The course will consider the force of three types of collectivities – crowds, mobs and publics. Divided into two parts, the first will explore the making, function and eventual dissipation of such collectives, while the second will examine the intersections and points of contacts of these three types. Our attention will be directed to the common prejudices that inform the understanding of crowds and mobs, of social anxiety associated with them and of their unclear and ambiguous boundaries. Equally, we will read of the civility of public, of their assumed communicative rationality and of the making of subaltern publics. Drawing from ethnographic accounts and literary texts we will deal with concerns of violence, gender, political protest and collective creativity.