The rise of the modern city makes possible new ways of living, new kinds of people, and new kinds of stories presented in texts, films, music, and art. To better understand what forms of life the modern city makes imaginable, we will start by looking at sociologist Georg Simmel’s seminal short essay, “The Metropolis and Mental Life” and the first chapter of Jane Jacobs’ The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Then we will explore how writers and filmmakers have tried to capture different aspects of the experience of city life, with a particular focus on the quintessential American city, Chicago. Texts, films, and recordings may include Erik Larson, The Devil in the White City; Nelson Algren, Chicago, City on the Make; Upton Sinclair, The Jungle; Sandra Cisneros, The House on Mango Street; Gwendolyn Brooks, “We real cool”; Chris Ware, Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth; The Untouchables; Public Enemy (1931 version); The Man with the Golden Arm; The Sting; Chicago; High Fidelity; The Road to Perdition; Chi-Raq; various Chicago blues recordings. We will take several field trips to locales and neighborhoods in Chicago that connect to themes and settings we will be discussing.
We are no longer admitting high school students to the 2018 Summer Session.
High School Students
Arts & Sciences
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