2010-11 Catalog

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Offering Description

Cities: Real and Imagined

Fall and Winter quarters

Faculty: Steven Hendricks book arts, literature, creative writing, Stephanie Kozick human development

Fields of Study: American studies, cultural studies, history, literature, sociology and visual arts

Fall: CRN (Credit) Level 10137 (16) So - Sr; 10518 (1-16)  

Winter: Enrollment Accepting New Students  CRN (Credit) Level 20098 (16) So - Sr; 20467 (1-16)  Signature Required Interested students should contact Steve Hendricks (hendrics@evergreen.edu or 360-867-5745) or Stephanie Kozick (kozicks@evergreen.edu or 360-867-6439) or meet with them at the Academic Fair December 1, 2010.  

Credits: 16(F); 16(W)

Class Standing: Sophomore - Senior

Offered During: Day


The city, however, does not tell its past, but contains it like the lines of a hand, written in the corners of the streets, the gratings of the windows, the banisters of the steps, the antennae of the lightening rods, the poles of the flags, every segment marked in turn with scratches, indentations, scrolls.
-Italo Calvino

Students who select this program must have a passion for a variety of literature and writing about the topic of cities. This program takes on stories that form a literary map of urban centers. Works such as Tulli’s Dreams and Stones engage city imagery as metaphor, while Auster’s City of Glass places us squarely in the streets of New York City. Learning activities will also include responding to narratives with visual representation work in the field of book arts. Students will consider the city through literature rich in historical and cultural contexts, practice creative and non-fiction city writing, create urban visual representations, and become familiar with important urban studies.

What does it mean to know a city? Urban studies writers such as William Whyte and Jane Jacobs tell us that cities have distinctive landscapes, movements and sounds. Sociologists and literary writers give form to the abstract patterns of city work, consumption, growth and collapse and seek to link these patterns to the unique lives of individual city dwellers. Cities abound with layered stories that, through the imaginative lens of literature, make up a modern mythology and allow us to locate, within the urban tumult, quarters of quietude, woven communities, and patterns of migration and change.

Cities have provoked fantasies of heavens and of hells—utopias and dystopias—and provided a modern image of the monolithic impenetrability of history and civilization against which or within which the individual must carve out a meaningful life. Through an aesthetic exploration of the order and chaos of cities, we’ll ask how narratives in literature, film and art construct our sense of place and sense of self.

During fall quarter, we’ll study the concept of sense of place, employing works such as You Are Here: Personal Geographies and Other Maps of the Imagination (Harmon) to guide us in determining how a sense of place emerges in city writing. Fall will illuminate USA and European cities, deepening our inquiry through partnered fiction and nonfiction readings, such as A Confederacy of Dunces (Toole) coupled with New Orleans, Mon Amour: Twenty Years of Writings from the City (Codrescu). In winter quarter we’ll move on to narratives that come out of Africa, Japan, and beyond. Naguib Mahfouz’s Palace Walk, part of his Cairo Trilogy, coupled with Golia’s Cairo: City of Sand offer a look at the largest city in Africa, one preserved with a medieval cityscape.

Students who wish to continue their study of cities during spring quarter are invited to enroll in the field-based program, In the City.

Maximum Enrollment: 50

Preparatory for studies or careers in: literature, writing and social studies.

Campus Location: Olympia

Online Learning: Enhanced Online Learning

Books: www.tescbookstore.com