Mapping Metropolis: The Urban Novel as Artifact|
Fall 2014 not offered
|Course Cluster: Urban Studies|
Taking as its starting point an obscure detective novel published in 1874 subtitled A TALE OF HARTFORD AND NEW YORK, this seminar will explore the many facets of urban culture in Gilded Age America. With a primary focus on New York City, students will reconstruct the social, commercial, institutional, and intellectual worlds that constituted the nation's metropolis in the aftermath of the Civil War. Clues in the novel suggest ways of mapping class, gender, and race in the city's social geography. The novel comments perceptively and acerbically on manners, mores, religion, politics, and publishing in the Gilded Age. Institutional structures to be investigated include fashionable churches, department stores, charity nurseries for working mothers, jails, and police courts. Kleptomania, epilepsy, and alcoholism figure prominently in the narrative. Popular entertainment in bourgeois parlors, saloons, and gaming halls enlivens the text. The novel also charts the beginnings of the colonial revival movement with its emphasis on historic preservation. The class will collectively construct an archive of primary sources that reveal the understandings of city life that prevailed among the novel's original audience. The seminar offers students the opportunity to pursue original research as principal investigators on key topics in urban cultural history.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (AMST)(HIST-MN)(HIST)
Elaine S. Abelson, When Ladies Go A-Thieving: Middle-Class Shoplifters in the Victorian Department Store
Sven Beckert, The Monied Metropolis: New York City and the Consolidation of the American Bourgeoisie, 1850-1896
Joshua Brown, Beyond the Lines
David Henkin, City Readings
David Scobey, Empire City
Selected 19th-century readings
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Students will present a primary "document" each week to add to the archive. Photographs, etchings, music, maps, etc., as well as texts will be treated as documents. Teams of investigators will research and report on selected topics. Each student will produce an essay, due at the end of the semester, explaining a facet of urban cultural history on which she or he has chosen to develop special expertise.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
Attendance at seminar sessions is mandatory. Participation in discussion will be reflected in final evaluations.
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