Special Edition! Invisible Cities

BookClub Graphic v5Featuring Lisa Schweitzer and David Sloane

In this special edition of the Bedrosian Book Club Podcast, we discuss the Italian classic novel Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino. The ancient emperor, Kublai Khan is so busy running the empire that he needs merchants to describe his vast empire, the great explorer Marco Polo is the only one whose imaginative descriptions of the cities of the empire help Khan learn about his dominion. Framed between the conversation between the two are Polo’s fantastical descriptions of the cities he visits – fables to discuss ideas from linguistics to urban theory.  This short novel has become a favorite to use in courses here at the Price School of Public Policy … let’s find out why.

Follow us on Twitter! Lisa @drschweitzer and David @dcsloane53

To listen to the Bedrosian Book Club Podcast discussion of Invisible Cities, click the orange arrow below. Or you can download it and subscribe to the through Soundcloud or iTunes!

Invisible Cities podcast transcription


Next month . . .

We’ll look at self-reinforcement of disparity, with a look at the locked-in nature of racism in Daria Roithmayr’s Reproducing Racism.


Visit our Bedrosian Book Club Podcast page for the list of books that we’ve already discussed. You can always listen to the archives through Soundcloud or iTunes!

And please share your comments with us on Twitter or Facebook, we love to hear your suggestions and thoughts.

Lisa and David read from the following cities:

Perinthia (Cities & the Sky)
Andria (Cities & the Sky)
Sophronia (Thin Cities)
Trude (Continuous Cities)
Ersilia (Trading Cities)
Tamara (Cites & Signs)
Hypatia (Cities & Signs)
Zora (Cities & Memory)


      Some inspired images

Invisible Cities: Ersilia from Sara Muzio on Vimeo.

Manuel Castells – USC Research Associate Professor of Communication

The Network Society: A Cross-Cultural Perspective – July 30, 2005
by Manuel Castells (Editor)

The prevalence of harmful content on outdoor advertising in Los Angeles: land use, community characteristics, and the spatial inequality of a public health nuisance
by Lowery, Bryce C; Sloane, David C
American journal of public health, 04/2014, Volume 104, Issue 4

Social constuction of the experience economy: The spatial ecology of outdoor advertising in Los Angeles
Lowery, Bryce C.View Profile. University of Southern California, ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing, 2014. 3628234.

The Past is a Foreign Country by David Lowenthal

Of Further Interest:

Hear Italo Calvino Read Selections From Invisible Cities, Mr. Palomar & Other Enchanting Fictions

Seeing Calvino


This podcast was produced by Jonathan Schwartz and Aubrey Hicks.

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