How does the real living city of Paris become the imaginary ‘Paris’ – the symbolic world capital of art, sex, food, revolution? Is this a construction of the city which comes from Parisians themselves, or is this an idea of the city that comes from the outside? This module will investigate this problematic. More specifically, this module will take as its starting point the notion of the ‘exile’ or the ‘outsider’ in the city as theorized in part by Walter Benjamin, and as uncovered in literary and extra-literary forms of practice. The aim is to test the various hegemonic construction(s) of ‘Paris’ in space and time against the direct experience of those who have come to the city from the ‘outside’ (although the notion of ‘exile’ also carries with the notion of ‘internal exile’). It is anticipated that from this theoretical starting-point students will be able to trace and articulate the changing shape of urban experience in Paris from a specifically non-Parisian perspective, opening up debates about cultural geographies, the contested nature of public space, urban images and the phantasmagoria of 19th century urbanism, urban revolts and the ‘rights to the city’. These themes will be pursued in poetry, fiction, travel writing, painting and film.