Berlin and Los Angeles

Berlin and Los Angeles are both quite new cities--modern Berlin dates from the late 18th C., and LA from the late 19th C.--but they present very different forms of the modern metropolis. Berlin, in the center of Europe, was also at the center of two world wars, and a mecca of cosmopolitanism and modern life between the wars. Los Angeles, in contrast, is often imagined as an anti-city: with no urban center, beaches and highways, yet the capital of dreams. In this course we will study the cultural, political, architectural, and urban history of these two global cities, which have each served as models for conceiving space and memory. Readings will include literature, history, and urban theory, and we will also see several films. Students will be encouraged to do their own research project. This course will be an excellent introduction for students wanting to study in Berlin Spring 2011. Film screenings will be held periodically on Monday evenings from 6-8pm throughout the semester.