Humanities 203 (4674 +4675-4680)
Spring 2006


Architectural and Cinematic Spaces

Buildings and films can tell many stories about our identity as members of specific communities in time and place. This course will take us around the world, from the Forbidden City in Beijing to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, from the Forum Romanum in Rome to the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto. Each week will focus on a different location and examine how architecture and cinema have defined the site’s history and memory. We will ask how one excavates the multiple layers of material history, cultural symbolism, and subjective memory in architectural and cinematic spaces. We will focus on the way places and films expose or cover up alternative narratives, and will investigate how architects and filmmakers tease out the stories hidden in structures and images. We will look at how architects and filmmakers produce various orders of space and time. And we shall examine what it means to know those structures as premodern, modern, or postmodern, as expressions of a universal or particular viewpoint, or as the manifestations of colonizer or colonized. For the final assignment, students will use a creative project to relate their own stories and insights about being in time and space.





Hours:  LECTURES: Tuesdays and Wednesdays 2:30 - 4:20
  SECTIONS: Thursdays and Fridays (depending on specific section schedules)

Classroom:  Kane Hall 110




course website:

NOTE: Students registered for this course have the option of registering, separately, for the writing course ENGL 197C (for schedule, see

  email sections office hours
Yomi Braester regular lectures C-504 Padelford  
Vikram Prakash regular lectures Gould 208  
Zhuoyi Wang


AB ( 4676 ) Th 230-320 DEN 217
AE ( 4679 ) F 230-320 MGH 254
Petia Parpoulova-Rueckert

AC (4677 )Th 330-420 EE1 045
AD (4678 ) F 230-320 MGH 295

Jayde Roberts


AA (4675) Th 230-320 DEN 310
AF (4680) Th 330-420 MGH 254


1. Carefully read the weekly reading assignments
2. Complete the following projects:
   a. Homeless spaces field trip – once independently (1A), once with your section (1B)
   b. Field trip of your choice – once to familiarize yourself (2A), once after background research (2B)
   c. Final film project – length = 6 min. exactly
3. Complete writing assignments:
   Students will be graded on a final project, which will consist of making a series of short films
   (a simple digital camera with primitive film capability will do) that will demonstrate two alternative
   readings of a particular space.

Students are very strongly advised to attend all lectures, discussion sections, and the scheduled in-class screenings.


Grading Components

Diary       5
Field trip #1     20
Field trip #2     20
Final project proposal     10
Final film     30
Participation     15
Total   100


- The course adheres to UW’s rules on plagiarism. Any form of cheating will be reported to the Provost's office.
- Students with disabilities are encouraged to inform the instructor or TA, who will do their best to provide the relevant accommodations.


Class Schedule (SUBJECT TO CHANGE; if you miss a class meeting, check here for updates!)

  WEEK 1
Tuesday, 3/28 Introduction (1)
Wednesday, 3/29 Introduction (2)
  Read for today: de Certeau, "Walking in the City" on e-reserve
  WEEK 2
Tuesday, 4/4 SCREENING

The Belly of an Architect

Wednesday, 4/5 Rome as a palimpsest; Architecture and the body
  Read for today: David Bass, "Insiders and Outsiders" on e-reserve
  WEEK 3
Tuesday, 4/11 SCREENING

My Architect

Wednesday, 4/12 Hero worship; modernism and the third world
  Read for today: "Interview with Louis Kahn"; Situationist International selections; Barthes, "The Eiffel Tower" on e-reserve
  WEEK 4
Tuesday, 4/18 SCREENING


Wednesday, 4/19 Kyoto and shogunate architecture; the architecture of the mind
  Read for today: "Kyoto"; Foucault, "Of Other Spaces" on e-reserve
  WEEK 5
Tuesday, 4/25 SCREENING

Big Boss's Funeral

Wednesday, 4/26 The Forbidden City; advertisement space
  Read for today: Jian Fei Zhu, "A Celestial Battlefield"; Dai Jinhua, "Invisible Writing"; Moholy-Nagy, "Painting Photography Film" on e-reserve
  WEEK 6
Tuesday, 5/2 SCREENING


Wednesday, 5/3 Guest lecture TBA
  WEEK 7
Tuesday, 5/9 SCREENING

Divine Intervention

Wednesday, 5/10 The geography of occupation
  Read for today: Segal and Weizman, A Civilian Occupation, chapters 5, 9 on e-reserve
  WEEK 8
Tuesday, 5/16 SCREENING Parineeta
Wednesday, 5/17 Calcutta as pastiche
  Read for today: Swati Chattopadhyay, "The Other Face of Primitive Accumulation" on e-reserve
  WEEK 9
Tuesday, 5/23 SCREENING In the Mood for Love
Wednesday, 5/24 Places of nostalgia
  Read for today: Abbas, Hong Kong, Culture of Disappearance, chapters 3-4 on e-reserve
  WEEK 10
Tuesday, 5/30 Student projects overview
Wednesday, 5/31 Student projects overview