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UA Course Catalog Prerequisites:
No prereqs found
Course Description and Credit Hours
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“Where is the city?” This is the most urgent question in a course that looks at how the urban space encounters gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality and nationality, among other things. Indeed, we often look at such categories separately or together with the city in mind. Ultimately, we are interested in how urbanization seems to make our world smaller. But does it?
Required Texts from UA Supply Store:
- CONNOLLY / WORLD MORE CONCRETE (Required)
- CONNOLLY (RENTAL) / (RENTAL) WORLD MORE CONCRETE (RENTAL)
- Hobson, Maurice J. / The Legend of Black Mecca : Politics and Class in the Making of Modern Atlanta (Required)
- Miles, Tiya / Dawn of Detroit : A Chronicle of Slavery and Freedom in the City of the Straits (Required)
ALL REQUIRED READINGS AVAILABLE ON RESERVE. ALL OTHER READINGS AVAILABLE VIA BLACKBOARD LINK
Student Learning Outcomes
You will analyze the complexities of gender, race and the urban space in and outside the United States since the nineteenth century through the present day.
You will analyze critical turning points in the history of the United States during the same period.
You will evaluate primary and secondary source materials to determine historical meaning.
You will demonstrate mastery of course material with clear, coherent writing.
You will find connections between course materials via lively discussions.
Other Course Materials
Outline of Topics
WEEK 1 (Jan. 11) - Stories We Tell Ourselves
Ameena Walker, “The Notorious B.I.G. Mural in Bed-Study Will Come Down,” Curbed New York, May 19, 2017
Thomas Bender, Toward an Urban Vision: Ideas and Institutions in Nineteenth Century America (Lexington: University of Kentucky, 1975), pp. 1-9
Taiye Selasi, “Portrait of an Artist as a Young African Immigrant,” The New York Times, May 8, 2017
WEEK 2 (Jan. 18) - Perception
Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts, Harlem is Nowhere (New York: Little Brown & Company, 2017), pp. 3-84 and pp. 140-212.
Gilbert Osofky, “The Enduring Ghetto,” The Journal of American History, Vol. 55, No. 2 (Sep., 1968) pp. 243-55.
Sam Roberts, “New York City Losing Blacks, Census Shows,” The New York Times, April 3, 2006, p. 1-2
WEEK 3 (Jan. 25) - Atlanta: The Black Mecca
Maurice Hobbs, The Legend of the Black Mecca: Politics and Class and the Making of Atlanta (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2017), pp. 1-93
William W. Faulk, Larry L. Hunt and Matthew O. Hunt, “Return Migrations of African-Americans Going to the South: Reclaiming a Land of Promise, Going Home or Both?” Rural Sociology (69) 4, 2004, 490-509.
WEEK 4 (Feb. 1) – Atlanta: The Black Mecca
Maurice Hobbs, The Legend of the Black Mecca: Politics and Class and the Making of Atlanta (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2017), pp. 94-250 and Appendix
“Idlewild” (Dir. Bryan Barber, 2006)
WEEK 5 (Feb. 8) - Miami’s in the House
N.D.B. Connolly, A World More Concrete: Real Estate and the Remaking of Jim Crow South Florida (University of Chicago Press, 2014)
Alejandro Portes, “The Social Origins of the Cuban Enclave Economy of Miami,” Sociological Perspectives, Vo. 30 No. 4, The Ethnic Economy (Oct. 1987) pp. 340-372
WEEK 6 (Feb. 15) - Swag
Luther Campbell, The Book of Luke: My Fight for Truth, Justice and Liberty City (New York: Amistad, 2015) pp. 3-63 and pp. 127-195.
“The U,” (ESPN 30 for 30)
WEEK 7 (Feb. 22) - Swag Part 2
Howard Schnellenberger Passing the Torch: Building Winning Football Programs with a Dose of Swagger Along the Way (New York: Ascend Books, 2014) , pp. 15-58 and pp. 103-186
Randy Roberts and Ed Krzemienski, Rising Tide: Bear Bryant, Joe Namath and Dixie’s Last Quarter (New York: Twelve, 2013) , p. 1-11
WEEK 8 (Mar. 1) - Sin City
Julio Capo Jr. Welcome to Fairyland: Queer Miami Before 1940 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2017) , p. 1-94
Susana Pena, “’Obvious Gays,’ and the State Gaze: Cuban Visibility and U.S. Immigration Policy During the Mariel Boatlift,” Journal of History of Sexuality, Vol. 16, No. 3, Latin American Sexualities (Sep. 2007), pp. 482-514
“Moonlight,” (Dir. Barry Jenkins, 2016)
Mar. 2 Paul R. Jones Collection of African American Art exhibit opens
WEEK 9 (Mar. 8) - Rewind: Race and Nation
Chanelle Nyree Rose, The Struggle for Black Freedom in Miami: The Struggle for Black Freedom in Miami (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2015) pp. 1-67
Edwidge Danticat, “Dawn After the Tempests,” The New York Times, Travel, Nov. 6, 2017.
Edwidge Danticat, “Children at Sea,” Krik! Krack! (New York: SoHo Press, 1996, 2005), pp. 3-29
WEEK 10 – SPRING BREAK
WEEK 11 (Mar. 22) - Rewind: Identity and Womanhood
Eliza Potter, A Hairdresser’s Experience in the High Life (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2009) pp. xxxiii-lix and iii-52
Phoebe Robinson, You Can’t Touch My Hair And Other Things I Still Have to Explain (New York: Plume, 2016), pp. 1-52.
Hazel Carby V., “Policing the Black Woman’s Body in an Urban Context,” Critical Inquiry, 18:4 (Summer 1992), 738–755
WEEK 12 (Mar. 29) – Land: Detroit’s in the House
Tiya Miles, The Dawn of Detroit: A Chronicle of Slavery and Freedom in the City of the Straits (New Press, 2017), pp. 1-64.
“Gridlock’d,” (Dir. Vondie Curtis Hall, 1997)
WEEK 13 (Apr. 5) - Freedom: Detroit’s in the House Part 2
Tiya Miles, The Dawn of Detroit: A Chronicle of Slavery and Freedom in the City of the Straits (New Press, 2017), pp. 65-135 and pp.231-261
WEEK - 14 (Apr. 12) - Surveillance
George Lipsitz, “The Racialization of Space and the Spatialization of Race: Theorizing the Hidden Architecture of Landscape,” Landscape Journal, 26:1-07, 2007, 10-23
Jesmyn Ward, Men We Reaped (New York: Bloomsbury, 2013)pp. 1-103
Martin Manalansan IV, “Race, Violence, and Neoliberal Spatial Politics in the Global City,” Social Text 23 (Fall/Winter 2005), pp. 141-155
WEEK 15 (Apr. 12) - Suburbia
Andrew Wiese, Places of Their Own, African American Suburbanization in the Twentieth Century (Chicago: University of Chicago, 2005) pp. 1-33
Amanda Seligman, Block by Block: Neighborhoods and Public Policy on Chicago’s West Side (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005)
“Love & Basketball,” (Dir. Gina Prince-Bythewood, 2000)
WEEK 16 Apr. 19) – Departure
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah (New York: Anchor, 2014) Ch. 1 and Ch. 44-51
Lauren Elkin, Flaneuse: Women Walk the City (New York: Farrar, Stroux and Giroux, 2016) pp. 1-93
Exams and Assignments
Participation/In-Class Written Reflections:
You are expected to participate in class discussion. You are also expected to print, read and bring to class all assigned readings. You will from time to time be asked to reflect on course readings, in-class primary sources (movie and television clips, music, etc). Over the course of the semester, you should demonstrate how your analytical skills have improved when it comes to making ties between course content. There are no make up opportunities for these reflections. Attendance is required.
Curated images: You and your classmates will select images from the university’s Paul R. Jones Collection of African American Art for an exhibition that will take place March 2-April 27. Expect to analyze at least one image, make ties between it and course content and present your thoughts for an everyday and scholarly audience. Video may be involved. Details to come.
Final Paper: The final paper can be on any topic of your choice. Your critique must take into consideration problems encountered and methods used while writing about gender, race and space historically. IT MUST NOT BE A RECYCLED PAPER. 10-15 pages, double-spaced, Times font, Chicago style footnotes. Due via Turnitin on Blackboard noon April 28. NO EXTENSIONS.
Your final course grade will be based on the following:
Participation/In-Class Written Reflections: 20%
Curated Images: 40%
Final Paper –40%
Policy on Missed Exams and Coursework
I understand that extenuating circumstances happen. Email me as soon as possible if you plan to be absent from class. Late or missed assignments will affect your final grade.
Is mandatory. Please provide written explanation and doctor’s excuse for necessary absences.
Notification of Changes
The instructor will make every effort to follow the guidelines of this syllabus as listed; however, the instructor reserves the right to amend this document as the need arises. In such instances, the instructor will notify students in class and/or via email and will endeavor to provide reasonable time for students to adjust to any changes.
Statement on Academic Misconduct
Students are expected to be familiar with and adhere to the official Academic Misconduct Policy provided in the Online Catalog.
Statement On Disability Accommodations
Contact the Office of Disability Services (ODS) as detailed in the Online Catalog.
Severe Weather Protocol
Please see the latest Severe Weather Guidelines in the Online Catalog.
Pregnant Student Accommodations
Title IX protects against discrimination related to pregnancy or parental status. If you are pregnant and will need accommodations for this class, please review the University’s FAQs on the UAct website.
Under the Guidelines for Religious Holiday Observances, students should notify the instructor in writing or via email during the first two weeks of the semester of their intention to be absent from class for religious observance. The instructor will work to provide reasonable opportunity to complete academic responsibilities as long as that does not interfere with the academic integrity of the course. See full guidelines at Religious Holiday Observances Guidelines.
The UAct website provides an overview of The University's expectations regarding respect and civility.