7-8 page long research paper on visible and invisible cities

Human communities have been theorized and imagined within the western tradition from classical antiquity through to the Renaissance.  Particular intellectual focus of this paper should be the city, conceived since Aristotle as the proper habitat of humankind, and the relationship between the family or household and the state. Include texts from utopian writings and works of political theory. In addition to literary and philosophical texts, also look at visual and cartographic representations of cities and urban spaces.

Some of the questions that the paper can address:

  • What answers have past ages evolved to the question of what the perfect human community would be like?
  • What factors have been determined as critical to the construction(and destruction) of communities?
  • In what ways have the relationships between the individual, the family, and the community or state been conceived
  • What role has the notion of the city played in political thought? 
  • In what ways has urban space been conceived and represented through visual media? 
  • In what ways have factors such as gender, class, race, and religion inflected the conceptualization and use of urban space? 
  • How has the notion of the city played out in imaginative literature- as ideal, as dystopia, and as locus for human experience and agency?
  • Use 3 or more texts and cartography for this research paper 
  1. Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities, 5-55 [chapters 1-3]
  2. Michel de Certeau, “Walking in the City”, 91-97 The City and the Senses, 1-9
  3. Aeschylus, Oresteia: Agammemnon 
  4. Aeschylus, Oresteia: Eumenides [The Furies] 
  5. Plato, Republic
  6. Aristotle, Politics, Book 1, chs. 1-7, 12-13; Book 2, chs 1-5, 9, ch. 12 (just the initial section on Athens, pp. 80-81); Book 4, ch. 11; Book 7, chs. 1-4, 7, 13-15
  7. Virgil, Aeneid
  8. Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Good and Bad Government
  9. Dante, Inferno, Canto 1; Canto 3, lines 1-21; Cantos 4-5
  10. Dante, Inferno, Canto 8, lines 66-93; Canto 10, lines 1-93; Cantos 26-27
  11. Boccaccio, Decameron, Introduction to Day 1; Day 3, story 1; Day 2, stories 4-5
  12. Boccaccio, Decameron, Day 4, story 1; Day 10, story 10; Christine de Pizan, Book of the City of Ladies [extracts]
  13. Leon Battista Alberti, The Book of the Family, Books 1 and 3 [extracts]
  14. Castiglione, The Book of the Courtier, Book 1, chs 2-28 (pp. 10-35); Book 2, chs 5- 12 (pp. 69-76); Book 3, chs. 2-21 (pp. 148-63)
  15. Leonardo Bruni, Panegyric of the City of Florence, Part I (pp. 135-49) [supplementary] Robert C. Davis, “The Geography of Gender in the Renaissance”
  16. Jacopo de’ Barbari, Map of Venice Leonardo da Vinci, Map of Imola Virginia Cox, “Mapping the World: Geography and Cartography”
  17. Machiavelli, The Prince, chs. 15-18 Machiavelli, The Mandrake Root, Acts 1-5
  18. Thomas More, Utopia
  19. Michel de Montaigne, “On Cannibals”
  20. Montaigne, “On Coaches” 
  21. Shakespeare, Julius Caesar https://shakespeare-navigators.com/JC_Navigator/index.html
  22. Caesar Must Die (Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, 2012)

I have attached some of the resources. Feel free to search online for the rest of the texts

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