Walter Benjamin: my ‘Arcades Project’ essay on reading lists, Universities of British Columbia, Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham, San Francisco and others

I have discovered that my essay from 2002 on Walter Benjamin’s ‘Arcades Project’ has, for the third and fourth times to my knowledge, been put on the reading list for two more university course: the Universities of South Florida (Tampa) and Aberdeen (Scotland) are now joined by the University of British Columbia, Vancouver (Canada) and the University of Leeds (England). ** If I put up information of this kind on my blog, it is not solely to publicise myself but also – I hope you agree – for the spirit of the Internet. If my essay has got on to these various courses, it is not so much because it is in a book (published in Delhi and only obtainable from India), gratifying though that is, but above all because it is on-line and therefore freely available to the world.

It’s on-line at:  Do also look at the 16 photos of the arcades which are here on this blog at:!1pU_1OTU2C-hHPw5E4OX2UJA!117.entry)

The Canadian course is taught by: Prof. Kevin McNeilly** Associate Professor Department of English University of British Columbia ** and Associate Editor, ‘Canadian Literature’ ** Extract from the UBC site: ** Studies in the Nineteenth Century: The Culture of Listening: Audience and Consumption in the Victorian Fin-de-Siècle ** ‘This seminar will focus on the emergence of apparatuses of listening and reception in the late nineteenth century in late imperial Western Europe, and on the impact of those technologies on the practice of poetry. New conceptions of a public as consumers, decadents, aesthetes, flâneurs and philistines run parallel to the marketing and widespread use of new forms of recording and transmission, from gramophones to telegraphs, which affected ideas of voice and voicing. In addition, movements in arts and crafts – including presses like the Yeats sisters’ Cuala Press and William Morris’s Kelmscott Press – suggest an attention to the material fact of the book, and to editing as an engaged form of audience, that corresponds to a vital re-imaging of the speaking or writing subject as listener. Stylistic innovations, remarkable for example in the publication of Charlotte Mew’s work (intersecting with the New Woman movement) or in Robert Bridges’ edition of Gerard Manley Hopkins, only heighten tensions over gender, nation and the reading public – tensions that inform Walter Benjamin’s recently translated Arcades Project, which we will use as a guide to the problematics of consumption and reading that inform a new cultural poetics, and to the emergence of literary and cultural studies on the national scenes. An investigation of the work of William Butler Yeats, as last Romantic, late Victorian and emergent Modernist, will frame the seminar.’ ** Seminar Schedule ** (selected entries – URLS given):** Walter Benjamin, The Arcades Project ** Homepage of The Walter Benjamin Research Syndicate** “Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Project and Contemporary Cultural Debate in the West” by CHRISTOPHER ROLLASON** “From ‘Rausch’ to Rebellion: Walter Benjamin’s On Hashish and the Aesthetic Dimensions of Prohibitionist Realism” by Scott J. Thompson. ** The Leeds course details are as follows: ** ** University of Leeds History: reading lists: ** APPROACHES TO CULTURE – Dr Phil Withington – SEPTEMBER-DECEMBER 2005 Unit: WALTER BENJAMIN: KNOWING MODERNITY ** Primary reading (includes): Walter Benjamin, Selected Writings (Cambridge, MA, 1996) _____, The Arcades Project (Cambridge, MA, 1999) ** Further reading (includes): S. Buck-Morss, S., Dialectics of Seeing (1989) E. Leslie, Walter Benjamin: Overpowering Conformism (2000) Rollason, C., ‘The passageways of Paris: Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Project and contemporary cultural debate in the West’ (with URL)


ADDITION, 21 Sept 06


The same Benjamin essay is now also on the reading list for the culture module of the research students’

training programme of  the School of Languages, Linguistics and Culture of the Uoiversity of

Manchester, England (taught by Dr Esther Gomez-Sierra).


This too is a great honour.


ADDITION, 17 July 2009:

For more citations of this essay, see entries for 20 May 2008 and 16 July 2009.


ADDITION, 3 March 2010

I add, expressing my gratitude, that the same article has been included in the course “Urban Life and Social Theory”. taught by Dr David Parker at the University of Nottingham, England (School of Sociology and Social Policy):

**23 March 2010

My Benjamin article has also been cited in the following M.A. theses:


University of British Columbia, Canada:

Faculty of Graduate Studies (Sociology)

Lisa Anna Hale, ‘The Aesthetics of Trespass: The Art and Practice of Urban Exploration in the Postmodern Metropolis’, 2006

University of Cincinatti, Ohio:

Master of Community Planning, College of Design, Art and Planning

Silvia Gugu, ‘Skywalks as Heritage: Exploring Alternatives for the Cincinnati Skywalk System’, 2009 


Note added 28 September 2011:

The essay has been also used in a study group reading ‘The Arcades Project’ at the University of San Francisco. My thanks to Dr Rose Levinson of the Jewish Studies and Social Justice Program of the university’s Department of Theology.


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