In this seminar, students use tools from the social sciences, from oral history to mapping and participant observation and beyond, to investigate how the diverse people of New York City shape its identity, past, present, and future. Extensive reading and writing assignments are enriched by visits to neighborhoods, museums and historical and cultural sites across the city.
In this seminar, students use the tools of the social sciences, from oral history to mapping and participant observation and beyond, to investigate how the diverse people of New York City shape its identity, past, present, and future. Seminar topics include: the experiences of Indigenous and enslaved populations; the ongoing consequences of settler colonialism; the ways in which culture, class, religion, race, gender, ethnicity, xenophobia, and racism have shaped New Yorkers’ experiences with and within the city; the formation and social organization of New York’s communities; the impact of successive waves of newcomers to the city on urban culture and politics; and the continuing debates over assimilation, cultural retention, and “Americanization.” Extensive reading and writing assignments are enriched by visits to neighborhoods, museums, and historical and cultural sites across the city and the use of demographic, population and other quantitative data as well as qualitative approaches. All classes create public-facing final projects, documenting their research and presenting an aspect of New York City’s diversity.
- Demonstrate a comparative understanding of different populations through research and writing about one or more groups or about an area of the city and its shifting population across time.
- Use a variety of approaches (e.g. qualitative, quantitative, or experiential) to studying people in order to come to an understanding of the diversity of people’s experiences in and of the city.
- Understand the advantages and disadvantages of different approaches and methodologies used by the social sciences.
- Increase their understanding of past and present issues including colonialism, migration, immigration, race, and ethnicity by analyzing a variety of sources (current, historical, primary, secondary) and by engaging in active discussion about those issues.
- Present their research to a public audience through a final project that may be completed by small groups or the entire class.
- Critically examine their own roles in and effect on the communities of New York City.
Comments by Joseph Ugoretz
Private: Seminar 1 Meeting Minutes
Excellent points, Dennis. I'm sure we'll be continuing to ...