Skip to main content

Unit information: Global Cities in 2017/18

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Global Cities
Unit code HISTM0061
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Lewis
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of History (Historical Studies)
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

Cities are places where the world connects. In this unit we examine cities as sites of exchange in a globalising world, from the port-cities of the early modern era to the futuristic "World Cities" of the contemporary age. We focus on cities in Asia, and ask how colonial encounters shaped the emergence of the modern city, from architecture and urban planning to intellectual and social life. We consider the way urban spaces were transformed by the influx of migrants and capital, and investigate the sites of urban sociability from literary salons and entertainment parks to red-light districts and migrant enclaves. The class is taught through thematic mini-lectures followed by case studies presented by the students as well as seminar discussions. The unit introduces students to new themes in global, cultural, and social history, while allowing students to specialise in the histories of particular cities.

Intended Learning Outcomes

1) To give students a broad grounding in the development of global cities since the early modern era.

2) To improve students’ ability to argue effectively and at length (including an ability to cope with complexities and to describe and deploy these effectively).

3) To be able to display high level skills in selecting, applying, interpreting and organising information, including evidence of a high level of bibliographical control.

4) To develop the ability of students to evaluate and/or challenge current scholarly thinking.

5) To foster student’s capacity to take a critical stance towards scholarly processes involved in arriving at historical knowledge and/or relevant secondary literature.

6) To be able to demonstrate an understanding of concepts and an ability to conceptualise.

7) To develop students’ capacity for independent research.

Teaching Information

1 x 2-hour interactive lecture per week.

Assessment Information

One summative coursework essay of 5000 words (100%). This will assess ILOs 1-7.

Reading and References

C.A. Bayly, The Birth of the Modern World (2004)

C.A. Bayly and Leila Fawaz, Modernity & Culture: From the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean (2002)

Thomas Metcalf, Imperial Vision: Architecture in the British Raj (1992)

Scot Barmé, Woman, Man, Bangkok: Love, Sex, and Popular Culture in Thailand (2002)

James Warren, Rickshaw Coolie: a people's history of Singapore, 1880-1940 (2003)

Meng Yue, Shanghai and the Edges of Empire (2006)