CULTURE AND SOCIAL LIFE IN THE AMERICAN CITY, 1800-2003
Timothy J. Gilfoyle, Associate Professor of History
Loyola University Chicago
HIST 460, Sect. 801, Spring 2003
Office hours: Tues. 8-11 a.m., 2-3 p.m.
511 Crown Center
The "United States was born in the country and has moved to the city." Richard Hofstadter, The Age of Reform (1955), 23.
This course examines the evolution of the United States from a rural and small-town society to an urban and suburban nation. Cities, and especially Chicago, have long offered some of the best laboratories for the study of American history, social structure, economic development and cultural change. Certain problems and themes recur throughout the course of American urban and cultural history which will be focal points of this seminar: the interaction of private commerce with cultural change; the rise of distinctive working and middle classes; the segregation of public and private space; the formation of new and distinctive urban subcultures organized by gender, work, race, religion, ethnicity, and sexuality; problems of health and housing resulting from congestion; and blatant social divisions between the rich and poor, the native born and immigrant, and blacks and whites. This colloquium will thus provide a historiographical introduction to the major questions and issues in the culture and social life of American cities.
The course requirements include one 20- to 25-page typewritten essay (50%), an oral report (25%) and class participation (25%). Essay guidelines can be found at the end of this syllabus. A primary responsibility of students is to complete the weekly reading before the date of the scheduled class and contribute their thoughtful, reflective opinions in class discussion. The readings can be interpreted in a variety of ways and students should formulate some initial positions and questions to offer in the class discussion. For every article or book, students should be prepared to answer all of the questions found in the "Critical Reading" section of the syllabus below. All required readings may be purchased at Beck's Bookstore on Sheridan Road. Students do not have to purchase any of the books since each one has been placed on reserve at Cudahy Library.
Students who are disabled or impaired should meet with the professor within the first two weeks of the semester to discuss the need for any special arrangements.
CLASS MEETING DATES AND ASSIGNMENTS
14 January. - Introduction
Timothy J. Gilfoyle, "White Cities, Linguistic Turns, and Disneylands: Recent Paradigms in Urban History," Reviews in American History 26 (March 1998): 175-204; reprinted in Louis P. Masur, ed. The Challenge of American History (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1999), 175-204.
A longer version of this essay is available on the web at: www.luc.edu/depts/history/gilfoyle/WHITECIT.HTM
21 January: The Forces of Urbanization
William Cronon, Nature's Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West (New York: W.W. Norton, 1991).
Oral Report: "William Cronon's Nature's Metropolis: A Symposium," Antipode,
26 (1994), 113-76.
Peter A. Coclanis, "Urbs in Horto," Reviews in American History, 20 (1992), 14-20.
28 January: Cultures of Urban Crime
Herbert Asbury, The Gangs of New York: An Informal History of the New York Underworld (New York: Thunder's Mouth Press, 2001; originally 1927)
Oral Report: Eric Monkkonen, Murder in New York City (Berkeley: Univ.
of California Press, 2001).
Tyler Anbinder, Five Points (New York: Free Press, 2001), 67-234, 269-96.
Luc Sante, Low Life: Lures and Snares of Old New York (New York: Farrar
Straus Giroux, 1991).
Luc Sante, "Mean Streets," New York Review of Books, 20 Dec. 2001.
Adam Gopnik, "Underworld: Herbert Asbury's Irresistible Histories," The New Yorker, 8 November 2002.
4 February: Sex in the City
Preliminary bibliographies due.
Timothy J. Gilfoyle, City of Eros: New York City, Prostitution, and the
Commercialization of Sex, 1790-1920 (New York: W.W. Norton, 1992).
Timothy J. Gilfoyle, "Prostitutes in History: From Parables of Pornography to Metaphors of Modernity," American Historical Review, 104 (Feb. 1999), 117-41.
Oral Report: George Chauncey, Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World (New York: Basic Books, 1994).
Recommended: Museum of Sex (Grady Turner, ed. and curator), New York City Sex: How New York City Transformed Sex in America (New York: Scala, 2002) and the related web site at the Museum of Sex: Museum of Sex in New York.
11 February: The Origins of Urban Popular Culture
William R. Leach, Land of Desire: Merchants, Power and the Rise of New American Culture (New York: Random House, 1993).
Oral Report: Lawrence Levine, Highbrow/Lowbrow: The Emergence of Cultural
Hierarchy in America. Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 1988, pp. 1-82, 219-42.
Richard Bushman, The Refinement of America (New York: Knopf, 1991), pp. xi-xix, 353-447.
Class dinner at Tim Gilfoyle's, 718 W. Aldine Avenue, 5:30 p.m.
18 February: Class and Culture in the 19th-Century City
David Schuyler, The New Urban Landscape: The Redefinition of City Form in
Nineteenth-Century America (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press 1986).
Roy Rosenzweig and Elizabeth Blackmar, The Park and the People: A History of Central Park (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1992).
25 February: The Physical City
Daniel Burnham and Edward Bennett, Plan of Chicago (Chicago: Chicago Commercial Club, 1909).
Oral Reports: Daniel Bluestone, Constructing Chicago (New Haven: Yale
University Press, 1991), relevant pages.
Joan E. Draper, "Paris By the Lake: Sources of Burnham's Plan of Chicago,"
in John Zukowsky, ed., Chicago Architecture, 1872-1922: Birth of a Metropolis
(Munich, 1987), 107-115.
Ira Bach, "A Reconsideration of the 1909 'Plan of Chicago,'" Chicago
History, 2 (1973), 132-41.
Carol Willis, Form Follows Finance: Skyscrapers and Skylines in New York and Chicago (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1995).
11 March: Work and 20th-Century Popular Culture
Lizabeth Cohen, Making a New Deal: Industrial Workers in Chicago, 1919-1939 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990).
Oral Reports: "Symposium on Making a New Deal by Lizabeth Cohen," Labor
History, 32 (1991), 562-598.
Kathleen Neils Conzen, David A. Gerber, Ewa Morawska, George Pozzetta, Rudolph
J. Vecoli, "The Invention of Ethnicity: A Prespective from the U.S.A.," Journal
of American Ethnic History, 12 (1992), 3-63.
Olivier Zunz, The Changing Face of Inequality: Urbanization, Industrial Development, and Immigrants in Detroit, 1880-1920 (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1982).
18 March: Suburban Culture
Kenneth T. Jackson, Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of the United States (New York: Oxford University Press, 1985).
Oral Report: Lisa McGirr, Suburban Warriors: The Origins of the New American
Right (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001).
Becky Nicolaides, My Blue Heaven: Life and Politics in the Working-Class
Suburbs of Los Angeles, 1920-1965 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press,
James L. Wunsch, "The Suburban Cliche," Journal of Social History,
28 (1995), 643-58.
Richard Harris and Robert Lewis, "The Geography of North American Cities
and Suburbs, 1900-1950," Journal of Urban History, 27 (March 2001),
Todd Gardner, "The Slow Wave: The Changing Residential Status of Cities
and Suburbs in the United States, 1850-1940," Journal of Urban History,
27 (March 2001).
Robert Lewis, Manufacturing Montreal: The Making of an Industrial Landscape,
1850-1930 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000), esp. 20-22,
Andrew Wiese, "The Other Suburbanites: African American Suburbanization in the North before 1950," Journal of American History, 85 (March 1999), 1495-1524.
25 March: Papers Due
Movie: The City (1939).
Recommended: Lewis Mumford, The Culture of Cities (New York, 1938), esp. 3-12, 143-299, 392-421, 486-93; idem, The City in History (New York: Harcourt, 1961), esp. 3-54, 119-182, 205-314, 410-578.
1 April: Race and the City
Arnold Hirsch, Making the Second Ghetto: Race and Housing in Chicago, 1940-1960 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1983).
David Schuyler, A City Transformed: Redevelopment, Race, and Suburbanization in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 1940-1980 (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2002).
Oral Report: "Special Issue: Urban History, Arnold Hirsch, and the Second Ghetto Thesis," Journal of Urban History, vol. 29, no. 4 (March 2003).
8 April: Urban Crises
Thomas J. Sugrue, The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality in Postwar Detroit (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996).
Oral Report: "Symposium on Thomas J. Sugrue: The Origins of the Urban Crisis," Labor History, 39 (1998), 43-69.
15 April: The Postindustrial City
Mike Davis, City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles (London: Verso, 1990).
Oral Report: John Findlay, Magic Lands: Western Cityscapes and American
Culture After 1940 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993).
Mike Davis, Ecology of Fear: Los Angeles and the Imagination of Disaster
(New York: Metropolitan, 1998), esp. 3-194, 357-422. Ted Rohrlich, "Seer of
L.A. or Blinded by Its Light?" Los Angeles Times, 13 April 1999.
Veronique de Turenne, "Is Mike Davis' Los Angeles All in His Head?" Salon (7 Dec. 1998): Salon Magazine
17 April: Midnight Bike Ride (rain date 24 April).More information at: www.luc.edu/depts/history/gilfoyle/BIKERIDE.HTM
22 April.: Final Papers Due
Allen J. Scott and Edward W. Soja, "Introduction to Los Angeles: City and Region" and Richard Weinstein, "The First American City," both in Scott and Soja, eds., The City: Los Angeles and Urban Theory at the End of the Twentieth Century (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1996), 1-46.
DISCUSSIONS AND CRITICAL READING
Discussion and class participation is an important part of student evaluation (25 percent). Incisive, imaginative and thoughtful comments that generate and facilitate discussion are weighed heavily in final grades. Asking questions, responding to student questions and contributing to an ongoing discussion are a necessary part of the learning experience. Failure to speak in class only lowers a student's final grade. Discussions take place in every class period, each worth 2 "points." Students will receive 0 points for nonparticipation, 1 point for minimal participation, and 2 points for active participation. Students who raise questions that generate discussion will earn extra points.
The best ways to prepare for and contribute to class discussion are: 1) complete the reading on time, and 2) critically analyze the reading. The primary goal of critical reading is to identify the author's interpretation and evaluate the evidence and influences leading to that conclusion. Never assume a "passive" position when reading a text. To fully comprehend and understand any reading, ask the following questions:
1. What is the thesis of the author?
2. Does the author have a stated or unstated point of view? How does the author construct their argument? Are the author's goals, viewpoints, or agendas revealed in the introduction or preface? Does the author provide evidence to support the argument? Is it the right evidence? In the final analysis, do you think the author proves the argument or does the author rely on preconceived views or personal ideology? Why?
3. Does the author have a moral or political posture? Is it made explicit or implicit in the way the story is told? What is the author's view of human nature? Does change come from human agency and "free will" or broad socio-economic forces?
4. What assumptions does the author hold about society? Does the author see society as hierarchical, pluralistic, democratic or elitist? Does the author present convincing evidence to support this view?
5. How is the narrative constructed or organized? Does the author present the story from the viewpoint of a certain character or group? Why does the author begin and end at certain points? Is the story one of progress or decline? Why does the author write this way?
6. What issues and events does the author ignore? Why? Can you think of alternative interpretations or stories that might present a different interpretation? Why does the author ignore certain events or facts?
The oral report constitutes 25 percent of the final grade. The purpose of the assignment is to facilitate and broaden class discussion by comparing other historical writing with the required class reading. Each week, one or twostudents will be responsible for reading and reporting on a selection of articles and/or books. The oral report should: 1) BRIEFLY summarize the author's thesis, 2) critically examine the sources, methodology, and strengths and weaknesses of the thesis or theses, and 3) compare the work or works to the required reading for that week. The questions employed in the critical reading section above should be applied in the oral report assignment. Students will present the report in the beginning or early in the class, whenever it facilitates discussion. The report should take approximately 10 to 15 minutes. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD THE REPORT EXCEED 15 MINUTES. Oral report assignments will be made in the introductory class.
The essay requirement serves several purposes. First, good, thoughtful writing disciplines and educates the mind. To write well, one must think well. If one's writing improves, so does their thinking and intelligence. Second, students personally experience on a first-hand basis some form of historical writing. A research paper relying on primary sources exposes students to the challenges, difficulties and even contradictions of analyzing historical events. Ideally, students will think more "historically" as a result of the exercise. Third, the essay can later function as a writing sample for students applying for future employment positions as well as to graduate or professional school.
Two types of essays are acceptable for this course: research and historiographical. Research essays analyze a specific topic using primary or original sources. Examples of primary sources include (but are not limited to) newspapers, diaries, letters, oral interviews, books published during the period under study, manuscript collections, and old maps. A research essay relies on source material produced by the subject or by institutions and individuals associated in some capacity with the subject. The use and immersion of the writer/researcher in such primary and original sources is often labelled "doing history." Most of the articles and books assigned for class discussion represent this type of historical writing.
Historiographical essays are based upon at least ten different secondary sources, or what historians have written about a subject. Such a paper examines how historians' interpretations have differed and evolved over time regarding a specific topic or theme. The major focus of a historiographical essay are the ideas of historians, how they compare with each other and how they have changed over time. Examples and models for such essays can be found in the following collections:
Louis Masur, ed., The Challenge of American History (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1999); originally Reviews in American History, vol. 26, no. 1 (March 1998).
Eric Foner, ed., The New American History (Philadelphia: Temple Univ. Press, 1990), especially essays in part II.
Both types of assignments should be the length of a standard scholarly article (approximately 20-25 typewritten pages of text, plus notes). Students should select a topic as soon as possible, in consultation with the instructor. A preliminary bibliography which includes books, articles, oral interviews, or other possible sources should be completed and handed in by 2 p.m., Tuesday, 4 Feb. 2003.
All essays should be typed. Students who complete the essay early have the option to rewrite the paper upon its evaluation and return (remember - the only good writing is good rewriting).
For students who wish to have the option of rewriting the essay, TWO copies of the first draft of the essay should be in the professor's possession by 2 p.m., Tuesday, 25 March 2003. All other and rewritten essays are due at the final class meeting on 22 April 2003. On both dates, students should submit TWO copies of the essay. Students who rewrite the essay should also include the corrected first draft.
All final papers should be free of typographical errors, misspellings and grammatical miscues. For every eight such mistakes, the essay's grade will be reduced by a fraction (A to A?, A? to B+, etc.). Essays are to be written for this class ONLY. No essay used to fulfill the requirements of a past or current course may be submitted. Failure to follow this rule will result in an automatic grade of F for the assignment. Extensions are granted automatically. However, grades on essays handed in 48 hours (or more late) will be reduced by a fraction (A to A-, A- to B+, etc.). Every three days thereafter another fraction will be dropped from the paper's final grade.
Students in search of a paper topic can begin their investigation with a cursory reading of any published overview on urban history. Examples include:
Raymond Mohl, ed. The Making of Urban America, second edition (Wilmington, Del.: SR Books, 1997).
Eric H. Monkkonen, America Becomes Urban: The Development of U.S. Cities and Towns, 1780-1980 (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1988).
John Reps, The Making of Urban America (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1965).
Sam Bass Warner, Jr., The Urban Wilderness: A History of the American City (New York: Harper and Row, 1972)
The following journals are also useful: Journal of Urban History, Urban History Yearbook, Urban Affairs Quarterly, Urban Affairs Review, and Journal of Social History.
Good bibliographies on urban history can be found on the world-wide web:
The Urban Past: An International Urban History Bibliography
Reading a Community: Doing Urban History at the Local Level
WWW-VL HISTORY: USA URBAN HISTORY
Good bibliographies on architecture are:
University of Washington Libraries
Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record (HABS/HAER) Collections
The Great Buildings Collection
A valuable bibliography of planning articles published between 1794 and 1918
has been compiled by John Reps at:
Urban Planning, 1794-1918: An International Anthology of Articles, Conference Papers, and Reports
Other useful and constantly expanding web-related materials can be found at:
H-Urban Web Links
Bibliographies on urban planning and design include:
Cyburbia: The Urban planning portal
U C Berkeley Library
Index to Bibliographies
WWW-VL HISTORY: USA URBAN HISTORY
A good bibliography on Chicago is:
WWW-VL HISTORY: USA URBAN HISTORY
BASIC STYLE SHEET FOR NOTES IN ESSAYS
1. Constance McLaughlin Green, Holyoke: A Case History of the Massachusetts Industrial Revolution in America (New Haven, 1939), 24-27.
2. Bessie L. Pierce, A History of Chicago, 3 vols. (New York, 1937-1957), I, 213-220.
3. Ferdinand Toennies, Community and Society (1887), translated by C.F. Loomis (New York, 1963), 13-14.
ARTICLES AND BOOK CHAPTERS
1. Eric Lampard, "American Historians and the Study of Urbanization," American Historical Review 67 (1961), 61-63.
2. Oscar Handlin, "The Modern City as a Field of Historical Study," in Oscar Handlin and John Burchard, eds., The Historian and the City (Cambridge, 1966), 26.
3. Ernest W. Burgess, "The Growth of the City," Publications of the American Sociological Society 18 (1924), 85-97.
1. Story v. New York Elevated Railroad Co., 90 NY 122 (1883).
2. U.S. Department of the Interior, Census Office, Tenth Census of the United States, 1880, Report of the Social Statistics of Cities, comp. by George Waring, Jr., 2 vols. (Washington, D.C., 1887), I, 220.
1. New York Times, June 18, 1947, February 2, 3, 1948; Chicago Tribune, June 4, 1950.
1. Robert David Weber, "Rationalizers and Reformers: Chicago Local Transportation in the Nineteenth Century" (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Wisconsin, 1971), 178-197.
2. Graeme Davison, "Explanations of Urban Radicalism: Old Theories and New Historians" (paper delivered to the New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science Congress, Melbourne, August, 1977), 22-34.
After a work has been fully cited, subsequent citations should use only the the author's last name, a short title and page numbers. Consecutive citations of the same publication should employ ibid. and page numbers. The use of abbreviations is permissible, as long as the practice is consistent.
Plurals of dates do not need an apostrophe; write 1850s, not 1850's.
Commas are used to separate the last two items in a series of three or more: thus, one, two, and three . . .
Regions are capitalized when used as nouns (North, Midwest), but not capitalized when used as adjectives.
Chronological range always includes full dates; write 1956-1995, not 1956-95.
Certain terms are hyphenated only when used as adjectives; write nineteenth-century cities, not nineteenth century cities; or middle-class reformers, not middle class reformers.
Century titles are always written out in full; write twentieth-century cities, not 20th-century cities.
Numbers must be used consistently throughout an article or essay and will always be given as numerals except if the number begins a sentence (e.g., Two-hundred-and-forty-seven people gathered to hear seventy-two artists sing 134 songs.). Ratios should be given as 2-1, 5-4, etc.
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