For the first time in history, more people live in cities than in villages. And they’re writing about it. There’s a global renaissance of books about cities, from Karachi to Cairo to Chicago. In this course, we will look at writers such as Dickens, Calvino, Jane Jacobs, Mahfouz, and others to see how best to write about the urban experience. We will examine the impact of climate change, inequality, and mass migration on global cities. We will consider issues of local politics, real-estate development, and urban planning, as they are reflected in official and unofficial narratives of city life.
This course will draw upon the resources of New York City and include field trips to places like Jackson Heights, Coney Island and City Hall. Students will be expected to write one midterm and one final paper.