Spring 2022 - HIST 372 D100

City Life (4)

Class Number: 4589

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 10 – Apr 11, 2022: Tue, 11:30 a.m.–2:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units, including six units of lower division history or enrollment in the Urban Studies Certificate program.



Examines the experience of city life in various global settings with an emphasis on the social, cultural, and political development of urban environments.


Urbanisation has played a key role in shaping modern society, culture and politics.  The aim of this course is to examine, from a historical and contemporary perspective, what it means to live in a city. We will consider the how and why of urban growth and development, the social and cultural life of cities, and the way different groups sought to shape the city in their image, or to carve out spaces of resistance. To get at these questions, we will analyse the economic impulses, migratory patterns, power dynamics of gender, class, and race, and environmental consequences underlying the formation of cities. Our discussions will also focus on how people have conceptualised and thought about the cultural meaning of cities in different geographical and temporal settings. 

We will also pay particular attention to the unique history of the city we live in, addressing issues specific to Vancouver and its region, both past and present. In collaboration with CityStudio, students will develop a public history project that reflects on why knowing the history of where we live is essential in building more open and inclusive cities in the present and for the future.   

Please note that this is a preliminary outline. Course content is subject to change and a definitive syllabus will be distributed at the start of the course. 


  • Discussion and presentations 20%
  • Research proposal 10%
  • Public history project 35%
  • Reflection paper 35%



Students will read scholarly articles examining the history of cities from a range of perspectives related to course themes. These will be made available online.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in spring 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place.  Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the spring 2022 term.