HMKK13001U Modern culture/4-Cities: Urban Culture and Cultural Theory

Volume 2024/2025

Modern Culture


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 Kristin Veel's course on Urban cultural history.





See the semester shelf at the department library: Institutbiblioteket for IKK, 


"The course, which is taught in English, features both one lecture and one seminar every week."
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 20
  • Preparation
  • 296
  • Seminar
  • 20
  • Exam
  • 84
  • Total
  • 420
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
Type of assessment
Exam registration requirements
All aids allowed
Censorship form
No external censorship