This first year seminar will expose students to the complex dynamics of race, ethnicity, and gender and how these forces have shaped the American city since 1945. We will examine both the historical record, as well as contemporary works of literature and film to probe the ways race and ethnicity have contributed to the culture of urban life in the United States. The course will also explore the different ways women and men perceive, understand, occupy, and use urban space and the built environment. Drawing upon scholarship across multiple disciplines (urban planning, ethnic studies, sociology, and American history), the seminar will examine a broad spectrum of topics, including the social construction of race, the creation of the underclass label, residential segregation, the significance of Hurricane Katrina, sexual identity and space, and immigration. The last portion of the course will focus on planning and policy tools that have the potential to alleviate racial/ethnic and gender inequality in space.

Cross listed: WGST 51