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ENGL-209-01 New York Stories
Spring for 2009-2010
SUMMER 2010
English 209: “New York Stories: Urban Experience in Twentieth-Century America”
Professor Maureen Corrigan
Office: New North 405/Phone: 687-9517/

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 “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 Party, 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 stubbornly utopian predictions about the future of New York City and urban life in America.

“There’s only one city that belongs to the whole country, and that’s New York.” William Dean Howells

“New York is more full of reflections than of itself.” Zelda Fitzgerald

“It is an ugly city, a dirty city. Its climate is a scandal. Its politics are used to frighten children. Its traffic is madness. Its competition is murderous. But there is one thing about it—once you have lived in New York and it has become your home, no other place is good enough.” John Steinbeck

Texts:

Edith Wharton, The House of Mirth
Alfred Kazin, A Walker in the City
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
Pete Hamill, A Drinking Life
Jan Morris, Manhattan, 1945
Ann Petry, The Street
E.B. White, Here is New York
Anatole Broyard, Kafka Was the Rage

Selections from: Ann Douglas, Terrible Honesty; Joseph Mitchell, McSorley’s Wonderful Saloon, The Poetry of the Harlem Renaissance, Vivian Gornick, The Romance of American Communism
Films:

A Tree Grows In Brooklyn
The Clock
The Out-of-Towners
Annie Hall
Do the Right Thing



Spring 2010
Professor Maureen Corrigan
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: ENGL 040, 041, 042, or 043
More information
Look for this course in the schedule of classes.

The academic department web site for this program may provide other details about this course.

Georgetown University37th and O Streets, N.W., Washington D.C. 20057(202) 687.0100

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