Academic Program

Graduate Certificate Program

The Certificate offers graduate students the opportunity to supplement their major areas of study with courses that explore cities through a variety of disciplinary approaches. In particular, the Certificate emphasizes the intersection of interpretive approaches from the arts and humanities with methods from the environmental design disciplines. Program application information is available here.

Current courses

SPRING 2017

THE CITY, ARTS, AND PUBLIC SPACE

Local urban practices and artistic interventions are recreating public spaces in metropolises around the world. This graduate seminar draws from different methods across the humanities and environmental design to explore some of these interventions and to theorize about the public character of ... more

fellowship programs

global urban humanities - townsend fellowships for graduate students

The Global Urban Humanities-Townsend Fellowships for faculty and graduate students at UC Berkeley support research on contemporary and historical cities that engages approaches from the arts and humanities and the humanistic social sciences and from the disciplines of of architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, and urban planning. Candidates from a wide range of departments are encouraged to apply. Applications for Spring 2018 will be available in Fall 2017more...

global urban humanities - townsend fellowships for faculty

The purpose of the Fellowship is both to further the research of the individual recipients and to enable faculty and graduate students to meet and work with colleagues in other disciplines and departments. In weekly meetings participants will explore methodological and theoretical questions with the aim of advancing the emerging field of Urban Humanities. Applications for Spring 2018 will be available in Fall 2017. more...

Past courses

FALL 2016

THE MUSEUM AND THE CITY: STudio

This graduate-level studio course will provide an opportunity for students from the arts and humanities, the environmental design disciplines, and other divisions and schools across campus to work together to investigate the relationship of a major cultural institution with its urban surroundings, and to propose physical and programmatic changes to ... more

CITIES AND BODIES

What does it mean for a human body to experience a city?  How are the everyday performances of bodies of different races, genders, and identities seen in the context of urban built form? What is the relationship between the infrastructure that brings resources including food and water into a city, and the human and other organisms that consume them there? How do notions of bodies operate in the virtual cities of video games? How are cities embodied in literary texts? How do we interpret the ... more

SPRING 2016

City of Memory

Andrew Shanken, Dept. of Architecture, College of Environmental Design
Lauren Kroiz, Dept. of Art History, College of Letters & Science

In this seminar we will explore theories of the city and built environment with a focus on memory. Considering the combined civic and aesthetic functions of urban spaces, we will examine topics ranging from collective memory to architectural revival and preservation, from historic parks to modes of commemoration enacted... more

Mexico City: Studio

MATERIALITY, PERFORMANCE AND POWER

C. Greig Crysler, Dept. of Architecture, College of Environmental Design
Angela Marino, Dept. of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies, College of Letters & Science
María Moreno Carranco, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Cuajimalpa

This research studio course will travel to Mexico City to investigate approaches to aesthetics and activism within its layered and complex urban spaces. Considering the city space as a dynamic and fluid environment, a place of (sometimes violent) meeting and exchange, and its integral relationship to other city spaces... more

Sound and the City

Nicholas Mathew, Dept. of Music, College of Letters & Science
Nicholas de Monchaux, Dept. of Architecture, College of Environmental Design

This seminar takes place at the intersection of sound studies and urban studies, architectural theory and musicology, making and thinking. It asks what each of these practices, emerging and long-established, has to learn from a range of premises: that sound and space are inseparably entangled, that sound crucially shapes... more


Fall 2015

Mapping City Stories

PEOPLE, NARRATIVE, DATA, IMAGE AND PLACE

Susan Moffat, Global Urban Humanities Initiative

In this interdisciplinary workshop-style course, graduate students from many disciplines will learn hands-on techniques of observing, analyzing and representing time, space, and experience in the urban realm in order to better understand and communicate about cities. In this course, we will sample techniques used in archeology, architecture... more

Mexico City

SPACES/CULTURES/HISTORIES

C. Greig Crysler, Dept. of Architecture, College of Environmental Design

Open to students from all departments, this interdisciplinary seminar will construct a cross-section through the complex history of Mexico City, beginning with the Aztec period in the 14th century, and culminating in the global present. The course is at once an attempt to provide a comprehensive understanding of the rich layers... more

Urban Space and Literary Form

WORLD LITERATURE AND THE MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY CITY

Mia Fuller, Dept. of Italian Studies, College of Letters & Science
Harsha Ram, Dept. of Comparative Literature and Slavic Languages and Literatures, College of Letters & Science

This seminar seeks to explore the connection between literature and urban form in the modern and contemporary world. How have cities' spatial and social organization informed the thematic and formal choices writers make? And how, in turn, have the imaginative projections of literary texts shaped our experience of the city... more

 

Spring 2015

Art + Village + City in the Pearl River Delta: Studio

A GLOBAL URBAN HUMANITIES RESEARCH STUDIO

Margaret Crawford, Dept. of Architecture, College of Environmental Design
Winnie Wong, Dept. of Rhetoric, College of Letters & Science

This research studio will critically investigate a wide range of urban art villages in the Pearl River Delta, exploring their historical development, current state, and future potential. Throughout the region, villagers, artists, officials, migrants, developers, and entrepreneurs have leveraged art practices in order to reimagine... more

Public Space: Placemaking and Performance

THEORIES OF PRACTICE AND PRACTICE OF THEORIES

COURSE WEBSITE: https://placemakingandperformance.wordpress.com/; COURSE BLOG: https://placemakingandperformance.wordpress.com/blog/

Ghigo DiTommaso, Dept. of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, College of Environmental Design
Erika Chong Shuch, Dept. of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies, College of Letters & Science

In this course, we will both investigate and intervene in the urban public realm. We will explore the contested normative frameworks that make up our notion of public space by examining the corpus of descriptive and prescriptive theories on the subject. We will test some of the central hypotheses that support such theories... more

 

Fall 2014

Reading Cities, Sensing Cities

AN INTERDISCIPLINARY COLLOQUIUM

Susan Moffat, Global Urban Humanities Initiative

This interdisciplinary colloquium will present speakers investigating cities and urbanism from multiple angles—through texts about cities, through looking at cities as texts, through  music and sound, film, performance, art, photography, mapping, and crowdsourced sensing technologies... more

SENSING CITYSCAPES:  SENSORS, CITIES, POLICIES/BASIC PROTOCOLS FOR NEW MEDIA

AN INTERDISCIPLINARY GRADUATE METHODS COURSE TO CREATE AND INTERROGATE TOOLS FOR COLLECTING DATA ON URBAN METABOLISMS

Greg Niemeyer, Dept. of Art Practice, College of Letters & Science, Berkeley Center for New Media
Ronald Rael, Dept. of Architecture, College of Environmental Design

One of the oldest continuous human records is the water level of the Nile. Measured in a special edifice, the Nilometer provided many successions of Egyptian governments with the basic data to determine ideal times for farmers along the river to plant and harvest. With new media tools, we can measure ever more aspects... more

 

Spring 2014

The City and Its Moving Images: Urban Theory, Media Theory

Weihong Bao, Dept. of Film & Media Studies and East Asian Languages & Culture, College of Letters & Science
Michael Dear, Department of City and Regional Planning, College of Environmental Design

What is the city? Is it a space, a place, a process, or practice? Is it actual or virtual? How do we demarcate the spatial and temporal limits of the city? How does the city become a unit of social space and experience? How does such a unit register both social contiguity and tension in spatial terms and recast relations of gender... more

NO CRUISING: Mobile Identities and Urban Life: Studio

A MULTI-DISCIPLINARY RESEARCH STUDIO INVESTIGATING LOS ANGELES

Margaret Crawford, Dept. of Architecture, College of Environmental Design
Anne Walsh, Dept. of Art Practice, College of Letters & Science

This research studio will investigate the multiple themes generated by the concept of mobility (and its inverse: immobility) in Los Angeles.  While the city’s automobility has become a questionable cliche, the question of mobility affects almost every sphere of  life for its urban residents. The studio will focus... more

 

Fall 2013

The City, Arts, and Public Space: Methods Across Disciplines

Teresa Caldeira, Dept. of City & Regional Planning, College of Environmental Design
Shannon Jackson, Dept. of Theater, Dance & Performance Studies, Rhetoric, College of Letters & Science, Arts Research Center

Local urban practices and artistic interventions are recreating public spaces in metropolises around the world. This cross-listed graduate seminar draws from different methods across the humanities and environmental design to explore some of these interventions and to theorize about the public character of the transformations... more