Global Cities

I started teaching a class at Temple University Japan called Global Cities this term. It is a General Education course that introduces students to contemporary aspects of urbanization around the world. A few thoughts on the class and teaching methods after the jump.

Kampala, Uganda

Given that is the first time I am running this class, I have stuck quite carefully to the syllabus used at Temple’s main campus in the US. There, the course takes a regional approach, following the¬†Cities of the World¬†textbook that is widely used across undergraduate and graduate classes in this area.

The order of regions we followed this time was North America, Europe, Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East, South Asia and East Asia, skipping Southeast Asia and the CIS. I would have liked to cover both, but time was / is running short.

We end the class with two Tokyo lectures, and had the pleasure of hosting a senior analyst from the Mori Memorial Foundation for a guest lecture on the organization’s Global Power City Index. The Tokyo classes will be a short summary of some of the lectures I give for my other, dedicated class on the Japanese capital, due for an overhaul next term.

This is a GenEd class, i.e. one normally taken by first-year students to orient themselves in academia and pick up some transferable skills. I therefore put some a little more focus than usual on presentation skills, essay planning, academic source research, case study selection as well as reading some non-academic literary non-fiction. The final essay also requires a first draft.

I look forward to the students’ feedback and to fine-tuning this approach with the next iteration of the class in 2019. I am not sure I will use the textbook in its entirety as this term, and will definitely add more external readings. I hope to share some snippets of the syllabus once complete.

I will also post a few items on this blog that delve a little deeper into the issues presented in class. These include some thoughts on the sub-Saharan Africa lecture and assignment, literary non-fiction from India and others.

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