2014 - Fall

Journalism as Literature: Storied New York

Course Number: JOUR-UA 504.002

Day & Time: Wednesday 3:30pm-6:00pm

Location: 20 Cooper, room 659

Instructor: Suketu Mehta

New York is the most storied city in America; generations of writers have been entranced by it, and have produced masterpieces in tribute. We will look at the city as a character, in journalism, memoir, fiction, poetry, and film. What is the idea of New York in historical and contemporary imagination, and how different or similar are today’s chroniclers of the city from their predecessors? What can we learn about urban reportage from the best practitioners of the genre? We will examine the texts for thematic concerns as well as those of craft. We will look at them as a car mechanic looks at a car; see how sentences are structured so that the text provides pleasure as well as information. And along the way, we will discover the broader possibilities and limitations of nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and film.