What is globalization? How did the world come to know about itself? How did premodern cities deal with apparently modern phenomena such as mass migration, racism and global capitalism? We will answer these and other questions by exploring the past and present of globalization from the three cultural hubs of Rome, Florence and Venice. Situated between East and West and hosting several international organizations (from religious institutions to commercial networks), Italy is a privileged observatory from which to study globalization and its long history. Starting with an overview of the different conceptions of city formulated in ancient and medieval Europe, the course will then trace the history of urban development in Italy from the Renaissance to modern times and examine its cities’ connections with the wider world. Special attention will be devoted to Italy’s relations with America and the Atlantic world as well as with the Mediterranean to the Far East (China and Japan). Along with reading some classic texts of the Italian and Western canon (from Machiavelli to Shakespeare), the course will also examine a wide range of audio-visual material and give students the opportunity to visit several of the museums and libraries of the UC Berkeley campus (Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley Museum of Anthropology, Bancroft Library) and to examine a wide range of sources (texts, maps, artistic and scientific objects).
Consistent preparation, regular attendance and participation, short oral presentation, quizzes, final paper.
Texts: to be announced.
Prerequisites: None. This course is taught in Italian.