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Course Title and Number:

London: an Investigation of a Global City


Dr. Andrew Harris

Course description

The course will explore the key economic, political, social and cultural processes that have shaped and consolidated London as an archetypal global city. London’s important and multifaceted role over the last two centuries as an administrative centre, port, art capital, suburb and financial node will be used as a laboratory to consider theories, concepts and historical trajectories of urban change. The course will emphasise the spatial constitution and negotiation of metropolitan life and the complex relations between local and global processes in urban development. In particular, the course will highlight winners and losers from the economic restructuring and urban regeneration closely associated with the assertion of London as a global city.

Method of teaching

Lectures, seminars, three field visits (Spitalfields, the City of London and Hoxton) and two museum visits (London Transport Museum and the Museum in Docklands).

Throughout the teaching, examples will be given from art, literature, music and film that help depict and capture important aspects of London’s changing role as a global city. Guidance to wider reading ranges across text-books, novels, popular histories, academic articles, policy documents, newspapers and magazines.

The course is designed to develop students’ critical reading, writing and interpretation skills in urban studies – and to help them better explore, navigate and understand London during their stay in the city.

Core Books:

Ackroyd, P. 2000: London: The Biography. (Chatto & Windus)

Kerr, J. and Gibson, J. (eds.) 2003: London: from Punk to Blair. (Reakton)

Hall, P. 2007: London Voices, London Lives: Tales from a Working Capital. (Polity Press)

Massey, D. 2007: World City. (Polity Press)

Porter, R. 1994: London: A Social History. (Hamish Hamilton)

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