Prof. Kimberley Johnson, co-director of the Urban Studies program, will be giving a talk on the political economy of black suburbs at the Institute for African American Studies at Columbia University — Friday 4/26 at 4 PM, 758 Schermerhorn on the Columbia campus.
The Poor of New York (4/24–4/27)
Slideshow of Hurricane Sandy relief efforts in Far Rockaway, a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens that was devastated by the storm. Photos courtesy of Nicholas Sinchak, an Urban Studies major in the Columbia University School of General Studies.
Previously this academic year
Throughout the history of cinema, filmmakers have been fascinated by the city. For every glossy studio movie and big-budget fantasy franchise, there have been in equal measure films that explore the realities of urban societies — from the “city symphony” films of the 1920s to the urban hardships of Italian Neorealism to life in the Parisian streets of the French New Wave.
The French Connection (1971)
Urban Studies Film Series, Spring 2013
One of the most enduring tropes in science-fiction cinema is the fleeting glimpse of the futuristic city. Whether it's an establishing shot of sleek skyscrapers or a hellscape of ruin and urban decay, the image of the city situates the narrative in time and space, and serves as a visual metaphor for a culture's hopes, fears, anxieties, and expectations for the not-too-distant future.
This spring, the Barnard–Columbia Urban Studies Program continues its series of screenings about city life by focusing on two imaginary cities of tomorrow.
Thursday, February 14, 7–9 PM
Diana Center, Room 504
Widely considered to be the most iconic silent film of its time, Fritz Lang's Metropolis is the story of a stratified megacity where wealthy industrialists rule from stately pleasure domes while their workers toil in dangerous conditions underground. Freder, the son of the city's ruthless autocrat, meets a mysterious revolutionary named Maria and decides to abandon his privileged life to join her in a violent subterranean uprising.
BLADE RUNNER (1982)
Thursday, March 28, 7–9 PM
Diana Center, Room 504
Based on a novel by Philip K. Dick, Blade Runner is a neo-noir film starring Harrison Ford as a brooding ex-cop who reluctantly accepts a mission to hunt and kill four "replicant" androids running loose in a gritty dystopian Los Angeles. Blade Runner was deeply influential in developing the aesthetics of "retrofitted tech-noir," with a foreboding mix of ultramodern, gleaming spaces with neglected, shadowy corners — a look that director Ridley Scott once described as "extremely dark, both literally and metaphorically, with an oddly masochistic feel."
Departmental news 2011–12
"A group of students at Columbia University and Barnard College had $10,000 to play with, provided by the Learning by Giving Foundation, and all they had to do was pick one worthy cause." Prof. Tom Kamber's Urban Studies course in Social Entrepreneurship, featured in the December 12 edition of the Wall Street Journal.
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