Readings & Syllabus

For details see detailed Syllabus on web site for each individual semester in menu

Required Texts:

1. Mike Davis, Planet of Slums, Verso 2006
2. Mike Davis & Daniel Bertrand Monk, eds. Evil Paradises: Dreamworlds of Neoliberalism. New Press 2007 
3. Tsung-Yi Michelle Huang, Walking Between Slums & Skyscrapers: Illusions of Open Space in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Shanghai.  Hong Kong University Press 2004 (sections)
4. Additional articles: see detailed syllabus

From: The Challenge of Slums: Global Report on Human Settlements, United Nations Human Settlements Programme, 2003 (London, Earthscan Pubs)

In 2001, 924 million people, or 31.6 per cent of the world’s urban population, lived in slums. The majority of them were in the developing regions, accounting for 43 per cent of the urban population, in contrast to 6 per cent in more developed regions. … It is almost certain that slum dwellers increased substantially during the 1990s. It is further projected that in the next 30 years, the global number of slum dwellers will increase to about 2 billion, if no firm and concrete action is taken.


From: Evil Paradises: Dreamworlds of Neoliberalism, eds. Davis & Monk, New Press 2007

If the iron-and-glass arcades of the 1850s were the enchanted forests of early consumer capitalism, today’s luxury-themed environments—including city-sized supermalls, artificial island suburbs, and faux downtown “lifestyle centers”—function as alternative universes for privileged forms of human life. On a planet where more than 2 billion people subsist on two dollars or less a day, these dreamworlds enflame desires—for infinite consumption, total social exclusion and physical security, and architectural monumentality—that are clearly incompatible with the ecological and moral survival of humanity.