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Skidmore College
First-Year Experience

Scribner Seminar Program
Course Proposal

From Saratoga Springs to Shanghai: Visions of the City

Instructor(s): Saleema Waraich, Art History

An exploration of select cities from around the world, their built heritage, and the visual and literary representations they have inspired. To what extent do cities engage with the past as they prepare for the future? How do representations of cities build upon and contest earlier ones? Whose experiences of cities are foregrounded and whose are obscured? How do representations of cities shape the cities themselves? Students will learn about the growth, transformation and significance of cities from around the world by studying the built environment, historical records, literary texts, and artistic responses. Our journey considers the ways in which cities develop and change over time as well as analyzing how cities have been portrayed in various media (including lithographs, photography, postcards, poetry, travel journals, newspaper reports, and film). The course will be taught using a "case study" approach, focusing on select cities from around the world. We will also apply the topics and approaches discussed in class to our immediate environs – the city of Saratoga Springs – as well as to New York City (including a field trip).


Course Offered: