Beyond the Classroom: Shanghai

The seminar was made possible with the generous support of the Humanities Council’s David A. Gardner ‘69 Magic Fund, the Dean of College’s 250th Anniversary Fund for Innovation in Teaching, the Department of Art and Archaeology, and the Princeton University Art Museum."Anxious Megalopolis: Shanghai’s Urban Cultures (1842 – to the present)” will be offered in the fall semester of 2014. Team-taught by Esther da Costa Meyer, professor in the Department of Art and Archaeology, and Cary Y. Liu, curator of Asian art, the seminar is conceived asan educational experiment bringing together two different research perspectives: the examination of traditional architecture, aesthetics, and planning in China and the study of Shanghai’s modern architecture and urban culture from Western and global viewpoints. One goal was to break away from the increasingly obsolete division between East and West by exploring this megalopolis as a crucible for cultural encounters and changes. Courtyard and lilong-block housing, gardens, building magic, and fengshui beliefs will be discussed in relation to issues of globalization, urban development, modernization, the Jewish ghetto, and new themed towns. Central to the course will be a study trip to Shanghai, where the students will be able to experience what they will learn in the classroom.