An idea for how to proceed now that we've chosen "Cities" as our topic. You can add to the list of possible topics, but if you're particuarly interested in a topic and want to start working on it, turn it into a link (surround the words with double square brackets--[[ and then click on the red link) to describe what you want to do. That way, we can get concrete ideas of what topics we're actually going to discuss.

You can add to the list by editing this page, or you can change and edit the pages already listed.

Cities Proposals Edit

Here's a list of ideas generated around the theme of Cities from past proposals (initially compiled by Kevin Fogg). As we've discussed, Cities is always a contender!

  • Sustainability / Urban Planning
    • does the shape of the built environment influence how we use resources?
    • does it make city-planning sense to build satellite communities with grocery stores/drug stores/entertainment/etc outside larger cities?
    • how have other cities/communities responded to the challenge of growing populations and dwindling resources?
      • Jared Diamond's new book "Collapse"
    • How could Durham become more sustainable?
    • environmental impact of cities
      • "heat islands"
      • ozone depletion
      • Urban Ecology:
  • Cities and City-states
    • what does it mean to be a "citizen"?
  • Cities and Ideology
    • Rome, Athens, Jerusalem, NYC, Paris
  • Cities as real and imagined communities
  • Fictional cities and historical cities
  • Cities of tomorrow
  • Virtual Communities/Interaction
    • how has the web changed the way people interact, find jobs, partners, appliances
    • Are virtual communities becoming more important than actual communities?
    • a substitution of all the human activities:
      • frindship - go to an internet caffe talk to 'christina18'
      • love - date a beauty from the States
      • compassion - press a button and send 9.99$ to the poor in Africa
      • sex - watch a porno movie
      • revenge - shoot osama bin laden cartoon.
      • And what about here and now (michal)
    • Do people put more energy into web-based interactions than geographically-based interactions - do you e-mail more than you talk to your neighbours?
      • This reminds me a lot of Kylie's seminar last year about integrity and the different ways people act in online communities than in "real life" communities. I think there could be a really interesting discussion at a symposium about the different behavioral norms in online communities, and the way that people act out their real life aggression on faceless--and therefore in some ways fictional--people on the internet. (-jacob)
    • Massively Multiplayer Online Role-playing Games (MMORPG)
  • Non-human cities
    • fungus-farming ants
    • bee dances
    • colonial bryozoans
    • ecological communities
    • coral
  • Comparative cities vs. homogenization of cities
  • The importance of cities in a globalized world and the connection to global power and the decentralization of power
  • Migration
    • regional, national, international
    • cities as migration magnets
  • "International" Cities
    • Large = International / Small = Stereotypically domestic?
  • City skylines
    • how architecture and geography shape and affect imagination
    • small towns vs. big cities
  • Underground cities
  • How cities impact our lives
    • threats posed by cities
      • violence is more potent in highly concentrated populations than in rural areas
    • the promises posed by cities
  • (Re)Building cities - civil engineering
    • New Orleans
  • Stereotypes and segregation
    • do cities promote or negate stereotypes of different groups of people?
  • Urban health problems
  • Universities' relationship to the communities around them
    • Duke and Durham as a case study - we could bring in the Uni tutors and kids in the Crest Street program and the CEO of Durham's Chamber of Commerce, a Duke grad
  • The Naming and Re-naming of Cities

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