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Course Information

Instructor Info:William Ryan
Office Extension x5646
TA Info:Tzitzi Farmer
Rachael Clifford
Term: 2014S
Meeting Info: Wednesday Friday
09:00 AM - 10:20 AM Franklin Patterson Hall (FPH) 105
09:00 AM - 10:20 AM Franklin Patterson Hall (FPH) 105

Tumultuous and robust, American cities have certainly enjoyed a rich history. As this course is primarily a writing seminar, we're particularly interested in how Americans have given voice to their urban experience, beginning with the literary realism of the late 19th century and culminating in the various expressions of the hip-hop culture of today. Are there universals in the urban story? How and why do shifting populations tell different stories? We'll read history, biography, autobiography, journalism, fiction, and poetry in order to understand the tensions that have informed urban life. More importantly, we'll also study these writings with an eye towards adopting their approaches in our own critical and creative written assignments.

Evaluation Criteria:

You will be expected to prepare for and participate in class discussion.  There will be a number of homework assignments and five formal assignments. You must revise each of the first four formal assignments, and one of the revisions may result in a longer essay of 10-12 pages, which can be your final assignment. Expect to present at least one of these papers to your classmates for discussion. Completed portfolios will include 10 items –  4 or 5 formal papers, 4 revisions, and a self-evaluation – and are due May 9 (2014!).