Cities: Space, Society, and History (2003-2005)

Early morning sunrise over the city of Johannesburg, shot looking East with the M1 Highway in the foreground.

During the academic years 2003/04 and 2004/05, the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies focused on the study of the city in history. Scholars from a range of disciplines examined the history of the city as a physical and social space—not as an inert container for social, political, and economic processes, but as a historically produced space that shapes, and is shaped by, power, economy, culture, and society.

As part of the theme, we addressed topics and problems from a wide variety of periods and places, from prehistory to the present, and from all parts of the world.

Topics Included:

Graffiti

  • City and countryside
  • City and citizenship
  • Merchants, guilds, and the city
  • Migration and the city
  • Urban economics and politics
  • The production of urban space
  • The urban landscape and experience
  • Urban planning and development
  • Urban architecture
  • Global cities
  • Colonialism, nationalism, and the city
  • City and religion
  • City and modernity
  • The city and literary, artistic, and musical representations
  • City and memory
  • Race and ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality in the city
  • The geography of urban power and culture
  • Urban poverty and slums
  • City and cosmopolitanism
  • The city as a place of difference

Davis Center Fellows

2003-2004

  • Belinda Davis, Rutgers University
  • Christopher Friedrichs, University of British Columbia
  • Willem Jongman, University of Groningen
  • Christina Jimenez, University of Colorado
  • Ranjani Mazumdar, Independent Filmmaker & Scholar, Delhi
  • Cormac O. Grada, University College Dublin

2004-2005

  • Sheila Crane, University of California, Santa Cruz
  • David Frisby, University of Glasgow
  • Pamela Long, Independent Scholar
  • Frank Mort, University of Manchester
  • Martin Murray, Binghamton University
  • Jordan Sand, Georgetown University
  • Sarah Schrank, California State University, Long Beach

Shelby Cullom Davis Center Volumes

Noir Urbanisms: Dystopic Images of the Modern City Edited by Gyan Prakash

Noir Urbanisms: Dystopic Images of the Modern City

Edited by Gyan Prakash
Copyright 2010 Princeton University Press

The Spaces of the Modern City: Imaginaries, Politics, and Everyday Life Edited by Gyan Prakash and Kevin KruseThe Spaces of the Modern City: Imaginaries, Politics, and Everyday Life

Edited by Kevin Kruse and Gyan Prakash
Copyright 2008 Princeton University Press

The Nature of Cities by Andrew IsenbergThe Nature of Cities

Edited by Andrew C. Isenberg
Copyright 2006 University of Rochester Press


Photo credit: Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 by Dylan Harbour.