Asian American Art and Architecture (Dartmouth College, Winter 2022)
Migration and Diaspora in Modern Asia (Dartmouth College, Fall 2021)
Urban Geography (Dartmouth College, Spring 2021)
The Postcolonial City (Dartmouth College, Spring 2021)
This course sheds light on postcoloniality with a particular emphasis on the materiality of cities. The course actively engages with a transimperial/transcolonial inquiry into the spatial politics of power and knowledge in imperial formations. Students will be expected to develop critical perspectives on empire while reflecting upon alternative methodological approaches to decolonizing urban studies as well as possibilities of transcontinental solidarities. The course will primarily explore cities from cross-regional standpoints and pay particular attention to the interconnection and interdependence of different continents.
Global Cities (Dartmouth College, Spring 2020)
The course deals with cities not as enclosed, bounded, and fixed entities but as sites of connections, links, and relations from which to rethink what constitutes the global and the urban today. Students will be expected to develop a critical perspective to reflect upon global urban issues such as race, citizenship, colonialism, gender, segregation, gentrification, and migration. We will also seek to explore the possibility of studying non-Western cities without erasing their specificities while situating them in a web of global connections.
Urban Asia (Dartmouth College, Winter 2020/Fall 2020/Fall 2021)
How have Asian cities transformed in an interconnected global economy? How does an interdisciplinary reading of Asian cities provide ways to think anew about Asia today? With Asia at the center of urban inquiries, this course proposes to read Asian cities from historical and comparative perspectives. The primary purpose of this course is to introduce students to multiple disciplinary approaches to Asia’s urban environments and their dynamic relationships to other parts of the world. The course is an introduction to a wide-ranging analysis of Asian cities through the lens of art, architecture, literature, film, technology, geography, gender, and class.
Housing: an International Survey (UC Berkeley, Spring 2012/2013)
This course is an upper-level undergraduate survey course that uses housing as a vantage point for studying broader social and economic processes. Beginning with readings of David Harvey, Peter Hall, and Arturo Escobar, the course illuminates housing as program, policy, and human right. Through the lens of development, poverty, urbanization, migration, and race/gender inequality, the course is organized based on a broad array of themes around housing, including residential segregation, public housing and slum clearance, squatter settlements, subprime markets, gentrification, and citizenship.
Histories of City Planning (UC Berkeley, Fall 2016)
This course is a graduate-level course on histories of city planning and urbanism across the globe, with case studies ranging from ancient Greek city states and medieval European cities to industrializing American cities and Southeast Asian cities after decolonization. Using a trans-regional and cross-historical framework, the course focuses on critical engagements with colonialism, developmentalism, and neoliberal urbanism in the study of cities. Students are assigned readings of Henri Pirenne, Friedrich Engels, Marshall Berman, Lewis Mumford, and Henri Lefebvre to critically question the meaning and purpose of planning in different political and economic contexts.
Global History of Architectural Materials
Modern edifices built of red brick were once considered the symbol of modernity in early twentieth-century East Asian cities, whereas concrete buildings and bridges were seen as the embodiment of economic growth in the mid-twentieth century. New materials have also recently emerged in response to different social needs and concerns such as sustainability. This course examines architectural materials, from brick and glass to concrete and paper, as a vantage point for understanding a cross-cultural history of architecture and urbanism. Multiple forces ranging from colonial enterprise to rapid urbanization have influenced the introduction of new architectural materials. Not only do building materials reveal architectural forms and norms of the time, they also convey affective ties that people attach to the built environment. By focusing on important historical moments in which new building materials came into production and circulation, as well as local responses to the new materials, this course introduces students to social meanings of architectural materials from a global perspective.
Aesthetics and Politics of Ruins
This interdisciplinary course examines "ruin" in Asia, with an emphasis on its role in the constitution of contemporary architecture and urbanism over the course of the 20th century. Ruins do not simply refer to monumental relics, but also indicate the material and affective dimensions of urban transformation. The course illuminates several historical junctures which have caused ruination to the built environment: colonial urbanism, wars, earthquakes, military occupation, postwar reconstruction, urban speculation, and heritage politics. Organized thematically, the course will deal with various case studies of ruined landscapes in East Asia, ranging from the demolition of Russian architectural heritage in the Chinese city of Dalian to the Tohoku area after the 2011 East Japan Earthquake.
Architecture, Empire, and the Movement of Things
With a particular focus on empire, this course examines the transregional movement of people and things in the constitution of modern architecture. The nineteenth-century expansion of the capitalist mode of production, or what we commonly refer to as colonialism, opened up new routes through which architectural and urban forms were moved around by colonial settlers, building contractors, architects, and planners. Colonial networks were further forged across metropole and colony, circulating materials and ideas across regions and contributing to the emergence of hybrid architecture in both places. Throughout the course, students will learn multifaceted aspects of colonial urbanism by analyzing various “new" building types which emerged in the age of empire, ranging from bungalow and railway station to bank and factory, and asking their legacies and meanings in the postcolonial present.