Period 2, 2004-2005 meetings: Wed. 9.45 – 11.30 a.m.
Code: ACB20705 Frid. 9.45 – 11.30 a.m.
Level: B2 room: TvA 1.0.02
Credits: 5 ECTS
dr Liedeke Plate dr Anna Notaro
Room: Erasmus 12.20 Erasmus 12.21
What role does gender play in the theoretical understanding
and concrete experience of the modern city and its urban cultures? This course
investigates the significance of gender in the production, use, and
representation of urban spaces, focusing on the ways in which the city shapes
gender, and gender shapes the city. The approach is interdisciplinary, drawing
on research in the fields of art, architecture, cultural studies, literary
theory and urban studies. The focus is on
The course is structured as follows: following an introductory survey of theories about gender and sexuality, we will zoom-in on specific cases. Students are requested to prepare weekly assignments. A final research paper provides the opportunity to explore a topic in depth.
Course objectives: at the
end of the course, you will be familiar with a variety of ways of thinking
about gender in the city. You will be able to demonstrate the ways in which
gender and sexuality are constitutive of, and are constituted by, urban form
and urban life and their representation through a range of different
- André Breton, Nadja (Penguin)
- Jean Rhys, Good Morning, Midnight (Penguin)
* Assignments: students are to do the assigned exercises as listed below. These assignments count for 30% of the grade.
* Research Project (2500 words essay): The research project gives you the opportunity to explore a topic of your choice in depth among the ones addressed in the sessions below. The project involves submitting a one-paragraph description of your topic with a preliminary bibliography (2 copies due by …..Monday, January 24, 2005), and a final paper (2 copies due by Monday, January 24, 2005 noon in the instructors’ mailboxes). This paper should be well written and coherently organized. Make sure to give sufficient support for your argument in the form of quotations or examples, do not “drop” quotes or images, and cite your references. The paper may be written in Dutch or in English. It counts for 70% of your final grade.
This course uses Blackboard as a digital learning environment. All the information supplied on this handout is to be found in it, as well as direct links to assigned readings on the Internet. Please log yourself into this ELO by going to http://blackboard.ru.nl/ and consult it regularly for new announcements.
Introduction to the course
* ‘Defining the Street’ in P. Hamilton, The Street and Everyday Life, pp.96-101 at
II. [F Nov. 12, 2004]: No class.
You may want to take the opportunity to visit the exhibition “Schilders van Parijs, Van Renoir tot Picasso: meesterstukken uit de verzameling Oscar Ghez” in the Rotterdam Kunsthal as we will take it as our basis for our discussion of the Spaces of femininity on Nov. 26, 2004.
Museumpark, Westzeedijk 341, 3015 AA Rotterdam.
Lecture & class discussion
* Judith Butler, "Bodily Inscription, Performative Subversion" in Gender Trouble: The Subversion of Identity (New York: Routledge, 1990), 139-41. (*)
* Jane Rendell,
“Introduction: ‘Gender, Space’” in Jane Rendell, Barbara Penner and Iain
Borden, Gender, Space Architecture: An Interdisciplinary Introduction (
a) Read the assigned texts and identify key terms. Write these down and bring them to class so that we can compile a mini gender-lexicon.
b) How do the readings challenge your understanding of the term ‘gender’? Formulate your new understanding (or disorientation) so that it can serve as point of departure for class discussion. Post it on Blackboard no later than Tuesday, Nov. 16th, 8 p.m.
IV. Machine Woman [F Nov. 19, 2004; AN]
Screening: Fritz Lang, Metropolis (1926)
Huyssen, “The Vamp and the Machine: Fritz Lang's Metropolis,” in After the
Great Divide: Modernism, Mass Culture, Postmodernism,
1) Find out more about Metropolis by visiting:
Should you wish to write about this topic for your research project consult the various links under the heading ‘Metropolis’ at http://transcriptions.english.ucsb.edu/research/topics/cyborg/
2) Formulate one question with reference to Huyssen’s piece and post it on the Blackboard Bulletin Board. This question should address a central issue in the reading and should be phrased in such a way as to encourage class discussion.
V. Flâneur/Flâneuse [W Nov. 24, 2004; LP]
* D. Parsons, “Mythologies of Modernity” in Streetwalking the Metropolis: Women, the City and Modernity, OUP, 2000, pp. 17-42 (*)
* Baudelaire, selected poems (*)
a) select one of the Baudelaire poems
b) be prepared to present the poem to your fellow students, highlighting its relation to the idea of the flâneur.
VI. The Spaces of Femininity [F Nov. 26, 2004; LP]
* Griselda Pollock, "Modernity and the Spaces of Femininity" in Vision and Difference: Femininity, Feminism, and Histories of Art (London: Routledge, 1988), 50-90. (*)
In groups of 3-4 students
a) select (visual) material from the “Schilders van Parijs” exhibit in the Rotterdam Kunsthal to test & illustrate Pollock’s argument;
b) present this material to the class, explaining how it illustrates Pollock’s article (her argument, the points she makes). Use Powerpoint.
VII. Female Flânerie [W 1 dec. 2004; AN]
Anke Gleber, “Female Flanerie and the Symphony of the City” in Von Ankum, ed., Women
in the Metropolis: Gender and Modernity in
* ‘The Street and Modern Life’ in P. Hamilton, The Street and Everyday Life pp. 101-104 at
1) Do the assignment indicated on p. 104 of P. Hamilton ‘The Street and Modern Life’ at
2) Formulate one question with reference to Gleber’s piece and post it on the Blackboard Bulletin Board by Tuesday, Nov. 30th, 8 p.m. This question should address a central issue in the reading and should be phrased in such a way as to encourage class discussion.
VIII. Walking as an Aesthetic Practice [F 3 Dec. 2004; LP]
* Breton, Nadja
Select either A or B:
A. Walking & Surrealism
a) research Surrealism as a movement, paying particular attention to the place of women and of walking in the Surrealist aesthetic;
your fellow students with a context in which to understand Nadja as a
work that has much to say about women & cities (or at least,
B. Surrealist Walk
surrealist walk through
b) Present this walk to the class in a powerpoint presentation.
IX. Lonely in the City: The Hotel [W 8 Dec. 2004; LP]
* Jean Rhys, Good Morning, Midnight
Formulate one question with reference to Rhys’s novel and post it on the Blackboard Bulletin Board by Tuesday, Dec. 7th, 8 p.m. This question should address a central issue in the reading and should be phrased in such a way as to encourage class discussion.
Screening: Video NY 1920s 50min.
2) Visit the Museum of the City of
follow all the links (to have a general overview of the whole site click on ‘Site Map’ for a start) and evaluate the web site: was it user friendly? What do you think was the most important thing you learnt from your visit. Compare and contrast the benefits of a ‘virtual visit’ to those of a ‘real’ one.
3) Explore the views of prominent artists, writers
etc who have been influenced by
XI Frank O’Hara:
American gay poet Frank O’Hara (born in 1926) lived in
In preparation for our discussion, please read and reread the two poems carefully, looking up words and expressions you do not understand in the dictionary. Also, search for information about the places and people mentioned in the two poems and bring this information to class.
1. for “The Day Lady Died,” find out who the lady mentioned in the title was, and indicate how you can derive her identity from the poem;
2. and for “Steps,” try to indicate whom and what the “you” in the poem might represent.
1) The Triangle Factory fire
And visit the ‘The Living City, NY City’ web site at http://220.127.116.11/htm/framesets/living_city/fs_exh.htm
click on The Tenement House Problem link, run the slide show, check out the following ‘Decades’, (in the top left side of the screen) click on 1990s (click on the J.Riis link on the left hand side), 1910s and 1920s
3) Consider How the Other Half Lives, (1890) by J.A. Riis, Hypertext edition at
Find out more about Riis by visiting the following electronic book at
http://artsweb.bham.ac.uk/citysites/ (click on ‘
Some suggestions for topics to develop in your presentations:
the culture of working women in
If you were called upon to teach a group of secondary students about the Triangle Shirtwaist Strike and Fire, what two points would you want them to understand about the historical events and their meanings, and what would you do to teach them those two points? In order to answer this question, you will need to determine which documents from The Triangle fire ‘Documents’ page at http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/trianglefire/texts/default.html
collection would be most important for students to utilize in order to understand the points you want to make.
The camera for Riis became an instrument for social change. Now, more than a hundred years later can you do the same? Document some situation or condition in your home town and, like Riis, provide the text to accompany it. Alternatively, you might write an imaginary letter to your local newspaper commenting upon homelessness in your town
XIII Single Girls in NY City: Sister Carrie meets Carrie Bradshaw
Screening: Extracts from the TV series Sex and the City [W Dec. 22, 2004; AN]
* A.Nelson, ‘Sister Carrie meets Carrie Bradshaw: exploring
progress, politics and the single woman in Sex and the City and beyond’, in
* S.Zieger, ‘Sex and the Citizen in Sex and the City's
Location Guide, ‘Flânerie, Sex and the City and Touring around
J.McCabe, ‘Carried Away in
1) Find out more about Dreiser’s novel Sister Carrie at:
and present your findings to the class.
2) Consider the Nelson and Zieger extracts from Reading Sex and the City and formulate a question for each of them. This question should address a central issue in the reading and should be phrased in such a way as to encourage class discussion. Having done that, contrast and compare the essays: what, if anything, do they have in common? Consider form and content, style and main arguments.
[XIV. F Dec. 24, 2004: No class]
After reading the article once, take note of the concepts and / or foreign terms that you don’t understand. Read a second time following the advice below:
- Look up for words you don’t know in dictionaries and/or enciclopedias
- Summarise the text’s main argument in one sentence
- Make a list of what, in your opinion, are the main characteristics of the text and explain why
- Try and discover the intertextual references present in the text
- Identify issues in the text with which you don’t agree and explain why
- Choose one aspect you are particularly interested in within the field of Gender & the City and prepare a list of questions relating to this aspect
- Think whether you can come up with any material (from any media, visual or textual) that has any relation at all with what you are reading, which are the similarities?
- Consider carefully the style, tone and rythm of some sentences that attract your attention take note of them and explain why they stand out from the rest of the text
Above all be proactive, creative, critical and open minded: try and establish connections among the diverse issues you come across and make explicit the reasons on which your evaluations are based. In matters of culture there are no easy answers, but that is no reason to stop asking questions!
More on Cities (general)
Benjamin, “Fourier, of the Arcades,” “Granville, or the World Exhibitions,” and
“Baudelaire, or the Streets of
Barth, “Department Store,” in G. Barth, City People: The Rise of
Marshall, All That Is Solid Melts Into
Chudacoff & Smith, The Evolution of American Urban Society, Prentice Hall, 1975
David B. Clarke The Cinematic City (London: Routledge, 1997)
James, Imagining the
Siegfried. Space, Time and Architecture,
Hayden, Dolores, The Power of Place, The MIT Press, 1996
The Death and Life of
Neil., ed., The Anaesthetics of
Neil, ed., The Hieroglyphics of Space,
Neil, ed. Rethinking Architecture: A
Reader in Cultural Theory,
Lefebre Henri, The Production of Space, Blackwell, 1991
Lefebre Henri, Writings on Cities, Blackwell, 1996
Richard T LeGates and
Frederic Stout (Eds) (1996) The City
Television: Visual Culture and Public Space,
Mark Monmonier, How to Lie with Maps, (University of Chicago Press, 1996)
Shelley, Parisian Views,
Sennett, Richard Classic Essays on the Culture of Cities,
Simmel G. The Metropolis and Mental Life http://condor.depaul.edu/%7Edweinste/intro/simmel_M&ML.htm
Westwood S., Williams J.eds. Imagining Cities, Routledge, 1997
Williams Raymond, The Country and the City (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1975 )
Zukin, Sharon The Cultures of Cities, Blackwell, 1995
Cultures of Cities: a new data bank
Bloom, Alexander. Prodigal Sons: The
Cantwell and Diana Di Zerega Wall Unearthing Gotham: The Archaeology of
Cohen, Barbara, Chwast,
Seymour, Heller, Steven. eds.
Conrad, Peter. The Art of the City: Views and Versions of
Ann Terribly Honesty: Mongrel
Hammack David C. Power and Society: Greater
Lankevitch, George J.,
Furer, Howard B. A Brief History of
Lankevitch, George J. American Metropolis: A History of
Longstreet, S. City on Two Rivers, 1975.
Notaro A., ‘Constructing
Anna ‘European Visions of the Future in the American Modern(ist) Metropolis’,
in H. Krabbendam, M. Roholl, T. de Vries eds. The American Metropolis, VU University Press,
Sharpe, William, Wallock,
Leonard, eds. Visions of the
Still, Bayrd. Mirror for Gotham:
Sutcliffe, Anthony, ed. Metropolis, 1890-1940,
More on Gender
Brod, H. ‘Masculinity as Masquerade’ in A. Perchuch, H. Posner eds., The Masculine Masquerade: Masculinity and Representation, MIT Press, 1995
Butler, J. Gender Trouble, , Routledge, 1990 London
Butler, J. Bodies that Matter, , Routledge, 1993 London
De Lauretis T. Technologies of Gender, Indiana UP, 1987
Doane, M. A. The Desire to Desire,
UP, 1987 Indiana
Epstein, J. ‘Either/Or- Neither/Both: Sexual Ambiguity and the Ideology of Gender’ Genders, 7, Spring 1990, 99-143
Fiske, J. Media Matters: Race and Gender in US Politics,
UP, 1996 Minnesota
Foucault, M. A History of Sexuality, vol.1, Vintage, 1980
Fuss, D. Inside/Out: Lesbian Theories, Gay Theories, Routledge, 1991
Gever, Martha , John Greyson & Pratibha Parmar (eds), Queer Looks.
Perspectives on Lesbian and Gay Film and Video.
: Routledge, 1993 London
Haraway, D. Simians, Cyborgs, and Women, Routledge, 1991
bell hooks, Yearning: Race, Gender and Cultural Politics, South End Press, 1990
bell hooks, Reel to Real: Race, Sex and Class at the Movies, Routledge, 1996
Horne, P. Lewis R. Outlooks: Lesbian and Gay Sexualities and Visual Cultures, Routledge, 1996
McClintock, A. Imperial Leather: Race, Gender and Sexuality in the Colonial Context, Routledge, 1995
McLuhan, M. ‘Woman in the Mirror’ from The Mechanical Bride, Beacon, 1951
Mulvey, L. Visual and Other Pleasures,
UP, 1989 Indiana
Rose, J. Sexuality in the Field of Vision, Verso, 1986
Smelik, Anneke, ‘Feminist Film Theory’ in Pam Cook & Mieke Bernink (eds), The Cinema Book. 2nd Edition. British Film Institute, 1999: 353-362
Trinh T. Min-ha, Woman, Native, Other, Indiana UP, 1989
More on Gender, Place, Space
Katherina von Ankum, ed. Women in the Metropolis: Gender and Modernity in Weimar Culture (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997)
Patricia Conway, and Leslie Kanes Weisman, eds. 1996. The Sex of Architecture,
Rosa Ainley (Ed)
(1998) New Frontiers of Space, Bodies and
David Bell and Gill
Valentine eds. (1995) Mapping Desire,
Aaron Betsky, Queer Space: Architecture and Same-Sex Desire (New York: William Morrow & Co, 1997)
Gordon Brent Ingram et al (Eds) (1997) Queers in Space: Communities, Public Places, Sites of Resistance, Seattle, Bay Press
Manuel Castells The City and the Grassroots: A Cross-Cultural Theory of Urban Social Movements, (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983)
George Chauncey's, Gay
Cline Cohen, The Murder of Helen Jewett:
The Life and Death of a Prostitute in Nineteenth- Century
Colomina, ed. Sexuality in Space,
Sarah Deutsch, Women and the City: Gender, Power and Space
Mona Domosh & Joni
Seager. Putting Women in Place: Feminist Geographers Make Sense of the World
Nancy Duncan (Ed) (1996)
J. Gilfoyle, City of
S. Hanson and G. Pratt, Gender, Work and Space, 1995. Routledge
Alma H. Young and Kristine
Miranne Gendering the City, (
Michael Keith and Steve Pile eds. Space and the Politics of Identity, (Routledge, 1993).
Ellen. Mechanical Brides: Women and
Machines from Home to Office,
D. Massey, Gender, Place and Space, 1994.
Linda McDowell (1999) Gender, Identity and Place: Understanding
Mort and Lynda Nead, eds. Sexual
Mumford, Interzones: Black and White Sex
Heidi Nast and Steve Pile, eds. Places Through the Body, (New York & London: Routledge, 1998)
Peiss Cheap Amusements: Working Women and
Leisure in Turn-of-the-Century
Ellen Perry ed. Architecture:
A Placefor Women, (Smithsonian, 1989) Berkeley
Jane Rendell et al
(Eds) (2000) Gender, Space, Architecture,
Marion Roberts Living in a Man-Made World: Gender Assumptions in Modern Housing Design (London: Routledge, 1991)
Gillian Rose 1993, Feminism and Geography,
Spain, Gendered Spaces (Chapel Hill: Press, 1992 Universityof North Carolina
Christine Stansell, City of
Women: Sex and Class in ,1789-1860 New York
Leslie Kanes Weisman Discrimination by Design: A Feminist Critique of the Man-made Environment (U of Illinois Press, 1992)
Elizabeth Wilson, The Sphinx in the City: Urban Life, The Control of Disorder and Women, (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992).
Janet Wolff Feminine Sentences: Essays on Women and Culture (
, 1990) Berkeley
Journal Gender Placeand Culture WWW page at