Shanghai and Globalization

The main aim of this course is to facilitate a rich engagement with Shanghai. The underlying premise is that the city is a critical site of globalization. Rather than view globalization as an external force acting on Shanghai, this course aims instead to show how globalization is inherent in the city and that an investigation of the distinctive features of Shanghai -- from the abandoned factories now revived as creative clusters, to the lilong architecture, luxury malls and street peddlers -- sheds light on both the past and future of globalizaton.

The course begins by exploring Shanghai as a global city. Shanghai sees itself as a city of the future. This perceived destiny is deeply influenced by history. Can Shanghai reanimate the cosmopolitanism of its past? Will its attempts to foster a culture of creativity succeed? Can it, as cities like New York or London have done before, produce an 'urban golden age' that is vibrant and innovative enough to influence the rest of the world.

From an examination of Shanghai's global position we will zoom in and reflect upon relations closer to home.

We will examine the city:
First, as a trading partner and model of development for India. From the popularity of Korean pop stars to the success of Indian software engineers Shanghai is heavily influenced by its place within Asia. In light of their vast population and growing economic strength, how is the concurrent rise and interrelations between Asia's giant neighbors shaping contemporary globalization?

Second, as an important zone of economic opportunity within the larger Chinese world. The rise of Shanghai is inconceivable without the global business networks of Taiwanese, Hong Kong and Chinese American entrepreneurs. What role does the Chinese diaspora play in the development of the mainland? How does this ethnic web of commercial activity challenge traditional notions about the workings of global capitalism?

Third, as a magnet for migration within China. Historically Shanghai was a city of sojourners. Today it is at the center of the most rapid and intense process of urbanization the world has ever seen. What effects does this influx of people have on the city? And what role can these migrants – many of them poor – play within the larger processes of globalization?

In the last weeks we will return to Shanghai's ambitions for the future. We will explore the city's spectacular plans as well as the possibilities for unanticipated, unintended change.

The course is designed in layers – each more abstract than the next. The first, which is rooted in field trips and an intensive research project, will give students a street level empirical knowledge of the city.

The second , which consists of classroom lectures will embed this concrete knowledge in larger debates about topics such as Shanghai's haipai culture, the history of migration, the current floating population and the development of Pudong.

The final and most abstract layer involves close textual readings and seminar discussions aimed at introducing students to fundamental issues such as innovation and the city, global culture and the notion Westernization, the waves of creative destruction and tensions between 'top down' forces and those that arise from the 'bottom up'.

Introduction: Shanghai: Global City

Creating the City of Tomorrow?
Thomas J Campanella. “Reclaiming Shanghai” in The Concrete Dragon.
Xiangming Chen. “The Urban Laboratory” in The Endless City.
Background Discussion: Cities and Creativity (Jane Jacobs, Peter Hall, Richard Florida)

Field Trip: Suzhou Creek

Back to the Future
Marie-Claire Bergere, “Shanghai's Urban Development: A Remake? in Shanghai: Architecture and Urbanism for Modern China.
Ackbar Abbas, “Cosmopolitan Descriptions: Shanghai and Hong Kong” in Creative Industries.
Jeff Wasserstrom, “Introduction” in Global Shanghai, 1850-2010.Background Discussion: Cities and Creativity cont..

Haipai and Cosmopolitanism
Lynn Pan, “Prologue” and “Origins of an Urban Style” in Shanghai Style: Art and Design Between the Wars.
Leo Ou-fan Lee, “Remapping Shanghai” in Shanghai Modern: The Flowering of a New Urban Culture in China, 1930-1945.
Hanchao Lu, “Conclusion” in Beyond Neon Lights: Everyday Shanghai in the Early Twentieth Century
Kwame Anthony Appiah, “The Case for Contamination” New York Times, January 1 2006
Background Discussion: Cities and Creativity cont..

Field Trip: Tianzifang & Xintiandi

Shanghai in Asia: The China Model vs. The India Model
Yasheng Huang, “Can India Overtake China?” in Foreign Policy, July-August 2003.
Fareed Zakaria, Future of Freedom, (Excerpts)
Anna Greenspan, “The Great Reverse Part 3,” Yale Global, September 8, 2004.
Background Discussion: Globalization and Westernization: (Karl Marx and Max Weber)

Shanghai and The Chinese Diaspora
Constance Lever-Tracy, David Fu-Keung Ip, and Noel Tracy, The Chinese Diaspora and Mainland China: An Emerging Economic Synergy, (Excerpts).
Joel Kotkin, “Introduction” and “The Spaceman have Landed” in Tribes: How Race, Religion and Identity Determine Success in the New Global Economy.
Yasheng Huang, “Just How Capitalist is China?” MIT Sloane Research Paper.
Background Discussion: Globalization and Westernization cont....

Field Trip: Hongkou Distict

Shanghai in China: A City of Migrants
Frederick Wakeman Jr. and Wen Hsin Yeh, “Introduction” in Shanghai Sojourners.
Hanchao Lu, “In Search of an Urban Identity” in Beyond Neon Lights: Everyday Shanghai in the Early Twentieth Century.
William McNeill, “Cities and their Consequences,” The American Interest, Vol 2 No 4 (March/April 2007).
Background Discussion: Entrepreneurs and Creative Destruction (Joseph Schumpeter)

Entrepreneurship and the Poor
Hart, K. 1973. “Informal Income Opportunities and Urban Employment in Ghana”, The Journal of
Modern African Studies, Vol. 11, No. 1, pp. 61-89.
Geetam Tiwari, “Informality and its Discontents” in Endless City.
Christensen, Craig and Hall, “The Great Disruption” in Foreign Affairs. March/April 2001.
Background Discussion: Entrepreneurs and Creative Destruction cont..

Planning the Future
Seng Kuan, “Images of the Metropolis: Three Historical Views of Shanghai,” in Shanghai: Architecture and Urbanism for Modern China.
Kerrie Macpherson, "The Head of the Dragon: The Pudong New Area and Shanghai's Urban Development," Planning Perspectives, Vol. 9, No.1 (Jan).
Kerrie Macpherson, "Designing China's Urban Future: The Greater Shanghai Plan 1927-37," Planning Perspectives, Vol. 5, No. 1 (Jan)
Background Discussion: Top Down vs Bottom up (Jane Jacobs, Manuel Delanda)

Field Trip: World Expo site

Conclusion: Can the future be planned?