The Chinese City: From Imperial Capital to Global Metropolis - Humanities Seminars Program

Thursday, October 3, 2013 - 2:00am to Thursday, December 12, 2013 - 5:00am
All Humanities Seminars take place in the Humanities Seminars room in the Helen S. Schaefer Building at 1508 E. Helen Street (one block north of Speedway and one block west of Cherry Avenue).

Thursdays 9:00 a.m. until noon
October 3 until December 12, 2013

This course, taught by Fabio Lanza, analyzes the evolution of Chinese urban space to show how both Chinese people and outsiders viewed the evolving form of the city as the symbol of China’s progress, its position in the world, and its internal social dynamics. From the walls of the Forbidden City to the Western buildings of Shanghai, from the massive squares and the drab structures of communism to the incredible expansion in the last thirty years, we will investigate the shifting meanings of architecture and city life. We will look at how such notions as cosmopolitanism, nationalism, and scientific rationality developed in and around the city. To accomplish this, we will introduce different and less canonical historical sources, including movies, memoirs, photographs, and art objects.


Hung, Wu. Remaking Beijing: Tiananmen Square adn the Creation of a Political Space.U of Chicago Press, 2005. ISBN: 0226360792.

Meyer, Michael. The Last Days of Old Beijing: Life in the Vanishing Backstreets of a City Transformed. Walker & Co., 2009. ISBN: 0802717500.

Fabio Lanza is Associate Professor of Modern Chinese History in the departments of History and East Asian Studies. He is the author of Behind the Gate: Inventing Students in Beijing (Columbia, 2010) and coeditor of Decentering Cold War History: Local and Global Change (Routledge, 2012). He received his PhD from Columbia University and was a post-doctoral fellow at Columbia and at the Fairbank Center at Harvard University.

Cost: $195.00


If you wish to register immediately by mail, please download the form below.

Click here to download the Registration Form for Fall 2013
Portable Document Format (PDF) (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Please mail the Registration Form to:

Humanities Seminars Program
Attention: Kerstin Miller
P.O. Box 210150
1508 E. Helen Street
Tucson, AZ 85721-0150

For any other registration questions, please call Kerstin Miller at (520) 626-7845 or contact our program by e-mail at


HSP will charge an administrative fee of $25.00 for early drop-outs before the second class meeting with refunds of the balance of the original tuition.