AHST 630 Representing Culture and Ethnicity in the Public Sphere

What is public space? How is culture and ethnicity represented in the city? This seminar will explore ideas and forms of public space and public life in the city in their manifestationscivic, social, religious, formal and informal, official and unofficial, licit and illicitprimarily, but not exclusively in the United States and Latin America. The seminar also focuses on ephemeral architecture and events (i.e. worlds fairs, parades, protests, monuments and public art), which have been essential in constructing ideas about citizenship and community, and which have been employed to communicate the existence of culturally- and ethnically-based publics. The aim is to present a better understanding of the physical landscape of the public city, the particular ways that spaces foster inclusion and exclusion in urban public life, and, conversely, how various ideas of the public shape urban space. The readings for the course include historical and theoretical works on the idea of the public, and works of architecture, art and planning, and they are drawn from a wide range of disciplines, including architecture, urban studies, art, social history, anthropology, material culture studies, geography and cultural criticism.