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Emplacing the Local: Community, Place, and History in Middletown
CHUM 324
Spring 2014 not offered
Crosslisting: ANTH 334

In an era of globalization, it might seem that local place matters less and less to mobile communities, where individuals increasingly interact through cyberspace, drive from office to home, and pass through homogenous spaces of airports and shopping malls. In contrast to this view, many scholars have drawn attention to the ongoing importance of place, where individuals actively seek ways to form authentic histories within particular spaces, despite their seeming incommensurability with practices and experiences of dwelling in modern urban areas and diasporic communities.

This class engages these questions of emplacement through active research with local communities in Middletown. We will cover the geographical and spatial theory in relation to the idea of place-making in the contemporary and recent historical United States; the practical, ethical, and analytic process of conducting oral historical research local history of Middletown; and discuss how this relates to wider historical processes. The second half of the semester will be dedicated to working with community partners in recording oral histories in relation to Middletown. We will analyze the way that relatively modern spaces have become integral to the heritage and place-making within Middletown. Through recording histories in a variety of locations, we will reflect on the way in which histories and narratives are engaged in a close relationship to experiences of place and material culture.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS ANTH
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None

Last Updated on JUN-15-2024
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