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THE ART OF THE MEGACITY

Why should I take this Trinity Elective?

This elective explores how works of art — including literature, drama, music, film, visual art, and online/digital media — can inform us about the world’s megacities, which are defined as urban areas with over 10 million people. We will also ask whether megacities themselves can be considered works of art, and how experiences of a city can be read as a type of performance. We are reaching across disciplines and faculties to widen students’ horizons in both global and artistic dimensions, using this opportunity to think about how we might contribute ourselves to the city of the future. 2019-20 cities include Moscow, Tokyo, Cairo, Mexico City, Lagos, New York, Shanghai, and Mumbai. This module is led by the Creative Arts Practice research theme. It is designed/coordinated by Dr Nicholas Johnson (School of Creative Arts) and will be team-taught.

What will I learn?

  • For students coming from the STEM areas, this module introduces notions of art, design, and creative expression as meaningful data points in making cities work, helping to show how decisions about civil engineering and urban technologies are interconnected with society.
  • For students in the Arts and Humanities, the elective shows the degree to which art reflects its place as well as its time, and highlights some of the real-world implications that can be mined from artworks and cultural artefacts.
  • For students from the Health Sciences, this elective shows how the interaction of creativity, design thinking, and public artworks can affect wellness in the world’s megacities, and how urbanization has changed the nature of being human.

What will I do?

  • Attend weekly seminars with experts in cities as well as experts in the creative arts. Engage with a variety of books, films, songs, and web resources each week.
  • View online content about each city, including interviews with fellow students who grew up or lived in the city in question.
  • Explore and write about the histories, contexts, or visuals of cities or artworks of your own choosing.
  • Work with a small group to build a presentation about an artwork/megacity relation that you found.

How will this be delivered?

  • This is a course with blended learning, including the following:
    • online content exploring the cities/artworks under discussion (2 hours/week)
    • class discussion/seminar (2 hours/week)
  • Additional time outside of class spent reading assigned novels, watching cinema, and listening to music will be essential to success on the course.

How will this be assessed?

  • Formative Assessment: Weekly contributions to the class knowledge base about that week’s topic, either in class orally or in online discussion forums.
  • Summative Assessment 1 (40%): A ten-minute presentation (created by a 4 to 5 person group) for the public about a megacity/artwork relation NOT studied on the syllabus, expressed either through a creative response or in an academic-style analytic presentation.
  • Summative Assessment 2 (60%): Short reflection (solo authored) about how a student’s individual work on this particular city/artwork presentation (and the course overall) altered their perspective; 1000-word written submission.

Who can take this Trinity Elective?

  • Any student eligible to take a Trinity Elective can select this Trinity Elective.

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