrison; Associate Professors Figueroa and Triff; Visiting Lecturers Lash and Pelletier

The urban studies major provides a broadly interdisciplinary understanding of how urban dynamics shape both global interdependence and local spaces. The major stresses the way in which cities and communities are critical to the organization of economic, social, and cultural activities that shape and transform human experiences. Students can take full advantage of the College’s strong and diverse academic resources in the urban field through courses at the Trinity campus and local partner schools, community learning in Hartford, study-away opportunities in international cities, as well as internships in a variety of urban settings.

The urban studies major—To complete the major, students will take a total of at least 12 courses, as follows:

Additional Major Requirements

Honors—To receive honors in urban studies, a student must have completed a minimum of five courses for the major by the fifth semester, complete a thesis with a grade of A- or better, and earn a GPA of at least 3.5 in courses counted toward the major, with an overall GPA of at least 3.0.

Fall Term

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. (SOC) (Enrollment limited) –Myers

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) (Enrollment limited) –Chen

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 has a community learning component. This course is not open to first-year students. (Enrollment limited) –Lash

217. The Histroy of Urbanism in Eastern Europe— This course will examine the economic, social, and cultural history of East European urban development during the medieval and early modern periods. We will focus on local governance, urban landscape and planning, social and educational institutions, commercial and artisan activities, religious and ethnic communities, and a new type of citizen: the burgher. To better understand urban life in the important towns of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (contemporary Belarus, Lithuania, and a part of Ukraine), we will draw comparison to the major centers of Danzig-Gdansk, Knigsberg-Krlewiec, and Krakw in central Europe and Russian towns like Great Novgorod and Moscow. The varied sources of information for the course include diaries, testaments, memories, private correspondence, engravings, drawings, and architectural monuments. (HUM) (Enrollment limited) –Kananovich

[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) (Enrollment limited)

[303. Advanced topics in Geographic Information Systems]— This course applies spatial analysis techniques to a variety of topics in Urban Studies and Environmental Science. Prerequisite: ENVS 286 or instructor permission. Prerequisite: C- or better in Environmental Science 286 or permission of instructor (Enrollment limited)

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. (0.5 - 1 course credit) –Staff

466. Teaching Assistantship— (0.5 - 1 course credit) –Staff

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. (2 course credits) (WEB) –Staff

Spring Term

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. (SOC) (Enrollment limited) –Staff

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) (Enrollment limited) –Staff

[215. Latin American Cities]— Course examines the historical evolution and current dynamics of Latin American cities, from the pre-colonial (pre-1492), to the colonial (14921825) and post-colonial (since the 1800’s) periods. A variety of sources allow us to explore specific examples from several cities, including: Buenos Aires, Bogot, Brasilia, Caracas, Havana, Mexico City, Lima, Rio de Janeiro, and So Paulo, for example. Topics include colonialism, nationalism and transnationalism; urban slavery and race; rural-urban and ethnic migrations; industrialization and the urban working-class; urbanism, urban spaces and architecture; authoritarianism, populism and democratization; and consumer cultures, sports and leisure, among others. (GLB2) (Enrollment limited)

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? This course has a community learning component. Prerequisite: Urban Studies 101 or permission of instructor. (Enrollment limited) –Colon

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) (Enrollment limited) –Myers

[303. Advanced topics in Geographic Information Systems]— This course applies spatial analysis techniques to a variety of topics in Urban Studies and Environmental Science. Prerequisite: ENVS 286 or instructor permission. Prerequisite: C- or better in Environmental Science 286 or permission of instructor (Enrollment limited)

[328. Transnational Urbanism: Life in Urban Spaces]— This course explores urban history and the history of urbanism by focusing on a selected group of cities in Europe, the Americas, Africa, and Asia. It traces the global routes that urbanism has taken since Paris was transformed in the 19th century into the ideal city of modernity. Topics examined include not only urban space, planning, and architecture, but also politics and social movements, capitalism, and mass consumption, as well as sports, literature, and film. Throughout we will pay close attention to how each city’s national and international context produced particular urban forms and urban cultures that nonetheless shared certain global patterns. (GLB) (Enrollment limited)

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. (0.5 - 1 course credit) –Staff

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. Prerequisite: Urban Studies 201, Sociology 227 or permission of instructor. (WEB) (Enrollment limited) –Chen

[466. Teaching Assistantship]— (0.5 - 1 course credit)

[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)

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. (2 course credits) (WEB) –Staff