Columbia College Chicago
Dr. Ann Hetzel Gunkel, Professor of Humanities & Cultural Studies
Liberal Education Department

This is a survey of how metropolitan life is portrayed by film, television, the press, and other media. Documentary films, such as "I Remember Harlem," and full-length feature films such as "Grand Canyon," "Metropolis," and "Little Murders" are discussed. Local city news coverage (print, television, and radio) is examined for urban stereotypes. (No prerequisites.)

Students will discover how the city is depicted by artists, writers, and filmmakers to convey a philosophy of urban life. Students will also learn to analyze film and documentaries and discuss ethnicity, migration, crime, and fear of the city.

This course will aim at an interdisciplinary humanities approach to the studying the city. We will observe and analyze not only how images and meanings are shaped, but also how these images and meaning shape us as well. Thus, our course of studies begins with film and media texts and moves us to deeper interdisciplinary analyses of sociological, historical, and philosophical texts. This course will challenge you to develop and deepen your critical vocabulary; reexamine your beliefs and opinions; read and view carefully and critically; evaluate complex texts, ideas, and images; develop your critical skills for engaging the world; take responsibility for what you think and believe; examine a body of documentation on urban issues; analyze and critique ideas and images in written and oral forms; examine the space of public life and your responsibilities within the civic community.