Examines a different subject or problem from a comparative framework with an interdisciplinary perspective. Offered: AWSp.
The course will make an effort to unpack the surfaces of everyday experience in the shared spaces of the city, and to trace a few of their specific geographic, cultural, political, and economic histories, in both the most immediate and most extended senses of that word, from the city’s ecological underpinnings and indigenous foundations to its long standing traditions of labour organising; from the global trajectories of migration and capital which built and continue to build the city to the struggles over civil rights which have been staged here; from the desks of city planners and politicians to the alleys and interstices written in between the lines of their decisions and the homeless who sleep there.
The course will draw together texts, in the broadest sense, from anthropology, ethnic studies, native american studies, history, geography, critical theory, cultural studies, and comparative literature, but will also ask students to explore the city themselves, to produce their own texts through ethnographic and archival research, in order to map the unknown and unnoticed under our noses, the surfaces and strata, secrets and forgotten stories which continuously make the places of our streets and our back yards into a shared place called “the city.”
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
seminar-style discussion, individual presentations, and experiential fieldtrips
(Lower division coursework in any of the subjects listed above is recommended, but not required. The only prerequisites are curiosity and commitment.)
Class assignments and grading
Regular short writing assignments and a final project
Digestion of the course material, completion of the assignments, original research, and class participation.