The Heart of Capitalism: Amsterdam, London, New York

Course code:
Period 2+3
Language of tuition:
Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen
prof. dr. C.A. Davids
prof. dr. C.A. Davids
prof. dr. C.A. Davids
Teaching method(s):

Course objective

Learning to carry out research on a case-study on a limited scale
largely independently and according to schedule; learning to report
effectively on research results both orally and in writing; learning to
interpret literature and source materials within the context of a larger
debate/theory in urban studies and economic and social history; learning
to take a well-argued position in a scholarly debate.

Course content

Capitalism has a heart, at least in an economic and geographical sense.
The heart of capitalism moves in the course of time. Between the late
18th century and the early 21th century it shifted from Amsterdam to
London to New York. This course deals with the role of Amsterdam,
London and New york in the rise of capitalism and the impact of their
economic fortunes on the social, cultural and spatial development of the
city. Our framework will be the new historiography of capitalism and
the on-going debates on ‘global’ and ‘creative’ cities.

After this course you understand the long-term history of capitalism,
you understand the relationship between large-scale economic changes and
the social hierarchy, social tensions, creativity, consumer culture and
spatial order in global cities, you are familiar with theoretical
concepts and methodologies to study capitalism and urban developments.
And you also learn something about the outlines of the histories of
Amsterdam, London and New York

Form of tuition

Seminar, including oral presentations, discussions, written essay.

Type of assessment

Oral presentations (25%), active participation in discussions in class
(10%), written essay (65%)

Course reading

Readings assigned by teacher (to be announced via Canvas site),
literature and sources on case studies proposed by students themselves.

Entry requirements

Basic knowledge of 19th and 20th century history

Target audience

Students of minor American Studies; students of minor Amsterdam Urban
History ; students of BA Economie en Bedrijfseconomie; students of BA
International Business Administration; foreign exchange students


Class attendance mandatory

© Copyright VU University Amsterdam
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