Concordia University

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ARTH 611 - Industrialization and the Built Environment: The Right to the City

  • J - 13:00-17:00
  • Pointe St-Charles
  • INSTRUCTOR: DR. CYNTHIA HAMMOND

This course will introduce students to the distinctive industrial urbanism of Montreal's South-West. Our focus will be the vernacular architecture and cultural landscapes of Pointe-St-Charles, traditionally a working-class neighbourhood. Students will discover the domestic architecture and industrial morphology of "the Point," as well as encounter the spatial expression of class-based power dynamics, which include the complete erasure of all trace of Mohawk inhabitation. Other forms of erasure are currently taking place as well as the neighbourhood transforms through gentrification and adaptive re-use of the district's many factories and the formerly industrial Lachine Canal.

This course is part of a multi-year experiment in cross-disciplinary pedagogy and hands-on learning, called "The Right to the City." This seminar, "Industrialization and the Built Environment," has been scheduled to overlap with two other courses: Dr Edward Little's "The Neighbourhood Theatre" (Theatre Department), and Dr Kathleen Vaughan's "Studio Inquiry" (Art Education). All students will share off-site learning spaces in the Point, and will work together towards a collective event at the end of term that will include all students' research and creative outcomes. Students in all courses will connect regularly during the term and discover different methods relevant to the study of working-class history and material culture. Overall, the course is a unique opportunity to consider the city as a collaborator in the production of knowledge, and to work with residents and oral history archives as vital resources for understanding the importance of place in a time of dramatic change.

Please note that the majority of our classes will take place in Pointe-St-Charles; travel to and from the neighbourhood should be expected week to week. The journey to our off-site classroom is approximately 25 minutes from the Art History Department on public transit.

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