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URBANST 184: Paris: Capital of the Modern World (FRENCH 140, FRENCH 340, HISTORY 230C)

This course explores how Paris, between the eighteenth and twentieth centuries, became the political, cultural, and artistic capital of the modern world. It considers how the city has both shaped and been shaped by the tumultuous events of modern history- class conflict, industrialization, imperialism, war, and occupation. It will also explore why Paris became the major world destination for intellectuals, artists and writers. Sources will include films, paintings, architecture, novels, travel journals, and memoirs. Course taught in English with an optional French section.
Terms: Win | Units: 4-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-SI

URBANST 186: Creativity: Anatomy of a Buzzword (ARTSINST 184)

Creativity is one of the defining values of our time, embraced by corporate CEOs, kindergarten teachers, and starving artists alike. Yet it not always clear what creativity means. This course will explore how the capacious concept of creativity has shaped contemporary ideals of work, art, technology, human nature, and the good society. Using a mix of popular texts, contemporary scholarship, and classics of social thought, we will look at what kinds of products, places, and people count as 'creative' in public conversation, and why. Particular attention will be paid to how different overlapping notions of creativity have guided arts policy, business practices, and urban economic strategy over the last few decades of capitalist development. Using Stanford itself as a case study, students will conduct field work to discover how the concept of creativity operates across and between the various departments, disciplines, and centers on campus, from the fine arts to psychology to business. This research will culminate in the final group project: a multimedia archive and digital concept map of creativity discourse at Stanford. Students will come away from the class with concrete research skills and theoretical tools that will enable them to critically engage with any big ideas in the public sphere, as well as a better understanding of recent economic and cultural history underpinning our everyday assumptions and widely held values.
Last offered: Winter 2018 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-SI
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