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First-Year Seminar (101-6-23)


Cities: Six Millennia and Counting


Roberto Rosado Ramirez
1810 Hinman Ave.
I am an anthropological archaeologist specializing in the study of pre-Columbian Maya culture (AD 300-1550) of Mesoamerica. I started my career in archaeology in Mexico, and then moved to the USA to continue my education. I received my PhD from the department of anthropology at Northwestern University. My teaching experience includes courses in archaeology, anthropology, and heritage studies. I have participated in and directed archaeological excavations in Mexico, Belize, and the southeastern United States. My research examines how humans can regenerate community life amidst ruined cities in the aftermath of political collapse and environmental crises. Beyond academics, I enjoy traveling, being outside, and reading Latin American literature.

Meeting Info

Allison Residential Comm 1021: Tues, Thurs 3:30PM - 4:50PM

Overview of class

In this first-year seminar you will develop and refine your critical thinking and writing skills. You will do so by reading and writing about a quintessential human space: the city. Today, more than half of the world's population lives in urban areas. The growth of modern cities suggests that humans thrive in urban environments. Cities, however, are a relatively recent phenomenon in history. Further, cities are not essential for human survival. Then, why do cities dominate the modern world? Drawing broadly on scholarship in anthropology and other disciplines, we will read about the characteristics of urban life in human history, from the first experiments with urbanization 6,000 years ago to contemporary global cities. This course is not intended to be an introduction to anthropology or to urban studies. This seminar will be a workshop in which you will be introduced to college-level modes of thinking, writing, and arguing through reading and writing about cities.

Teaching Method

Lecture and discussion

Evaluation Method

Class participation, writing exercises, short papers, and final project

Class Materials (Required)

All required readings will be available on Canvas

Class Attributes

WCAS First-Year Seminar

Enrollment Requirements

Enrollment Requirements: Reserved for First Year & Sophomore only