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Cities and Urban Life

Y26.5051/ Spring 2011 New York University/ SCPS/ McGhee Division


Instructor: Dr. Laura Pearl Kaya Contact: laura.pearl@gmail.com Office Hours: By appointment Credits: 4 credits Location: WS, TISC LC1 Time: Thursday 6:20-8:50

Are cities glamorous, elegant, sophisticated, and beautiful or filthy, cramped, violent and degenerate? What can people do in cities that they cant do elsewhere? What activities, emotions, and personalities are impeded by cities? Do cities prescribe a certain form of life? What does it mean for humankind that, every year, a larger percentage of us live in urban areas? In this course, we will attempt to answer these questions by examining cities on five continents, including London, Paris, New York, San Francisco, Mexico City, Cairo, Beijing, Bombay, Istanbul, and Rio. We will begin on the small scale by looking at the spaces of homes, neighborhoods, and sidewalks and the social relationships that these spaces produce. From there, we will move on to observe the spatial organization of whole cities. We will then consider how cities are connected to the world outside of themselves through commerce, media and migration. The study of migration will lead us to an examination of the class and ethnic divisions within cities and how these divisions can lead to violence. We will conclude on a more positive note by considering how cities are represented in creative work. Texts to be purchased (Available in the NYU bookstore) 1. Remaking the Modern: Space, Relocation, and the Politics of Identity in a Global Cairo by Farha Ghannam. University of California Press, 2002. 2. In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in El Barrio by Philippe Bourgois. Cambridge University Press, 2003. All other reading will be posted by the instructor on the courses Blackboard website. Required Work 1. Students must complete all assigned reading and attend all class meetings. 2. Each week, students will post short, informal statements on Blackboard in response to assigned reading. Response paragraphs will be due by 1 PM on the day of class. 3. Students will have the opportunity to perform original research on urban life here in New York City. You will choose a site or cultural context to investigate. Possible topics include a public space (a park, museum, nightclub, coffee shop etc.), a community (defined by neighborhood, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc.), or an institution (a church, community center, gym, business, etc.) The assignment will have three parts: a. An initial observation and proposal b. A first draft of your observations/findings c. A final paper including your analysis Ill distribute a more detailed description of the assignment during the second week of class. 4. There will be a cumulative final exam. Course Schedule 1) Introduction January 27

2) Space February 3 Carol Delaney, Space. In Investigating Culture, Blackwell, 2004. Martin Heidegger, Building, Dwelling, Thinking. In Poetry, Language, Thought, Albert Hofstadter, translator, Harper Colophon, 1971. 3) Urban homes: Cairo, Rio, U.S. February 10 Ghannam, pp. 1-66 Brian Owensby, Domesticating Modernity: Markets, Home, and Morality in the Middle Class in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, 1930s and 1940s. Journal of Urban History 24:337, 1998. (recommended) A.K. Sandoval-Strausz, Homes for a World of Strangers: Hospitality and the Origins of Multiple Dwellings in Urban America. Journal of Urban History 33:933, 2007. 4) Neighbors, networks, neighborhoods: Cairo, San Francisco, Istanbul, U.S. February 17 Ghannam, pp. 67-88 Manuel Castells, Cultural Identity, Sexual Liberation and Urban Structure: The Gay Community in San Francisco. In The City and the Grassroots: A Cross-Cultural Theory of Urbanization. University of California Press, 1983. Jenny White, Money Makes Us Relatives. In Money Makes Us Relatives, pp. 101-124, Routledge, 1994. (recommended) Carol Stack, Swapping. In All Our Kin, pp. 32-44. Basic Books, 1970. February 17/ ETHNOGRAPHY PROPOSAL DUE 5) Seeing the City: Paris, Brasilia, Dresden February 24 Vanessa Schwartz, Setting the Stage (excerpts) and Public Visits to the Morgue ( excerpts) in Spectacular Realities: Early Mass Culture in Fin-de-Siecle Paris, University of California Press, 1998. Richard J. Williams, Modernist Civic Space and the Case of Brasilia. In Journal of Urban History 32:120, 2005. Georg Simmel, Metropolis and Mental Life 1903. In Georg Simmel on Individuality and Social Forms. University of Chicago Press, 1971. (recommended) Walter Benjamin, On Some Motifs in Baudelaire(excerpts) 6) Encounters in Public: Cairo, Chicago, Beijing March 3 Ghannam 88-140 Erving Goffman Engagements Among the Unacquainted In Behavior in Public Places. The Free Press, 1963. (recommended) Susan D. Blum, Five Approaches to Explaining Truth and Deception in Human Communication. Journal of Anthropological Research 61(3):289-315.

7) City Plan: Hangzhou, Bombay, Cairo, U.S. City March 10 Lisa Rofel, Rethinking Modernity: Space and Factory Discipline in China Cultural Anthropology 7(1):93-114, 2007. Preti Chopra, Refiguring the Colonial City: Recovering the Role of Local Inhabitants in the Construction of Colonial Bombay, 1854-1918. Buildings and Landscapes 14:109-125 Janet Abu-Lughod, Tale of Two Cities: The Origins of Modern Cairo. Comparative Studies in Society and History 7(4):429-457, 1965. (recommended) James Duncan, Men Without Property: The Tramps Classification and Use of Urban Space. Antipode 10(1):24-34, 1978. March 17/ SPRING BREAK 8) The City, the Nation, the World March 24 Paul Stoller, African/Asian/Uptown/Downtown, in Money Has No Smell, University of Chicago Press, 2002. Ulf Hannerz, The Cultural Role of World Cities. In Transnational Connections, Routledge, 1996. Saskia Sassen, Cities in Todays Global Age. SAIS Review 29(1):3-34, 2009. (recommended) Samuel P. Hays From the History of the City to the History of Urbanized Society. Journal of Urban History 19(4):3-25, 1993. 9) Migration to the city: San Francisco, New York, Paris, Chicago, Mexico City, West Africa March 31 Harold L. Platt, Exploding Cities: Housing the Masses in Paris, Chicago, and Mexico City 1850 2000. Journal of Urban History 36:575, 2010. Kenneth Little, The Role of Voluntary Associations in West African Urbanization. American Anthropologist 59(4): 579-596, 1957. Aihwa Ong, Refugee Love as Feminist Compassion. In Buddha is Hiding, University of California Press, 2003. (recommended) Bourgois 48-76 10) Poverty: New York April 7 Bourgois (required)1-47, 77-113, (recommended)174-327 Oscar Lewis, The Culture of Poverty. In Urban Life, G. Gmelch and W. Zenner, eds. Waveland Press, 1996.

April 7/ ETHNOGRAPHY RESEARCH REPORT DUE 11) Class divisions, class encounters: Sao Paolo, Rio, Paris, London, Istanbul April 14 Bourgois 114-173 Teresa Caldeira, Fortified Enclaves: The New Urban Segregation. Public Culture 8:303-328, 1996. Gul Ozyegin, The Doorkeeper, the Maid, and the Tenant: Troubling Encounters in the Turkish Urban Landscape. In Fragments of Culture, Deniz Kandiyoti and Ayse Saktanber, eds. Rutgers University Press, 2002.

(recommended) Claudia Barcellos Rezende, Building Affinity through Friendship. In The Anthropology of Friendship, Sandra Bell and Simon Coleman, eds. Berg, 1999. (recommended) David L. Pike, Sewage Treatments: Vertical Space and Waste in Nineteenth Century Paris and London. In Filth, William Cohen and Ryan Johnson, ed., University of Minnesota Press, 2005. 12) Ethnic/religious divisions: Bombay, Rio, Sakhnin, Boston, San Francisco April 21 Arjun Appadurai, Spectral Housing and Urban Cleansing: Notes on Millennial Mumbai. Public Culture 12(3):627-651, 2000. Donna Goldstein, Interracial Sex and Racial Democracy in Brazil: Twin Concepts? in American Anthropologist 101(3): 563-78, 1999. Tamir Sorek, Sakhninbetween soccer and martyrdom. In Arab Soccer in a Jewish State. Cambridge University Press, 2007. (recommended) Anthony Daniel Perez, Kimberly M. Berg, and Daniel J. Myers, Police and Riots, 1967-1969. Journal of Black Studies 34(2):153-182, 2003. 13) Representing the city: Rio, Nairobi, Hong Kong, Philadelphia, Bombay April 28 Cindy Hing-Yuk Wong and Gary McDonogh, The Mediated Metropolis: Anthropological Issues in Cities and Mass Communication. American Anthropologist 103(1), 96-111, 2001. Nici Nelson, Representations of Men and Women, City and Town in Kenyan Novels of the 1970s and 1980s. African Languages and Cultures 9(2):142-168, 1996. William Mazzarella, Very Bombay: Contending with the Global in an Indian Advertising Agency. Cultural Anthropology 18(1):33-71, 2003. (recommended) Nadezhda Dimitrova Savova, Heritage Kinaesthetics: Local Constructivism and UNESCOs Intangible-Tangible Politics at a Favela Museum. Anthropological Quarterly 82(2):547-586, 2009. 14) Student Presentations and Review for Final Exam May 5 May 5/ FINAL ETHNOGRAPHY PROJECT DUE May 12/ FINAL EXAM Course Objectives 1. Students will become familiar with key issues and debates in the fields of Urban Anthropology and Urban Sociology. 2. Students will read and analyze academic texts. 3. Students will practice their written and verbal communication skills. 4. Students will learn to use ethnographic research methods. 5. Students will analyze research findings using anthropological and sociological theories. 6. Students will gain a broader perspective on common urban problems and more deeply understand the similarities and differences between cities worldwide.

Blackboard This course will rely heavily on Blackboard. Course readings will be available there and students will be required to post their weekly response paragraphs to the Blackboard discussion board. Furthermore, I will post announcements on Blackboard throughout the semester. All students are responsible for obtaining a "NetID" and password from NYU in order to gain access to Blackboard. If you don't already have a NetID, go to www.home.nyu.edu and click "activate" to begin the process of obtaining a NetID. If you already have one, log into NYUHome and click on Academics to gain access to Blackboard. Plagiarism Please be aware of the SCPS statement on plagiarism: Plagiarism is presenting someone else's work as though it were one's own. More specifically, plagiarism is to present as one's own a sequence of words quoted without quotation marks from another writer; a paraphrased passage from another writer's work; creative images, artwork, or design; or facts or ideas gathered, organized, and reported by someone else, orally and/or in writing and not providing proper attribution. Since plagiarism is a matter of fact, not of the student's intention, it is crucial that acknowledgement of the sources be accurate and complete. Even where there is no conscious intention to deceive, the failure to make appropriate acknowledgment constitutes plagiarism. Penalties for plagiarism range from failure for a paper or course to dismissal from the University. If there is any plagiarism in any student paper, it will receive a 0. This is not negotiable and students will not be permitted to re-do plagiarized work. It is likely that a grade of 0 on a paper will cause a student to fail the course. Attendance Policy Attendance is required. Students who have more than one unexcused absence will lose points from their class participation grade. If a student must miss class, s/he should inform the professor of this fact as early as possible. There are few satisfactory excuses which would explain why a student did not inform the professor of her/his absence before class. Email is usually the preferred method of communication. Policy on Late or Missed Work No written work will be accepted after April 28. Assignments due before April 28 will be accepted up to one week late. Late assignments will be marked down one letter grade unless the professor has previously granted an extension. If a student needs an extension on a piece of written work, s/he should discuss her/his situation with the professor as early as possible. Style All written assignments should be typed, double spaced and printed in Times New Roman font. Students may use any standard form for their bibliographies; examples will be discussed in class. Grading Ethnography proposal Ethnography findings report Final Ethnography paper Ethnography Presentation Final Exam Response Paragraphs Class Participation

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