Cities of Hope and Despair Why have some cities outlasted empires and nation states while others exist on the edge of marginality and loss? In this course, we will use historical and contemporary examples to explore the rise and fall of urban centers around the world. What is the meaning of urbanity across cultures? What different purposes do cities serve? What challenges confront them, from climate change to gang warfare to new forms of human precarity? In this course we will also investigate how processes like colonialism, imperialism, and global migration shape the evolution of cities and how they exist in our imaginaries.