Schedule of Readings

For full details of the texts listed below, see the Bibliography page.

WeekLY TOPICS Readings
1. Introductions, Logistics, and First Impressions; Guy Debord and the Situationists: Ludo-Political Psychogeography

  • Chtcheglov, “Formulary for a New Urbanism”
  • Debord, “Introduction to a Critique of Urban Geography”
  • Debord, “Theory of the Dérive
  • Lettrist International, “Proposals for Rationally Improving the City of Paris”
  • Constant, “Another City for Another Life”
  • Wark, The Beach Beneath the Street, chapters 2 (“No More Temples of the Sun”) and 5 (“A Provisional Micro-Society”)
  • Coverley, Psychogeography, chapter 3 (“Guy Debord and the Situationist International”)
  • Self, Psychogeography, “Introduction: Walking to New York”
2. Some Urban Planning Roots: Socio-Spatial Psychogeography

  • Park and Burgess, The City, chapter 1 (“The City”)
  • Jacobs, “Looking at Cities”
  • Lynch, The Image of the City, chapters 1 (“The
    Image of the Environment” and 2 (“Three Cities”)
  • Clay, Close-Up (selections)
  • Wood, “Lynch Debord”
3. 18th- and 19th-Century London and Paris: Literary Ur-Psychogeography

  • Defoe, Journal of the Plague Year
  • Blake, “London_”_
  • Poe, “The Man of the Crowd”
  • Baudelaire, “The Parisian Prowler”
4. Weimar Wandering in Berlin and Paris, 1920–1940: Philosopho-Critical Psychogeography [Special Guest: Howard Eiland]

  • Hessel, Walking in Berlin, “The Suspect,” “I Learn a Thing or Two,” “A Bit of Work,” and “A Tour”
  • Benjamin, The Arcades Project, “Paris, the Capital of the Nineteenth Century” and “Convolutes M: The Flâneur”
  • Eiland, “Reality as Palimpsest”
  • Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life, chapter VII, “Walking in the City”
  • Ruttmann, Berlin [film]


  • Benjamin, One-Way Street
  • Woolf, Street Haunting
5. Smells, Sounds, Sickness, and Sensing the City: Hidden Patterns of Data-Driven Psychogeography

  • Tufte, Visual Explanations, chapter 2 (“The Cholera Epidemic in London, 1854”)
  • McHarg, Design with Nature (selections)
  • Wurman, Making the City Observable
  • Whyte, City (selections)
  • Westerkamp, “Soundwalking”
  • Ruttmann, Weekend (Wochenende) [film]
6. Flights of Fancy: Journeys in Imaginato-Occult Psychogeography

  • Coleridge, “Kubla Khan”
  • Shelley, “Ozymandias”
  • Sinclair, Lud Heat
  • Calvino, Invisible Cities
  • Sís, The Three Golden Keys
7. Madness and Altered States: Insanito-Psychedelic Psychogeography

  • Ginsberg, Howl and Other Poems
  • Ferlinghetti, “Bickford’s Buddha”
  • Wallace, Infinite Jest, pp. 128–135.

One of the following:

  • De Quincey, Confessions of an English Opium Eater
  • Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
8. Language, Ethnicity, and Race: Subaltern Psychogeographies

  • Du Bois, The Philadelphia Negro (selections)
  • García Lorca, Poet in New York
  • Cadogan, “Walking while Black”


  • Sayles, The Brother from Another Planet [film]
9. Gender: Feminist Psychogeography

  • Solnit, Wanderlust, chapter 14 (“Walking after Midnight: Women, Sex, and Public Space”)
  • Elkin, Flâneuse, pp. 3–93.
  • Varda, Cléo de 5 à 7 (Cléo from 5 to 7) [film]
10. Undergrounds and Underworlds: Cops and Robbers; Detectives and Voyeurs; Explorers and Stalkers; Pushers and Pickpockets; Hackneys, Hobos, Hustlers, and Hookers; Perversive-Subversive Psychogeography

  • Park and Burgess, The City, chapter 9 (“The Mind of the Hobo”)
  • Delany, Times Square Red, Times Square Blue
  • Manaugh, A Burglar’s Guide to the City,
    chapter 3 (“Your Building Is the Target”)


  • Weegee, Naked City
  • David Macaulay, Underground
11. Jaywalking, Détournement, Hacking, Squatting, Occupying: Trespassive Psychogeography

  • Debord and Wolman, “A User’s Guide to Détournement
  • Wark, “Zuccotti Park”
  • Garrett, Explore Everything


  • Piranesi, The Prisons / Le Carceri
  • Banksy, Wall and Piece


  • Banksy, Exit through the Gift Shop [film]
12. Branches, Twigs, Sprouts, Leaves, Debris: 1975–present

  • Perec, An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris
  • Sebald, Rings of Saturn, chapters V and
  • Sinclair, Lights Out for the Territory, chapter 1
    (“Skating on Thin Eyes: The First Walk”)
  • Wenders, Wings of Desire (Der Himmel über Berlin) [film]
  • Keiller, London [film]


  • Williams, Paterson
13. New Directions: Student Projects

[No readings assigned]

14. Last Class, Wrap-Up, Next Steps

[No readings assigned]

Banksy. Exit Through the Gift Shop [film], 2012.

———. Wall and Piece. Random House, 2007. ISBN: 9781844137879

Baudelaire, Charles. The Parisian Prowler. University of Georgia, 1989. Originally published in 1861 as Le Spleen de Paris: Petits Poèms en Prose; translated by Edward K. Kaplan. ISBN: 9780820318790

Benjamin, Walter. One-Way Street. Belknap/Harvard, 2016. Edited by Michael W. Jennings, translated by Edmund Jephcott. ISBN: 9780674052291

———. The Arcades Project. Belknap/Harvard, 1999. Translated by Howard Eiland and Kevin McLaughlin; prepared on the basis of the German volume edited by Rolf Tiedemann. ISBN: 9780674052291

Blake, William. London,” 1794. 

Cadogan, Garnette. “Walking while Black: Garnette Cadogan on the Realities of Being Black in America,” Literary Hub, July 8, 2016.

Calvino, Italo. Invisible Cities. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1978. ISBN: 9780156453806

Certeau, Michel de. The Practice of Everyday Life. University of California Press, 1984. Originally published in 1980 in French as L’invention du quotidien; translated by Steven Rendall. ISBN: 9780520047501

Chtcheglov, Ivan. “Formulary for a New Urbanism.” In Ken Knabb, editor, Situationist International Anthology, pages 1–8. Bureau of Public Secrets, 2006. Originally published in 1953. ISBN: 9780939682041

Clay, Grady. Close-Up: How to Read the American City. Praeger Publishers, 1973. ISBN: 9780275501204  

Coleridge, Samuel Taylor. “Kubla Khan; or, a Vision in a Dream: A Fragment,” 1816.

Constant [Constant Anton Niewenhuys]. “Another City for Another Life.” In Ken Knabb, editor, Situationist International Anthology, pages 71–73. Bureau of Public Secrets, 2006. Originally published in 1960. ISBN: 9780939682041

Coverley, Merlin. Psychogeography. Pocket Essentials, 2006. ISBN: 9781842433478

De Quincey, Thomas. Confessions of an English Opium Eater. Penguin Classics, 2003. Originally published in 1821. ISBN: 9780140439014

Debord, Guy. “Introduction to a Critique of Urban Geography.” In Ken Knabb, editor, Situationist International Anthology, pages 8–12. Bureau of Public Secrets, 2006. Originally published in 1955. ISBN: 9780939682041

———. “Theory of the Dérive.” In Ken Knabb, editor, Situationist International Anthology, pages 62–66. Bureau of Public Secrets, 2006. Originally published in 1958. ISBN: 9780939682041

Debord, Guy, and Gil Wolman. “A User’s Guide to Détournement.” In Ken Knabb, editor, Situationist International Anthology, pages 14–21. Bureau of Public Secrets, 2006. Originally published in 1956. ISBN: 9780939682041

Defoe, Daniel. Journal of the Plague Year. Oxford University Press, 2010. Originally published in 1722. ISBN: 9780199572830

Delany, Samuel R. Times Square Red, Times Square Blue. NYU, 1999. ISBN: 9780814719206 

Du Bois, W.E.B. The Philadelphia Negro: A Social Study. University of Pennsylvania, 1995. Originally published in 1899. ISBN: 9780812215731

Eiland, Howard. “Reality as Palimpsest: On Benjamin’s Arcades Project” [recorded lecture], April 15, 2010.

Elkin, Laura. Flâneuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice, and London. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2016. ISBN: 9780374156046

Ferlinghetti, Lawrence. “Bickford’s Buddha” 1968. In The Secret Meaning of Things (New Directions). ISBN: 9780811200455

Garcia Lorca, Federico. Poet in New York: A Bilingual Edition. Grove Press, 2007. Originally published in 1930; translated by Pablo Medina and Mark Statman. ISBN: 9780802143532

Garrett, Bradley L. Explore Everything: Place-Hacking the City. Verso, 2013. ISBN: 9781781681299

Ginsberg, Allen. Howl and Other Poems. City Lights, 1955. ISBN: 9780872863101

Hessel, Franz. Walking in Berlin: A Flâneur in the Capital. MIT Press, 2017. Originally published in 1929; translated by Amanda DeMarco. ISBN: 9780262036351

Jacobs, Allan B. “Looking at Cities.” Places 1(4), 1984.

Keiller, Patrick. London [film], 1994.

Lettrist International. “Proposals for Rationally Improving the City of Paris.” In Ken Knabb, editor, Situationist International Anthology, pages 12–14. Bureau of Public Secrets, 2006. Originally published in 1955. ISBN: 9780939682041

Lynch, Kevin. The Image of the City. MIT Press, 1960. ISBN: 9780262120043

Macaulay, David. Underground. Houghton Mifflin, 1983. ISBN: 9780395340653

Manaugh, Geoff. A Burglar’s Guide to the City. FSG Originals, 2016. ISBN: 9780374117269

McHarg, Ian. Design with Nature. Natural History Press, 1969. ISBN: 9780385021425

Park, Robert E, and Ernest W. Burgess. The City: Suggestions for Investigation of Human Behavior in the Urban Environment. University of Chicago Press, 1925. ISBN: 9780226646114

Perec, Georges. An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris. Wakefield Press, 2010. Originally published in 1974. ISBN: 9780984115525

Piranesi, Giovanni Battista. The Prisons / Le Carceri. Dover, 2010. ISBN: 9780486215402

Poe, Edgar Allan. “The Man of the Crowd” in The Works of Edgar Allan Poe: the Raven Edition, volume 5. Project Gutenberg, 2008. Originally published in 1840.

Ruttmann, Walter. Berlin: Symphony of a Metropolis / Symphony of a Great City (Symphonie der Großstadt) [film], 1927.

———. Weekend (Wochenende) [film], 1930.

Sayles, John. The Brother from Another Planet [film], 1984.

Sebald, W.G. The Rings of Saturn. New Directions, 1995. ISBN: 9780811226158

Self, Will. Psychogeography. Bloomsbury Press, 2007. Pictures by Ralph Steadman. ISBN: 9781408880326

Shelley, Percy Bysshe. “Ozymandias,” 1818.

Sinclair, Iain. Lights Out for the Territory: 9 Excursions in the Secret History of London. Granta Books, 1997. ISBN: 9781862070097

———. Lud Heat: A Book of the Dead Hamlets. Skylight Press, 2012. Originally published in 1975. ISBN: 9781908011602

Sís, Peter. The Three Golden Keys. Frances Foster, 2001. ISBN: 9780374375256

Solnit, Rebecca. Wanderlust: A History of Walking. Penguin Books, 2000. ISBN: 9780140286014

Stevenson, Robert Louis. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Dover, 1991. Originally published in 1886. ISBN: 9780486266886

Tufte, Edward. Visual Explanations: Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative. Graphics Press, 1997. ISBN: 9781930824157

Varda, Agnes. Cléo de 5 à 7 (Cléo from 5 to 7) [film], 1962.

Wallace, David Foster. Infinite Jest. Back Bay Books, 1996. ISBN: 9780316921176

Wark, McKenzie. The Beach Beneath the Street: The Everyday Life and Glorious Times of the Situationist International. Verso, 2011. ISBN: 9781844677207

———. Zuccotti Park, a Psychogeography” (Verso Books blog), October 6, 2011.

Weegee [Arthur Fellig]. Naked City. Essential Books, 1945. ISBN: 9780306812040

Wenders, Wim. Wings of Desire (Der Himmel über Berlin) [film], 1987.

Westerkamp, Hildegard. “Soundwalking,” 2001. Originally published in Sound Heritage, Volume III Number 4, 1974; Revised 2001.

Whyte, William H. City: Rediscovering the Center. Doubleday, 1988. ISBN: 9780385054584

Williams, William Carlos. Paterson. New Directions, 1995. Originally published in 1958. ISBN: 9780811212984

Wood, Denis. “Lynch Debord: About Two Psychogeographies.” Cartographica: The International Journal for Geographic Information and Geovisualization, 45(3):185–199, September 2010.

Woolf, Virginia. Street Haunting: A London Adventure. Westgate Press, 1930. ISBN: 9781447479222

Wurman, Richard Saul. Making the City Observable. MIT Press/Design Quarterly 80, 1971. ISBN: 9780262230520

Course Info

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Fall 2020
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