Global Cities in History, from New Orleans to Shanghai

(NYU, Summer 2014, HIST-UA 830, Mondays and Wednesdays 11:00-2:00)

From New Orleans to Shanghai and from Havana to Hong Kong, the history of colonialism is the history of global cities. These urban spaces were hotspots for international trade, politics, and cross-cultural encounters as European empires expanded eastward and westward. Today, these former colonial cities are some of the most important vectors of globalization as well as arenas for challenging the current political order. This course looks at such cities in comparative and historical perspectives. We will consider how history can be used as a lens to understand the complexities of these urban spaces and how cities can provide a window into the processes of both colonialism and globalization.

Classes will feature a variety of activities, including museum visits, films, and meals appropriate to the cities explored. For NYU History majors, the course counts toward any of the three regional requirements.