ENGL-209-01 New York Stories
Spring for 2006-2007
New York City is, arguably the cultural capital of twentieth- (and,
so far), twenty-first century America - the center of literature, music, art, architecture, and fashion as well as the focal point for political debates on the viability of cities, immigration, and the meaning of America itself. This course proposes to study autobiographical, fictional, non-fictional, poetic and cinematic accounts of twentieth-century life in New York City in order to understand the dreams and nightmares embodied by the city in the popular imagination. Beginning with the first decades of the
twentieth century, we will investigate the decline of the "old guard"
aristocratic society in the early 1900s and the nature of the immigrant experience in New York. The course will then focus on the Jazz Age when New York artists, writers, and architects shaped a new ethos of modernity that would define "The American Century." Attention will also be devoted to the various "counter-cultural" movements (e.g. the rise of the American Communist Part, the Beat Movement) that erupted in New York City during the early and middle
decades of the last century. The course will conclude with contemporary dystopian and stubbonly utopian predictions about the future of New York City and urban life in America.
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
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