As an undergraduate, I had a Classics professor who sometimes spoke of the humanities’ task as the search for the strange in the familiar, and the familiar in the strange. The idea stuck with me, and in my own classes I have attempted to create an environment in which students re-evaluate their preconceived notions, and simultaneously establish connections to what may seem remote or exotic. Since most of my courses revolve around the cultural histories of cities, normally this is a rather safe exercise. How might a 19th-century urban dweller find our sartorial habits unusual? How might we draw parallels between Brasília’s development and that of more traditional capitals?