This course studies "the city" as it is defined, represented, imagined, attacked, and defended in a variety of literary texts, non-literary texts, and other cultural products, such as maps, posters, drawings, photographs, and motion pictures. Individual instructors choose one, two, or three particular cities around which to organize the study of fiction, poetry, and autobiography. The course also considers letters and diaries, and especially with individualized projects, it broadens analysis and discussion to other cultural products. One major focus of study is the rhetoric of literary and non-literary representations of the city and more general concepts of "the city," "the citizenship," and "urbanity." One aim is to use the course material for help in reflecting on individual experience with cities, their rhetoric, and their cultures. Another aim is to study the idea of "London" or "New York" (for example) as a symbol used in a variety of rhetorical situations and cultural moments.
Prerequisites: First-year seminar and one other course in English.