Efforts in the university that fly under the ‘‘urban humanities’’ flag represent larger phenomena that have emerged across humanistic disciplines for the past two decades. Hybrid initiatives have appeared alongside broad interdisciplinary efforts highlighting challenges involved in attempting to transform the knowledge and practices within stable institutional configurations. Yet our experience, where “place” comes into analytic focus, has shown that urban humanities produce superior understandings of the structure/agency connection by a self-conscious, simultaneous engagement with social theory, human experience, and social action.
What Are the Urban Humanities?
Anthony J. Cascardi is dean of Arts and Humanities at the University of California, Berkeley, and professor of comparative literature, rhetoric, and Spanish. He is former director of the Townsend Center for the Humanities and of the Arts Research Center.
Michael Dear is professor emeritus of city and regional planning in the University of California, Berkeley, College of Environmental Design. His most recent book is Why Walls Won’t Work: Repairing the US-Mexico Divide.
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Anthony Cascardi, Michael Dear; What Are the Urban Humanities?. Boom 1 September 2016; 6 (3): 4–11. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/boom.2016.6.3.4
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