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First-Year Research Seminar: Immigrant New York

Semester and Year SP 2012
Course Number FIRST-UG735
Section 001
Instructor A. Lavelle Porter
Days Mon,Wed
Time 3:30 PM - 4:45 PM
Units 4.0
Level U
Foundation Requirement


How has the concept of assimilation been used politically and how has it shaped immigrant subjectivity? Our emphasis in this course will be on the history of immigration in New York, particularly in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. However, we will also connect that history to contemporary immigrant experiences and contemporary political debates over immigration. Finally, we will explore the various methods by which immigrant history is preserved and disseminated, including through museums, oral history projects and public monuments. Students will produce several short essays leading up to a final research project. Texts for this course may include the following: poetry by Walt Whitman, Emma Lazarus and Claude McKay, novels such as Abraham Cahan’s Yekl: A Tale of the New York and Paule Marshall’s Browngirl, Brownstones , journalism such as Herbert Ashbury’s Gangs of New York and Jacob Riis’s How the Other Half Lives,  historical works such as Edwin Burrows and Mike Wallace’s Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898 , and films such as Joan Micklin Silver’s Hester Street .



Course Type

First-Year Program: Research Seminars (FIRST-UG)

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