Cancelled Modern culture: Urban Culture and Cultural Theory

Course content

This course establishes the basic principles for a humanities approach to the city. The course explores seminal texts from the tradition of 20th-century cultural theory in order to outline key concepts that allow us to understand the city as urbanity, i.e. as a complex cultural phenomenon.

A variety of discourses contribute to this project;  architectural and literary studies as well sociological and philosophical texts will be discussed via readings of major theoretical studies by Roland Barthes and many others. Steen Eiler Rasmussen, Jan Gehl, Henning Bech et al. invite us into the realm of “Perception and lifeworld – Copenhagen”. Georges, Perec, Michel de Certeau and Sophie Calle explore “Movements and text – Paris. Adding a social dimension, Siegfried Kracauer and Walter Benjamin elaborate urban culture as “Spaces and memory – Berlin”.

Copenhagen, Paris and Berlin provide materials from the history of the European metropolis from 1850 to the present. In addition, various experiences and bodily approaches to urban culture enable us to develop the analytic dimension of studies in urban culture. In this way, the course outlines the foundations of an interdisciplinary approach to modern urbanity.

The course implies a lecture and a seminar (in smaller groups) every week. The seminar hours provide time for student presentations that, in turn, generate material for the written synopsis to be handed in for the oral exam taking place at the end of the semester.

Students at the University of Copenhagen may pass this course as part of the “KANDIDATTILVALG URBAN CULTURE” which also includes Martin Zerlang’s course on Urban cultural history.




Dette kursus om bykultur og kulturteori udbydes på engelsk, da det indgår i den europæiske masteruddannelse “4cities – Unica Euromaster of Urban Studies – Erasmus Mundus Master Course” (se

Et internationalt hold på 30 studerende kommer til København i efterårssemestret. Både forelæsning og seminartimer foregår i grupper med både internationale og KU-studerende. Det giver masser af muligheder for faglig og kulturel udveksling mellem udenlandske og danske studerende. Og det giver dansksprogede studerende mulighed for at få trænet det akademiske engelsk.

Eksamen kan aflægges på både engelsk og dansk.

Kurset fokuserer på bykultur, der forstås som feltet for menneskers sociale og kulturelle samliv og refleksion under urbane forhold. Kurset rummer både et alment kulturvidenskabeligt perspektiv og en urbankulturel konkretisering.

Kurset indgår i kandidattilvalget ”Urban culture” – sammen med Martin Zerlangs kursus om urban kulturhistorie.


Modern Culture

"The course, which is taught in English, features both one lecture and one seminar every week."




Type of assessment
All aids allowed
Censorship form
No external censorship
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 30
  • Preparation
  • 264
  • Seminar
  • 42
  • Exam
  • 84
  • English
  • 420