Prof. Joseba Zulaika
Office: Center for Basque Studies (GL 281)
http://basque.unr.edu Course Goals
What strategies should cities mobilize to regain economic prosperity after the demise of their old industrial bases? What is the role of arts, architecture, museums and cultural industries in regenerating urban centers? What are the defining features of the new “global postmodern” space in which cities have to compete? What is meant by neologisms such as the “disneyfication,” the “mcdonaldization,” and the “las vegasing” of society? Why has architecture become such a dominant artistic form in the 1990s, and is this sustainable after the September 11 events? What are the positive as well as negative consequences of the globalization model imposed by the Guggenheim for the museum as a cultural institution? These are some of the questions we will be grappling with during this seminar course.
The approach of the course is multidisciplinary: cultural studies, anthropology, urbanism and architecture, museum and popular culture. These fields will all be brought to bear for contextualizing the creation, decline and regeneration of cities. The student must read the literature perceptively, get an understanding of the relevant issues, and develop a perspective from where to view and judge the contemporary cultural and political transformations. We will also look comparatively at other American and European cities with similar problems of urban regeneration.
Additional work to be done by graduate students:
Weighting of assignments:
Presentation and organization of the seminar course.
“Miracle in Bilbao”
Herbert Muschamp, “The Miracle in Bilbao,” New York Times Magazine, Sept. 7, 1997, pp.56-59, 72, 82.
Joseba Zulaika, “Krens’s Taj Mahal: The Guggenheim’s Global Love Museum,” Discourse, 23.1:100-118.
ABC Nightline video
The seminar will be devoted to the impact of the Guggenheim Museum on the international image of Bilbao and to the interaction of local and global cultures in the creation of an emblematic building. Will also examine the role of the Media in defining and promoting the new architecture and the new global museum.
“Tough City/Soft City: Bilbao as Ruin, Architecture and Allegory”
Joseba Zulaika, “Tough Beauty: Bilbao as Ruin, Architecture and Allegory.”
Jon Bird, “Dystopia on the Thames.” In J. Bird, et al., Mapping the Futures, Routledge, 1993.
Sheldon Waldrep, “Monuments to Walt.” In The Disney Project, Inside the Mouse: Work and Play at Disney World, Duke University Press, Durham, 1995.
Paul Goldberger, “The Politics of Building,” The New Yorker, Oct. 21, 1997.
“That Old Bilbao Moon”
Sharon Zukin, “Disney World: The Power of Façade/ The Façade of Power.” In her Landscapes of Power: From Detroit to Disney World, University of California Press, Berkeley, 1991.
We will discuss Gehry’s view of Bilbao as a “tough city” characterized by its “aesthetics of reality,” as opposed to Disney’s aesthetics. At the same time we will consider Bilbao officials’ attempts at making of Bilbao a “soft city.” Our goal is to become aware of the “politics of building” being played out in Bilbao with Gehry’s grand architecture.
“Industrialization, Post-Industrialization and Globalization”
Max Weber, letter to his mother from Bilbao.
Eduardo Glas, “General Economic Development” (Chapter 3 of his Bilbao’s Modern Business Elite, Univ. of Nevada, Reno, 1997).
Frederick Buell, “The Three Worlds” (Chapter 1 of his National Culture and the New Global System, The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 1994).
Prof. Joseba Gabilondo will critically review Hardt and Negri’s Empire (Harvard University Press, 2000).
Erik Wolf, “Industrial Revolution” and “The New Laborers” (Chapters 9 and 12 of his Europe and the People Without History, Univ. of California Press, Berkeley, 1982).
Raymond Williams, “Country and City” and “Pastoral and Counter-Pastoral” (Chapters 1 and 3 of his The Country and the City, Oxford Univ. Press, New York, 1973).
In this seminar we will get introduced to a global view of economic and cultural history, and we will situate Bilbao and its Guggenheim Museum within that history. We will raise the initial questions as to the dilemmas, complicities, challenges and opportunities presented by a globalized world to traditional cultures and postindustrial economies. We will recognize the necessities of urban and economic renewal within this newly globalized world. Attention will be paid to the symbiotic relationship between the English industrial revolution and Bilbao, as well as between Bilbao on its Basque hinterland.
The Necessity of Ruins: The Titanic, Decadent Venice, and the Guggenheim and Bilbao Legacies
Walter Benjamin, “Theses on the Philosophy of History.” In his Illuminations, Harcourt, Brace and World, Inc., New York, 1968.
Susan Buck-Morss, “Historical Nature: Ruin.” In her The Dialectics of Seeing: Walter Benjamin and the Arcades Project, The MIT Press, Cambridge, 1989.
Justin Crumbaugh, “An aesthetics of Industrial Ruins in Bilbao: Calparsoro’s Leap into the Void (Salto al vacío) and the Guggenheim Bilbao Museoa.”
H.R. Lottman, “Venice as a Challenge.” In Lottman, How Cities Are Saved, Universe Books, 1976.
VIDEOS on Bilbao’s ruins
Sketches from the films Death in Venice and Leap into the Void.
John Davis, The Guggenheims: An American Epic.
We will consider Benjamin’s view of history as decay and ruin as a critical counterpoint to the modern sense of history as endless progress. We will focus on Bilbao’s (and the Guggenheim’s) wealth in ruins and establish the conceptual links between ruins and allegories. We will be asking ourselves: in which sense are ruins “necessary”?
Urban Renewal as Project, Gentrification, and Ideology
Carl Schorske, “The Idea of the City in European Thought.” In Sylvia Fleiss (ed.), Urbanism in World Perspective: A Reader, Thomas Y. Cromwell Co., New York, 1968.
Franco Bianchini, “Remaking European Cities: The Role of Cultural Policies.” In Cultural Policy and Urban Regeneration: The West European Experience, Bianchini and Parkinson, eds., Manchester Univ. Press, Manchester, 1993.
Arantxa Rodriguez, “Planning the Revitalization of an Old Industrial City: Urban Policy Innovations in Metropolitan Bilbao.” In Christophe Demazière and Patricia Wilson, eds., Local Economic Development in Europe and the Americas, Mansell, London, 1996.
“La batalla del Euskalduna”
Neil Smith, The New Urban Frontier: Gentrification and the Revanchist City.
We will examine the context and meaning of the new discourse of urban renewal, review the implications of cultural policies for economic regeneration, dwell on the interrelationship between urban renewal and image creation, insist on the links between the politics of building and the politics of national identity, discuss the dilemmas implicit to urban policy development, and distinguish between the practical and ideological dimensions of the discourse.
“Learning from Las Vegas”
Robert Venturi, Denise S. Brown and Steven Izenour, Learning from Las Vegas, MIT Press, Cambridge, 1977, pp. 1-72.
Pearson, “Theme Sprawl,” Architectural Record, November 2000.
Charles Freund, “Muerte a Las Vegas.”
Fredrik Jameson, “Postmodernism, or The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism,” New Left Review, July-August 1984.