Urban Studies

Director: Pinar Batur (Sociology); Steering Committee: Jennifer Bosson (Psychology), Lisa Brawley (Urban Studies), Mario Cesareo (Hispanic Studies), Heesok Chang (English), Mita Choudhury (History), Brian Godfrey (Geography), Tiffany Lightbourn (Psychology), Leonard Nevarez (Sociology), Sidney Plotkin (Political Science), Thomas Porcello (Anthropology), Christopher Roellke (Education), Jonathan Rork (Economics), Christopher J. Smart (Chemistry). Participating Faculty: Nicholas Adams (Art), Joyce Bickerstaff (Africana Studies and Education), Gene Bunnell (Urban Studies), Andrew Bush (Hispanic Studies), James Challey (Science, Technology and Society and Physics), Lisa Collins (Art), John Cross (Sociology), Harvey Flad (Geography), Luke Harris (Political Science), Kathy Kaufman ((Sociology), Peter Leonard (Field Work), Eileen Leonard (Sociology), Marque Miringoff (Sociology), Robin Trainor (Education).

The Urban Studies Program is designed as a multidisciplinary concentration in the study of cities and urbanization. Students examine the development of cities and their surrounding regions; the role of cities in the history of civilization; the social problems of urban life; the design of the built environment; and past and present efforts at planning for the future of urban societies. There are four major purposes of the program: (1) to introduce students to a temporal range and spatial variety of urban experience and phenomena; (2) to equip students with methodological tools to enable them to investigate and analyze urban issues; (3) to engage students experientially in a facet of the urban experience; and (4) to develop within the student a deeper grasp of these issues through advanced study within at least two disciplinary approaches.

Requirements for Concentration:

1) 14 units, including Introduction to Urban Studies (100), one unit of Urban Theory and the Senior Seminar.

2) One unit of Research Methods appropriate to the student's concentration in Urban Studies, chosen from Anthropology 245, Art 102–103, Art 275/276, Economics 209, Geography 220, Geography 222, Political Science 207, or Psychology 200, or Sociology 254.

3) Disciplinary Cluster. Four units at the 200–level, with 2 units taken from two separate disciplinary areas related to Urban Studies, i.e., Architecture, Art, Economics, Geography, History, Political Science, Sociology, etc., including other Multi–disciplinaries. In addition, two units at the 300–level, from two separate disciplines, reflecting the intellectual path set by the 200–level courses.

4) Urban Studies Cluster. Two units at the 200–level, originating in Urban Studies or cross–listed with Urban Studies.

5) One unit of fieldwork, or one half unit of Urban Studies 249 (1/2), plus one half unit in a chosen field work in cooperation with the course instructor.

6) Senior Thesis. One unit, two semester length requirement, to be considered for honors in Urban Studies. Majors will have the option of taking one additional 300 level course, instead of the Senior thesis, in the disciplinary concentration or in Urban Studies.

Recommendations for the Major:

1. Foreign Language. Competency through the third year college level, as demonstrated by completion of the relevant courses or examination.

2. Structured JYA Experience. This is especially recommended for those who are interested in architecture and/or global, historical and comparative issues, and area studies.

3. Outside of Major Course work. This includes Introduction to Macroeconomics and Introduction to Microeconomics, study of aesthetics, ethics and social and political philosophy, and study of theories of confrontation and liberation, concentrating on class movements, critical race theory, anti–racism, feminist theory, queer theory and environmental theory.

Requirements for Correlate Sequence: Six units including Urban Studies 100, which should be taken no later than the Junior year, one unit of Urban Studies 200, two 200–level courses, reflecting the concentration of the student in the Urban Studies correlate, two 300–level courses in accordance with the intellectual path set by the 200–level work. No more than two transfer units may be credited towards the sequence. No more than one unit may overlap with the major.

After declaration of the major or correlate sequence, no NRO work will be permissible or applicable to the major.

Core Courses

100b. Introduction to Urban Studies (1)

This course is an introduction to the debates on historical alteration of urban space and its cross cultural expressions. By concentrating on urban contradictions, topics include formation and perpetuation of hierarchy in space, and its political, economic social and cultural manifestations and contesting movements. The specific requirements of the course entail study of the debates, including their methodology, with an emphasis on the connection between theory and research. The course is coordinated by one faculty member in cooperation with the Urban Studies Program faculty. Ms. Batur.

200a. Urban Theory (1)

This course reviews the development of theories regarding human behavior in cities and the production of space. The course spans the twentieth century, from the industrial city to cyber–space, with a global comparative focus. Literature and topics examined to include urban ecology, community studies, the public sphere, economy, the global city system and urban cultures. Mr. Nevarez.

Prerequisite: Urban Studies 100.

[201b. Aesthetics and Urban Social Movements: Reading the Body in Protest] (1)

The course explores the political practices of social movements as forms of theatricality that display, dramatize, elaborate, and symbolically resolve the social tensions that have brought them into being. Mr. Cesareo.

Prerequisite: Urban Studies 100.

Not offered in 2001/02.

205 a and b. Topics in Social Psychology (1)

(Same as Psychology 205) This course introduces students to the discipline of social psychology via the in–depth exploration of a specific area of research or important theoretical issues in social psychology. Students examine the social psychological perspective on such topics as aggression, emotion, close relationships, law, inter–group conflict, and altruism.

Topic for 2001/02 a and b: Self and Society in the Information Age.Ms. Bosson.

Prerequisites: Psychology 105 or 106.

213b. Urban Planning and Practice (1)

An introduction to planning and practice. Course examines successful and unsuccessful cases of urban and regional planning events, compares and evaluates current growth management techniques, and explores a wide variety of planning methods and standards. Topics include citizen participation, goal setting, state and local land use management approaches, environmental protection measures, affordable housing strategies, transportation, and urban design. Mr. Akeley.

218b. Urban Economics (1)

(Same as Economics 218). The focus is on the city, in determining its costs and benefits as well as location and land use. We explore policy issues specific to local governments in urban areas, including: zoning, housing and segregation, poverty, homelessness, transportation, education and crime. Mr. Rork.

Prerequisite: Economics 101.

245b. Ethnographer's Craft (1)

(Same as Anthropology 245)

249a and b. Field Work As an Urban Experience (1/2)

This course requires students to enroll in a half unit of field work in an area of their choice. It provides an interpretive and comparative framework by offering students readings on activism, social organization and community movements and facilitates collective discussions in a classroom setting. The Program.

Co–requisite: 1/2 unit of field work for a total of 1 unit.

252 Race, Representation and Resistance in U.S. Schools (1)

(same as Education 252) We examine the political and relational nature of race and its significance in schooling. This examination includes the complicated relationship between identities at the individual level and the representations and discourses of knowledge created by the dominant racial order at structural and ideological levels. Set within the context of schools, this analysis delves into the meanings of race in the everyday lives of students and teachers and in education policies, practices and reform.

Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

Two 75–minute periods.

[265b. Urban Education Reform] (1)

[Same as Education 265b) Mr. Roellke.

Special Permission

Not offered in 2001/02.

273b. Representations of the City (1)

The neighborhood is the building block of cities, and the quality of urban life is largely determined by the neighborhoods we live in. This course analyzes the changing face of American neighborhoods, by exploring the differing qualities and characteristics of inner city, inner suburb, and outer suburb neighborhoods, and how those neighborhoods are changing according to spatial and temporal variables. Twentieth–century planning experiments that created model suburban neighborhoods, the growing popularity of gated communities, and new urbanist communities that incorporate qualities formerly associated with older neighborhoods are also examined. One of the most important issues addressed is the extent to which the neighborhood fabric of cities has adapted to the growing diversity of American society. In that context, the question of how abandoned neighborhoods can be stabilized and revived without gentrification and displacement of existing residents, and without creating socio–economically homogeneous neighborhoods, becomes an important topic to explore. Mr. Bunnell.

[274a. Urban Sociology: Building the City] (1)

(Same as Sociology 274a)

Not offered in 2001/02.

275b. Gender and Social Space (1)

(Same as Women Studies 275) This course explores the ways in which gender informs the spatial organization of daily life; the interrelation of gender and key spatial forms and practices such as the home, the city, the hotel, migration, shopping, community activism, and walking at night. It draws on feminist theoretical work from diverse fields such as geography, architecture, anthropology and urban studies not only to begin to map the gendered divisions of the social world but also to understand gender itself as a spatial practice. Ms. Brawley.

Special Permission.

282b. Cities and Urbanization in Latin America (1)

(Same as the Sociology 282 and Latin American Studies 282). John Cross.

Special Permission.

286a. Drugs and U.S. Policy in Latin America (1)

(Same as Sociology 286 and Latin American Studies 286). Mr. Cross.

287b. Feminist Political Ecology (1)

(Same as Environmental Studies 287 and Women Studies 287) Topic for 2001/02: Gender, Nature, Justice: An Introduction to Feminist Environmentalism. This course is an introduction to feminist environmentalism as a political movement and an emerging critical field. A wide range of critical approaches to understanding gender and the environmentsuch as feminist political ecology, ecofeminism, ecosocialism, and environmental philosophyinform an exploration of specific cases of gendered environmental practice. Cases include: nature writing, landscape architecture, wilderness adventure, earth art, vegetarianism, and environmental activism,. We examine environmental crises as they relate to processes of urbanization. We pay particular attention to the question of sustainable agriculture and food security. Critically attending to the global food systemand to the gendered and racial inequities in the production and distribution of the planet's most fundamental resourcespowerfully reveals the interconnection of the urban and the rural, the global and the local, the planet and the body, and thus calls for a feminist activism and scholarship that is able to traverse these diverse spaces. Readings for this course are supplemented by guest lectures by area feminist scholars, activists, and farmers. Ms. Brawley.

Special permission.

288a. Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning (1)

(Same as Science, Technology and Society 288) Environmental quality can be threatened by development and urbanization. However, a healthy environment is impossible without healthy cities. This course examines the interrelationship between cities and regions, and points of interconnection between urban policy and planning, and environmental quality are considered, and twentieth–century American urban and environmental policies are reviewed. Recent and emerging policy tools and planning methods for managing land use and development in cities and regions are emphasized. In so doing, a foundational understanding of sustainable land use and sustainable development are developed. Mr. Bunnell.

Prerequisite: Urban Studies 100.

289a. Aesthetic and Racial Valuations in American Urban Contexts (1)

The arena of music in the U.S. came to be a central locus for struggles over valuation deemed both social and aesthetic. From 1890 to 1960, music, widely regarded as the most ethereal and the most elemental art, remained at the epicenter of cultural debates over urbanization, modernism, and media, The course examines the limited malleability of race as lived and as represented. Debates focus on the racial utility and urban valence of ragtime, tin pan alley, jazz versus blues, rhythm and blues. Source texts include recordings, radio programs, movies and contemporary criticism associated with New York, Chicago, Kansas City, and Los Angeles. Mr. Moore.

290a or b. Field Work (1/2 or 1)

Individual projects through field work office, under supervision of one of the participating instructors. May be elected during the college year or during the summer. Special permission. Unscheduled.

300a. and 301b. Senior Thesis (1)

A thesis written in two semesters for one unit. The Program.

350b. New York City as a Social Laboratory: Enduring Inequality(1)

(Same as Sociology 350) In a classic essay on urban studies, sociologist Robert Park once called the city "a laboratory or clinic in which human nature and social processes may be conveniently and profitably studied." The scale, dynamism, and complexity of New York City make it a social laboratory without equal. This seminar provides a multidisciplinary inquiry into New York City as a case study in selected urban issues. Classroom meetings are combined with the field–based investigations that are a hallmark of Urban Studies. Site visits in New York City allow meetings with scholars, officials, developers, community leaders and others actively involved in urban affairs. Topics for the seminar may change from year to year, in which case the course may be repeated for credit. Ms. Kaufman.

Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

[370b. Topics in Social and Urban Geography] (1)

(Same as Geography 370)

Prerequisites: Urban Studies 100, Geography 105, or Geography 250.

Not offered in 2001/02.

380b. Poughkeepsie Institute (1)

This course is taught in conjunction with the Poughkeepsie Institute, which is a collaboration of five local colleges: Bard, Dutchess Community, Marist, New Paltz and Vassar. The topics vary but are always on urban issues of local concern (often with national implications). The seminars are team–taught. There are always five professors present, one from each college. The course requires direct community experience and research. It aims to issue a collaborative report to foster community discussion among citizens, the media, and policy making bodies. The topics for the Institute may change from year to year in which case the course may be repeated for credit.

Topic for 2001/02b: The Poughkeepsie Water Front. This course aims to discover, analyze, and report on the history, current project and future of the Poughkeepsie Water Front. This team–taught, multi–disciplinary course examines the socio–political realities, local environmental issues and economic development policies. There is a strong emphasis on direct community research. Students are involved in traditional classroom work as well as cooperative research projects. Mr. Leonard, Ms. Marzouka.

Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

Limited to 5 students.

381b. Psychology of Migration (1)

(Same as Psychology 381) Ms. Lightbourn.

386a. Senior Seminar (1)

(Same as Geography 386) This course concentrates on advanced debates in Urban Studies and is designed to encourage students to produce research/grant proposals for projects in Urban Studies. Topics vary according to instructor. This seminar is required of all Urban Studies majors.

Topic for 2001a: Globalization and its Discontents. This seminar explores the contemporary phenomena called "globalization," paying particular attention to the changing role of cities within the context of increasingly global networks of trade, migration, information, finance and cultural exchange. We explore the implications of globalization for understandings of place, work, family, cultural identity, citizenship, the nation, and the state. We also consider movements and discourses of resistance formed within and/or in opposition to the new global system. Texts for this course include works by Saskia Sassen, from whose essay collection it takes its title, as well as: David Harvey, Limits to Capital;Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt, Empire; Arjun Appadurai,Modernity at Large; Anthony Giddens, Runaway World; Achille Moembe, At the Edge of the World; the special issue of Signs on Gender and Globalization; and several of the recent anthologies on globalization. Ms. Brawley and Mr. Godfrey.

Prerequisite: special permission.

388a. Prejudice, Racism, and Social Policy (1)

(Same as Psychology 388 and Africana Studies 388) Prejudice and racism is one of the most enduring and widespread social problems facing the world today. This course tackles prejudice and racism from a social psychological perspective, and aims to give students an understanding of the theoretical causes, consequences, and 'cures' of this pervasive phenomenon. We review the empirical work on stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination and then explore real–world examples of these principles in action in the policy realm. In particular we examine historical and contemporary cases that relate to ideas about race and ethnicity in a national and global context. Topics covered may include affirmative action, segregation/desegregation, bilingual education, urban policy, US immigration policy, US foreign policy in Rwanda and Yugoslavia, etc. This course is intended to help upper–level students acquire the theoretical tools with which to analyze prejudice and racism research and the development of public policies. Ms. Lightbourn.

II. Independent Work

298a or b. Independent Work (1/2 or 1)

Individual project of reading or research, under supervision of one of the participating instructors.

399a or b. Senior Independent Work (1/2 or 1)

Independent project of reading or research under supervision of one of the participating instructors.