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First-Year Research Seminar: Memory and the City

Semester and Year SP 2012
Course Number FIRST-UG737
Section 001
Instructor Joanna Scutts
Days Tue,Thu
Time 9:30 AM - 10:45 AM
Units 4.0
Level U
Foundation Requirement


How does a city ‘remember’ the past lives of its inhabitants? How do the peculiar characteristics of a city like New York­—its population density, cultural diversity, and constant evolution—affect the memories of the individuals and groups who live there? This seminar will explore the interplay between memory and the city through the study and analysis of literary texts, photographs, monuments, maps and movies. A wide range of theoretical readings will provide us with a working critical vocabulary for investigating questions of cultural memory and memorialization. The research paper will explore some aspect of the creation, ideology and reception of a commemorative site in New York City­. Sites could include major memorials such as the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, Ellis Island, or the Irish Hunger Memorial; a smaller museum or commemorative site such as the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, the African Burial Grounds, the Stonewall Inn, or the statues in a city park; or an unofficial, virtual, or erased memorial. Writers and artists may include Sigmund Freud, Walter Benjamin, James Young, Art Spiegelman, Jane Jacobs, E.B. White, Susan Sontag, Tony Kushner, and Woody Allen.



Course Type

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

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