Urban Culture

The seminar is designed to provide an overview of contemporary life in major American cities. To demonstrate familiarity with urban life, students work in small groups to create a website about an American city. Weekly readings and discussion highlight major issues in contemporary urban life.

Course Policies

To provide ourselves a concrete basis with which to discuss urban America (and compare it to Hungary/Europe), we have one major outside project this semester: to create a website about American cities. Each student selects a major American city and puts together a website with a variety of information about “their” cities. This provides the basis for the test at the end of the semester. Since the information has to be available for everyone in time for the test (due in the last class session) the websites MUST be finished by November 12. Late projects hurt both your classmates’ ability to do the test and your own grade. Details on what should go on the website are available on the class website. Cities will be selected in the first session.

Otherwise, class time will be spent discussing a variety of features in contemporary urban life in the US. For each session there will be a short reading on a topic concerning urban culture, and this reading will serve as the basis for seminar discussion. In order to make sure that everyone reads the text, there will be quizzes on all the reading assignments. The quizzes, however, will be prepared by students, not the teacher. For each session, two people will be assigned the task of preparing a quiz on the reading, and they will send the quiz to me by 9 PM the Friday before class. I’ll then select the questions/quiz for the next day. The readings will be available online via the class website.

As usual, participation grades are based on coming to class and actively and intelligently participating in the discussion.

As with all seminars, attendance is important. Active participation is expected, and how else can I evaluate your performance if you don't come? So please, remember that missing more than one of the four classes means no signature.

Grading

For the seminar you get a gyakoralati jegy, which is based on 4 factors:
• Class participation (25%)
• Quizzes on readings (25%)
• Take-home test (25%)
• Website (25%)