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FFAR 298 - The City After Dark

Where are you when the lights go out?

As a society, we have a tendency to organize our ideas in terms of binaries: good and bad, black and white, male and female, legal and criminal. Away from the (presumedly legitimate) activity of daylight hours, nighttime has long been associated with the dangerous or the wicked, or at the very least, those trying to avoid scrutiny. “After dark” connotes a time and a space in which “regular” interactions transform or are suspended entirely.

Threats and terrors — both criminal and supernatural — are said to hide in the dark. This course will invite us to explore how binary thinking has shaped, and limited, the way we think about the night. In an urban context, darkness might conceal danger; but it also provides the freedom to explore desires or cross boundaries. Many consider darkness something to be conquered, developing ways to monitor or control what happens when the sun goes down. We will examine the ongoing impact of night-time lore against its real-world implications.

Is access to nighttime – like access to other resources – determined by status, location, income or design? More recently, new forms of technology promote accessibility at all hours of the day or night. Montreal will serve as our primary focus for considering how urban design and culture shape social interactions. In addition to film and literary studies, texts will borrow from urban studies, human geography, sexuality studies, communications and sociology.

Semester:

  • Fall (September 7 - December 6, 2021)

Instructor:

Karen Herland

Program:

Undergraduate, 3 credits

There is no access fee for this course.

Registration Information:

Concordia students must register for this course in their MyConcordia portal. It is strongly recommended that they consult Concordia's class schedule prior to enrolling in order to be aware of any registration restrictions (see the notes). Once registered, students must then sign up for an eConcordia account to access the course material. » Visit the registration section for details.

COURSE OUTLINE

Disclaimer: Information regarding the eConcordia course found on this page may change without notice. For the most recent course list, visit the MyConcordia Portal. Furthermore, if this represents the initial offering of the course, no course outline will be available until the start of the first active semester.