Systematic study of specialized subject matter. Topics for each quarter vary, depending upon current interest and needs, and are announced in the preceding quarter.
Since 2009, for the first time in the known history of the human race, the global urban population has overtaken rural population, and this trend is likely to continue for at least the next four decades. Further, this growth is mainly happening in the developing world, especially in countries like India and China, which have a high growth rate both in terms of their GDP and population. Some scholars have hailed this to be the century of the Asian city. Encompassing some of world’s oldest civilizations and colonizations, Asian cities are today rapidly (re)emerging as a center of, and play a vital role in, the global economy that result in far-reaching fundamental changes within both the continent and the world. With enormous diversity within its sub-regions, Asian cities aspire to be ‘global world-class’ cities, and are home to some of the richest businessmen in the world, as well as a rapidly growing middle class. At the same time, within the heterogeneous regions of Asia, there are also expanding differences between the “haves” and the “have-nots”, thus the very same ‘global world-class’ cities are also notorious for their vast slums or informal settlements with large numbers of people living in deplorable conditions without access to basic sanitations and services. This course aims to embrace the complexity and ambiguity that is the Asian city and help students become familiar with its numerous urbanities and urbanisms. This interdisciplinary course proposes to examine key topics and themes, in the study of urbanization in Asia in the context of rapid historical change and incorporate research drawn from urban studies, architecture, political science, geography and history.
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