Explore and analyze some of Chicago's vital urban neighborhood literature
(short stories and novels).
Explore and analyze an URBAN NOVEL, for example:
Tony Ardizzone, Taking It All Home
Sandra Cisneros, The House on Mango Street
Stuart Dybeck, The Coast of Chicago, and Childhood and Other Neighborhoods
Gayle Pemberton, The Hottest Water in Chicago
Angela Jackson, Plenty n Astonishment AND Sandra Jackson-Opoku, "Sweet
Jesus Club," in Steve Bosak, South Side Stories (City Stoop Press)
Any stories from New Chicago Stories, ed. Fred Gardaphe (City Stoop
Tina De Rosa, Paper Fish
Studs Terkel, Division Street, AMERICA
Explore and analyze other URBAN FILMS, for example:
Upton Sinclair, The Jungle
Richard Wright, Native Son
Nelson Algren, Man with The Golden Arm
Pietro deDonato, Christ in Concrete
Examine and analyze the materials for one of the supplementary units of
Killer of Sheep
Spike Lee, Jungle Fever and Do the Right Thing
Boyz in the Hood
Brother from Another Planet
On the waterfront
Roger and Me
Just Another Girl on the I.R.T.
Examine the media presentation of a particular social group or urban issue.
You may consider print, radio, television news, television sitcoms, film,
documentary, photography, etc.
Examine the media presentation of a non-U.S. city/cities. Consider the
differences in global images of the urban.
Examine the media presentation of the labor movement in Chicago (i.e. use
archives to trace differing portrayals of the Haymarket Riots.)
Examine the media presentation of Chicago-related events of the Civil Rights
movement (i.e. Dr, King's Chicago March, etc.).
Extend your research into the Chicago World's Fair and its presentation
of the Urban.
Prepare a critical essay on urban photography/the work of an urban photographer,
for example: Vergara, The New American Ghetto
Create a critical essay on an "urban" painter, for example: Edward Hopper,
Consider the historical relationship of radio to urban planning/policy:
See esp. Michelle Hilmes, Radio Voices
Research and analyze the ideologies found in the "ideal town" of Disney's
Extend your research into the many scholars considering the gendered nature
of public space.
Explore (research, interview community leaders, etc.) issues of Gentrification
and Community in Chicago Neighborhoods such as Pilsen, Humboldt Park, West
Study the unique patterns of urban religious practice in North America.
To see a range of possible topics, consult Robert Orsi, Ed., Gods of
Explore the issues of urban sprawl, white flight, or other themes connected
to the movement of city folks to the suburbs. For starters, try Ray Suarez,
The Old Neighborhood.
You may develop any short paper topic from this semester into a full-length
THE CONSUMPTIVE CITY: Capitals of Unreality
James Howard Kunstler, "Capitals of Unreality," (Ch 12) in The Geography
The Theming of America , Ch 2, pp.16-42, and pp.98-108 on "Las
Lauren Rabinowitz, "Eve in the Garden of Desire: The Department Store
Woman Who Looks," (ch 3) of For The Love of Pleasure
Alan Trachtenberg, "Mysteries of the Great City," (Ch4-pt 4) in The
Incorporation of America
A Shout in the Street Ch 2, Paris (pp.99-114), On desire and
Margaret Crawford, "The World in a Shopping Mall," in Sorkin, Variations
on Theme Park
Karl Marx and Marxism (Stuart Hall),
Martin Scorsese, Casino
TECH NOIR: The Postmodern City
Scott Bukattman, Blade Runner (BFI Modern Classics), pp.7 -12,
Julian Bleecker, "Urban Crisis: Past, Present, and Virtual, in Socialist
Review, v.24, no.1-2
Ridley Scott, Blade Runner
CD-Rom: Sim City 2000
James Howard Kunstler, "Joyride," "Evil Empire," (Chs 6 & 7), The
Geography of Nowhere
Herbert J. Gans, Levittown and America," (pp.63-68) in The City
Reader Chapter 9, The Urban Experience
Video Clips: 1950's Television: The Honeymooners vs. The Dick Van Dyke
Film Clips: Tim Burton, Edward Scissorhands
Spike Lee, Crooklyn
Barry Levison, Avalon