Course Materials: List by Theme

Index | List by Theme | List by Social Science Materials | List by Humanities Materials

Theme 1: Remembrance & Redevelopment: Planning the WTC Site
"Here is New York" by E. B. White: White's classic essay allows the reader to feel palpably the verve and wonder of Manhattan. It demonstrates how one might organize the chaos of city life through the power of one's mind. It is as useful in the classroom for its limitations as for its extraordinary virtues; it is clearly the vision of a successful white man at a specific historical moment who has spent his time in the comfortable enclaves of Manhattan, rather than its depressed areas or outer boroughs. (Remembrance and Redevelopment/ History and Urban Renewal; essay)

Theme 2: Immigrant Experience
The Indian Wants the Bronx by Israel Horovitz: In this one-act play, an Asian Indian lost in the city is harassed by two teenage trouble-makers. The Indian is trying to get to his son in the Bronx but cannot speak English, and the boys' mockery includes crude attempts to teach the Indian some English. The scene escalates to mild violence that leaves the Indian terrified, still lost, and completely alone at the end. Theme: Immigrant, Crime. Humanities: Drama.

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison (NY: Penguin, 1970): Excerpts from the second and third sections of the novel explore the relationship between landlord and tenant and between renter and owner. They also address the gaps that often exist between cultures within a city in the example of the European immigrant store owner who is incapable of understanding the poor little black girl who comes in for some Mary Janes as well as the culture that could create such a child as Pecola, who eats the Mary Janes in the hopes of becoming Mary Jane - blonde and blue-eyed, so that she can be loved. Theme: Immigrant, women. Humanities: Novel.

"From the Poets in the Kitchen" by Paule Marshall: An essay on the formation of a Bajan writer in New York City. She talks about her early training as a writer in the kitchen where she listened to the natural poetry of the Bajan English and the women who use it as their only tool with which to struggle against the triple marginalization they experience as black, female, and foreign in an alien country. She explains how the space of the island has traveled with these women to the city, and she demonstrates the poetry, philosophy and power that their use of language contains. (Immigrant Experience; Women and the City; Essay)

"The Cafeteria" by Isaac Bashevis Singer: Through a glance at the Eastern European Jewish community, Singer's "The Cafeteria" asks the question, "what happens to the past when immigrants begin life afresh in New York City?" In the story, the cafeteria becomes a liminal space between the old country and the new, the past and the present. The trials and traumas of life in Europe (the holocaust, in particular) does not die; its distant ghosts wander still on the streets of New York. (Immigrant Experience, Women and the City; short story)

The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston: Tells the story of her immigrant family and tracks the struggles of growing up as a first generation Chinese-American in the city of Stockholm, California. In the course of this creative autobiography, she finds power in constructing a bi-cultural identity. The immigrant experience in the city looms particularly large in the last two chapters, but Chapter 1 may deepen the students' understanding of the significant relationship between the city and the imagination. (Immigrant Experience; Autobiography/novel)

Street Scene by Elmer Rice: One may regard the main character of the play/film/opera as the tenement house on the Lower East Side where people from different ethnic groups live together and banter on the steps outside on hot summer days. Although there is a palpable camaraderie and concern among those who share the tenement, the pressure caused by difficult living conditions, poverty, racism, sexism, and loneliness lead to the tragic destruction of a family. (Immigrant Experience, Women and the City, Crime and Danger; drama)

Street Scene by Elmer Rice, Langston Hughes and Kurt Weill: One may regard the main character of the play/film/opera as the tenement house on the Lower East Side where people from different ethnic groups live together and banter on the steps outside on hot summer days. Although there is a palpable camaraderie and concern among those who share the tenement, the pressure caused by difficult living conditions, poverty, racism, sexism, and loneliness lead to the tragic destruction of a family. (Immigrant Experience, Women and the City, Crime and Danger; opera/music)

Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence Silver Medal Winner - Lower East Side Tenement Museum: Located in Manhattan's Lower East Side, the heart of the Lower East Side Tenement Museum is its landmark tenement, home to an estimated 7,000 people from over 20 nations between 1863 and 1935. The Museum's mission is to promote tolerance and historical perspective through the presentation and interpretation of the variety of immigrant and migrant experiences on Manhattan's Lower East Side, a gateway to America. (http://www.brunerfoundation.org/p/rba2001.html. See also http://www.brunerfoundation.org/p/rba2001.html.) Themes: The Immigrant Experience, Art and Preservation, History and Urban Renewal. Social Sciences.

Theme 3: History & Urban Renewal
"Eiffel Tower" by Roland Barthes (The Eiffel Tower and Other Mythologies, NY: Hill and Wang, 1979): Barthes' essay considers the symbiotic relationship between a landmark and its city, the city and its past, and the citizen and the city. Barthes admires the tower for the fact that it is both seen and a seer; that it is both meaningless (it has no purpose) and full of significance (it represents Paris to all of the world); and that it creates a link between the old Paris and the modern city. Theme: History, Art. Humanities: Essay.

"Here is New York" by E. B. White: White's classic essay allows the reader to feel palpably the verve and wonder of Manhattan. It demonstrates how one might organize the chaos of city life through the power of one's mind. It is as useful in the classroom for its limitations as for its extraordinary virtues; it is clearly the vision of a successful white man at a specific historical moment who has spent his time in the comfortable enclaves of Manhattan, rather than its depressed areas or outer boroughs. (Remembrance and Redevelopment/ History and Urban Renewal; essay)

Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man: Highlight themes from almost any section of the course. In this quintessential African-American coming of age story, as in many city poems and novels, the "fall" from the idyllic countryside into the corruption of the city mirrors the main character's journey from na´ve innocence to disillusioned wisdom. We used a selection from the text that focused on tenants rights, and the way a single man used the disempowerment of an older couple as they are evicted from their home as a opportunity to mobilize his people towards active, collective change. (History and Urban Renewal/ Urban Art/ Crime and Danger/ Nature in the City; Novel)

"The Swan" by Charles Baudelaire: Tells the story of urban renewal, of Baron Haussman's transformation of Paris, through the objective correlative of a swan who escapes from his cage and wanders the streets of the city, far away from its natal pond. Longing for the old Paris, the displaced Parisians, like the swan, become exiles in their own city. (History and Urban Renewal; poem)

"The Science of Smart Growth" by Donald Chen, Scientific American December 2000 p 84-91: The term "Smart Growth" has taken on many meanings and become a political issue in some states. Smart growth refers to policies that attempt to channel growth and development in ways that are more environmentally friendly while at the same time providing retail and residential settings that are more accessible and oriented to transportation options. Chen does an excellent job of laying out the issues and providing a framework for understanding the potential for Smart Growth policies to reduce sprawl and otherwise improve the design on new communities. Theme: History and Urban Renewal. Social Sciences.

"Between Burb and Burg: The father of New Urbanism, Andres Duany, is reshaping suburbia and the practice of architecture," by George Musser. Scientific American, March, 2000: New Urbanism, along with Smart Growth, represents, an important trend in modern urban development. New urbanism tries to model new communities on some of the elements that made older "organic" communities successful. It seeks to reduce dependence on cars, increase options for mass transit and self powered travel (walking, biking) and in so doing increase social contact and the sense of community. Many 'New Urbanist' communities have been built around the country and it has become a powerful trend in residential design. (Also see Shibley, Robert G., The Complete New Urbanism and the Partial Practices of Placemaking Utopian Studies Journal 9.1 (1998): 80-102). Theme: History and Urban Renewal. Social Sciences.

Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence Gold Medal Winner - The Times Square: The Times Square has meticulously restored historic 652 room hotel to provide permanent single room occupancy units at affordable rents. The Times Square serves a mixed population including formerly homeless individuals, low income adults, and persons in need of social service support. The project combines excellence in design with an innovative model of housing, social services and job training, and has stabilized a key corner in the ongoing revitalization of the Times Square district. (http://www.brunerfoundation.org/p/1997rba.html. Also see http://www.commonground.org). Theme: History and Urban Renewal. Social Sciences.

Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence Silver Medal Winner - Greenpoint Manufacturing & Design Center): Through rehabilitation of a troubled but architecturally significant mill building, a collective of woodworkers and artists established space for incubator workshops and studios with easy access to the downtown markets. Greenpoint has thus maintained and created jobs that otherwise would have abandoned the city for suburban markets. (http://www.brunerfoundation.org/p/1995rba.html. Also see http://www.gmdconline.org/). Theme: History and Urban Renewal. Social Sciences.

Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence Silver Medal Winner - Lowertown Redevelopment - St. Paul: Over a 20 year period, a unique approach to redevelopment has transformed a nearly defunct warehouse district perched on the edge of downtown St. Paul into a vibrant urban village with thriving art studios, entertainment, employment, parks and walk-to-work housing. (http://www.brunerfoundation.org/p/1995rba.html. Also see http://www.lowertown.org/). Theme: History and Urban Renewal. Social Sciences.

Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence Silver Medal Winner - Project Row Houses: Project Row Houses has forged new connections among Houston communities through the rehabilitation of 22 historic "shotgun" style houses which now provide art gallery and installation space, showcasing the work of prominent African-American artists. In addition, Project Row Houses provides 5 houses and support services for single working mothers, and a variety of daycare and after school programs for neighborhood youth. (http://www.brunerfoundation.org/p/1997rba.html. See also http://www.neosoft.com/%7Eprh/default.html). Theme: History and Urban Renewal, Art and Danger. Social Sciences.

Chapters 37 ("One Mile") & 38 ("One Mile Afterward") in The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York by Robert A. Caro (New York: Random House Trade Paperbacks; July 1975): This may be the best history available on the way in which policy and people have shaped (and miss-shaped) urban environments. Chapters 37 and 38 provide a detailed description of how the Cross-Bronx Expressway was planned and built, how citizens fought it and lost, and how it impacted the lives of the residents and the future of the Bronx. Theme: History and Urban Renewal. Social Sciences.

Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence Silver Medal Winner - Center in the Square: Center in the Square incorporates restoration of a 1914 warehouse to create a downtown cultural center housing the Art Museum of Western Virginia, Science Museum of Western Virginia, Roanoke Valley History Museum, Mill Mountain Theater and The Arts Council of the Blue Ridge. By bringing together a group of cultural entities in a rent free space, Center in the Square has created a new cultural and educational destination in Roanoke, and has sparked the revitalization of downtown. (http://www.brunerfoundation.org/p/1997rba.html. See also http://www.centerinthesquare.org/.) Themes: Art and Preservation, History and Urban Renewal. Social Sciences.

Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence Silver Medal Winner - Lower East Side Tenement Museum: Located in Manhattan's Lower East Side, the heart of the Lower East Side Tenement Museum is its landmark tenement, home to an estimated 7,000 people from over 20 nations between 1863 and 1935. The Museum's mission is to promote tolerance and historical perspective through the presentation and interpretation of the variety of immigrant and migrant experiences on Manhattan's Lower East Side, a gateway to America. (http://www.brunerfoundation.org/p/rba2001.html. See also http://www.brunerfoundation.org/p/rba2001.html.) Themes: The Immigrant Experience, Art and Preservation, History and Urban Renewal. Social Sciences.

Theme 4: Nature and the City
"Olmsted's Trip" by Adam Gopnik (New Yorker, 3/21/00): A description of Olmsted's philosophy behind the design of Central Park - a "democratic playground" intended to counter the rigidity and divisiveness of European parks and embody the American ideal of equality - this essay helps students begin to understand that design reflects ideology. Theme: Nature. Humanities: Essay.

"Spring Rain" by John Updike (Assorted Prose, NY: Knopf, 1965): This compact essay explores the connection that city dwellers have to nature by describing a rain storm in midtown Manhattan. Updike draws parallels between the natural sounds of the city (e.g., the honking of taxi cabs) and the sounds of nature. Theme: Nature. Humanities: Essay.

"The Judgment of Birds" by Loren Eiseley (The Immense Journey, NY: Random House, 1957): Eisley's narrative connects three experiences with birds in three different settings: Manhattan, his rural home, and a desert. Through each experience he comes to understand the connection between humans and animals and the ways in which animals belong to our living spaces as much as we do. Theme: Nature. Humanities: Essay.

"Antaeus in Manhattan" by Lewis Thomas (The Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher, NY: Viking, 1974): Thomas's essay uses an ant-colony-as-art-exhibit to draw a comparison between city dwellers and insects, considering parallels in group behavior and the need for social contact. As the ants, removed from their native habitat and constantly on display, begin to die, he ponders the cost of dislocation and being isolated from the natural world. Theme: Nature. Humanities: Essay.

Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man: Highlight themes from almost any section of the course. In this quintessential African-American coming of age story, as in many city poems and novels, the "fall" from the idyllic countryside into the corruption of the city mirrors the main character's journey from na´ve innocence to disillusioned wisdom. We used a selection from the text that focused on tenants rights, and the way a single man used the disempowerment of an older couple as they are evicted from their home as a opportunity to mobilize his people towards active, collective change. (History and Urban Renewal/ Urban Art/ Crime and Danger/ Nature in the City; Novel)

The Rake's Progress by William Hogarth (http://www.haleysteele.com/hogarth/plates/rake.html, http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Troy/5201/hogarth.html): This series of 18th century engravings/ paintings by William Hogarth tells the story of the dissolution of a young man within an urban context. Hogarth's other engraving and painting series also tell cautionary tales about the city. The Harlot's Progress depicts the story of a Moll Flander's style woman, only with a moralistic tone lacking in Defoe's depiction. (http://www.haleysteele.com/hogarth/plates/rake.html). Out of Hogarth's Rake's Progress, W. H. Auden and Igor Stravinsky spun a neoclassical, English language opera in 1954 that clearly juxtaposes the pastoral and urban world both in the language and music. See Auden and Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress under opera. (Nature and the city, Crime and Danger; painting/engravings)

The Rake's Progress (1954) Stravinsky and Auden: A morality tale, part Faust story, part 18th century fairy-tale, part 20th century drama. It is loosely based on a series of William Hogarth's engravings also entitled The Rake's Progress (see William Hogarth's The Rake's Progress for more details). With stunning arias and humorous and poetic language, this neo-classical opera tells the story of the dissolution of a young man within an urban context. The pastoral setting is depicted in woodwinds, a standard trope in music, while the city has a variety of more menacing sounds, including and often featuring the brass section. (Nature and the city, Crime and Danger; opera/music)

"Environment and Crime in the Inner City: Does Vegetation Reduce Crime?" by Francis Kuo and William Sullivan in Environment and Behavior, Vol. 33 No. 3, May 2001 343-367: Kuo and Sullivan provide powerful data that support a growing body of research and theory on the importance of nature and natural surroundings for human psychological health. This study systematically looked at a number of public housing buildings in Chicago that differed only in the degree the buildings provided natural green landscapes. The study found a significant impact of greenery on level of crime in public housing projects. Theme: Nature in the City. Social Sciences.

"Biophilia, Biophobia and Natural Landscapes" by Roger Ulrich in The Biophilia Hypothesis by Stephen R. Kellert and Edward O. Wilson (Editors) (Island Press; November 1993): Ulrich provides a detailed and definitive review of theory and research concerning E.O. Wilson's concept of biophilia (and its opposite - biophobia). Wilson has proposed that, due to the environment in which the homo sapiens evolved, contact with nature (in particular savannah-like landscapes) is important for human comfort and happiness. Ulrich discusses a number of studies, including his own classic study of the impact of nature views on hospital patients, that provide evidence that nature views reduce stress and have other beneficial effects. Theme: Nature in the City. Social Sciences.

Sommer, Robert "Farmers' Markets as Community Events." in Public Places and Spaces, by I Altman and E. Zube (Ediotrs), (New York: Plenum, 1989): Sommers provides empirical data and discussion of the social ecology of farmer's markets. He argues that the farmer's markets play a different role than other, traditional shopping experiences in supporting social interaction and developing a sense of community. Theme: Nature in the City. Social Sciences.

Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence Silver Medal Winner - South Platte River Greenway: The South Platte River Greenway encompasses 10.5 miles of the South Platte River, running through the birthplace of the City of Denver. Prior to the establishment of the Platte River Development Committee in 1974, the river itself was seriously polluted and unfit for recre-ational use. Since 1974, the River has been fully reclaimed, opening the river and its banks for a mix of public recreational uses. (http://www.brunerfoundation.org/p/rba2001.html. See also http://www.greenwayfoundation.org/). Theme: Nature in the City. Social Sciences.

Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence Gold Medal Winner - Greenmarket: Greenmarket is a group of 19 farmers markets operating in 7 boroughs of New York. Greenmarket brings fresh farm products grown in New York to inner-city neighborhoods, benefiting the urban public and sustaining agricultural uses in the state. In peak season Greenmarket served approximately 40,00 people per week. It has played a significant role in the revival of Union Square and its immediate neighborhood, and benefits 10,000 low income consumers through WIC Farmers Market Coupons. (http://www.brunerfoundation.org/p/1991rba.html. See also http://www.cenyc.org/). Theme: Nature in the City. Social Sciences.

Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence Silver Medal Winner - Harlem Meer. Central Park - New York, NY: Years of neglect had allowed this lake in Harlem's corner of Central Park to become polluted and dangerous. A creative partnership between the city and the Central Park Conservancy has brought back the park, cleaned up the lake, restored the historic boathouse and playground and returned a beautiful and important amenity to the citizens of Harlem and New York. (http://www.brunerfoundation.org/p/1995rba.html. See also http://www.centralparknyc.org/). Theme: Nature in the City. Social Sciences.

Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence Silver Medal Winner - National Aids Memorial Grove: The National AIDS Memorial Grove is the first living memorial in honor of all people touched by AIDS. Built to transform a wooded dell in Golden Gate Park, the Memorial Grove was developed to honor people with AIDS/HIV, their families, friends and caregivers through the creation of a landscaped setting for healing, hope and remembrance. (http://www.brunerfoundation.org/p/1999rba.html. See also http://www.aidsmemorial.org/). Theme: Nature in the City. Social Sciences.

Theme 5: Art & Preservation
"Eiffel Tower" by Roland Barthes (The Eiffel Tower and Other Mythologies, NY: Hill and Wang, 1979): Barthes' essay considers the symbiotic relationship between a landmark and its city, the city and its past, and the citizen and the city. Barthes admires the tower for the fact that it is both seen and a seer; that it is both meaningless (it has no purpose) and full of significance (it represents Paris to all of the world); and that it creates a link between the old Paris and the modern city. Theme: History, Art. Humanities: Essay.

"London" by William Blake: Presents a vision of urban life in which all social classes are implicated in its suffering and its disease. Blake reveals the veiled connections that exist between man and woman, rich and poor, marriage and death, outer and inner life in the city. (Urban Art/ Crime, Danger, / Women and the City; Poetry)

Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man: Highlight themes from almost any section of the course. In this quintessential African-American coming of age story, as in many city poems and novels, the "fall" from the idyllic countryside into the corruption of the city mirrors the main character's journey from na´ve innocence to disillusioned wisdom. We used a selection from the text that focused on tenants rights, and the way a single man used the disempowerment of an older couple as they are evicted from their home as a opportunity to mobilize his people towards active, collective change. (History and Urban Renewal/ Urban Art/ Crime and Danger/ Nature in the City; Novel)

Sonny's Blues by James Baldwin: The story of two estranged brothers in Harlem, illuminates issues of the ghetto, drugs, loneliness, and art. Through music, Sonny learns to express the terrible suffering he has experienced during his bout with heroine, and his older brother comes to understand that he must learn to listen and to feel. Sonny's music will set him free so he, in turn, can help to save his brother. (Urban Art,/ Crime and Danger; short story )

Voices and Visions, Langston Hughes and poetry by Langston Hughes (Video: Winstar Home Entertainment, 1999): The career of Langston Hughes paralleled the rise of the Harlem Renaissance. Through reading his poems ("Harlem" "Landlord, Landlord," etc.) and viewing this beautiful video, the students will glance at the formation of a community through art. It tracks the history of Harlem and the struggle of its poets to create an African-American identity. Hughes then moves beyond Harlem towards a Pan-African community outside the physical borders of cities and countries by expressing the words, the suffering, the rhythms and the music of his people. (Urban Art; poetry/ video)

Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence Silver Medal Winner - Project Row Houses: Project Row Houses has forged new connections among Houston communities through the rehabilitation of 22 historic "shotgun" style houses which now provide art gallery and installation space, showcasing the work of prominent African-American artists. In addition, Project Row Houses provides 5 houses and support services for single working mothers, and a variety of daycare and after school programs for neighborhood youth. (http://www.brunerfoundation.org/p/1997rba.html. See also http://www.neosoft.com/%7Eprh/default.html). Theme: History and Urban Renewal, Art and Danger. Social Sciences.

The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces by William H. Whyte - film: http://www.buyindies.com/listings/1/-/DCNE-1-55974-147-3.html; and book: (New York: Project for Public Spaces, 2001): This one-hour film (originally aired on PBS' Nova series) and companion book show the landmark research of William H. Whyte on the nature of design and behavior relationships for urban plazas. The film is especially powerful in demonstrating his methods (time lapse photography, film, behavior observations) and his insights. Whyte conducted this research in order to help reshape New York City's zoning rules for the design of plazas. He lays out for the reader/viewer the design requirements of good public plazas (including location, sun/light, water, seating, and public art) and shows how he developed these criteria. The film is engaging and clear and serves as a good segue into a homework project for students to analyze design and use of a local plaza. Themes: Introduction, Methods, Art and Preservation, Crime and Danger. Social Sciences.

Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence Silver Medal Winner - Center in the Square: Center in the Square incorporates restoration of a 1914 warehouse to create a downtown cultural center housing the Art Museum of Western Virginia, Science Museum of Western Virginia, Roanoke Valley History Museum, Mill Mountain Theater and The Arts Council of the Blue Ridge. By bringing together a group of cultural entities in a rent free space, Center in the Square has created a new cultural and educational destination in Roanoke, and has sparked the revitalization of downtown. (http://www.brunerfoundation.org/p/1997rba.html. See also http://www.centerinthesquare.org/.) Themes: Art and Preservation, History and Urban Renewal. Social Sciences.

Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence Silver Medal Winner - ARTScorpsLA: ARTScorpsLA has transformed blighted parcels of abandoned land within the inner city of Los Angeles into vital, public art places. Through ARTScorpsLA, young people in the community can design and create art-based community gathering places on parcels of vacant and abandoned land. The project promotes the concept of community building through the arts on a variety of sites, transforming blighted neighborhoods and contributing to community pride. (http://www.brunerfoundation.org/p/1999rba.html.) Themes: Art and Preservation. Social Sciences.

Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence Silver Medal Winner - Lower East Side Tenement Museum: Located in Manhattan's Lower East Side, the heart of the Lower East Side Tenement Museum is its landmark tenement, home to an estimated 7,000 people from over 20 nations between 1863 and 1935. The Museum's mission is to promote tolerance and historical perspective through the presentation and interpretation of the variety of immigrant and migrant experiences on Manhattan's Lower East Side, a gateway to America. (http://www.brunerfoundation.org/p/rba2001.html. See also http://www.brunerfoundation.org/p/rba2001.html.) Themes: The Immigrant Experience, Art and Preservation, History and Urban Renewal. Social Sciences.

Theme 6: Crime & Danger
The Indian Wants the Bronx by Israel Horovitz: In this one-act play, an Asian Indian lost in the city is harassed by two teenage trouble-makers. The Indian is trying to get to his son in the Bronx but cannot speak English, and the boys' mockery includes crude attempts to teach the Indian some English. The scene escalates to mild violence that leaves the Indian terrified, still lost, and completely alone at the end. Theme: Immigrant, Crime. Humanities: Drama.

"London" by William Blake: Presents a vision of urban life in which all social classes are implicated in its suffering and its disease. Blake reveals the veiled connections that exist between man and woman, rich and poor, marriage and death, outer and inner life in the city. (Urban Art/ Crime, Danger, / Women and the City; Poetry)

"Bartleby, the Scrivener" by Herman Melville and "The Overcoat" by Nikolay Gogol: Are both stories of loneliness, poverty, and inner walls that we construct, walls reinforced by the concrete spaces and the layout of the urban areas we inhabit. They are both stories of the copyist, a job that no longer exists, but one whose symbolic value continues in the corporate world of the modern city. These two heroes respond very differently to the alienation of labor, each staging his own original protest against the cruelty of the system and those who further its power. (Crime and Danger; short story; Put under "Bartleby the Scrivner by Herman Melville, and "The Overcoat," by Nikolay Gogol)

Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man: Highlight themes from almost any section of the course. In this quintessential African-American coming of age story, as in many city poems and novels, the "fall" from the idyllic countryside into the corruption of the city mirrors the main character's journey from na´ve innocence to disillusioned wisdom. We used a selection from the text that focused on tenants rights, and the way a single man used the disempowerment of an older couple as they are evicted from their home as a opportunity to mobilize his people towards active, collective change. (History and Urban Renewal/ Urban Art/ Crime and Danger/ Nature in the City; Novel)

Amazing Grace by Jonathan Kozol: Tracks the lives of children growing up in the South Bronx, at the time of publication, one of the poorest, most crime ridden and drug infested areas of New York. Kozol demonstrates the way in which governmental bodies have forgotten or deliberately hidden away these darker secrets of the city; and yet, in spite of the city's neglect and its impossible red tape, Kozol witnesses the remarkable resilience of these forgotten people. (Crime and Danger; Essay; Nonfiction)

Sonny's Blues by James Baldwin: The story of two estranged brothers in Harlem, illuminates issues of the ghetto, drugs, loneliness, and art. Through music, Sonny learns to express the terrible suffering he has experienced during his bout with heroine, and his older brother comes to understand that he must learn to listen and to feel. Sonny's music will set him free so he, in turn, can help to save his brother. (Urban Art,/ Crime and Danger; short story )

The Lesson by Toni Cade Bambara: Tells the story of a teacher who brings her Harlem pupils to F. A. O. Schwartz to witness first hand the injustice of their situation and the disparity of wealth in the city. The power and exuberance of this story lies in its point of view; told from the perspective of a young, defiant junior high schooler, Bambara captures the humor and horror that this child experiences in the course of her journey downtown. (Crime and Danger, / Women and the City; short story)

The Rake's Progress by William Hogarth (http://www.haleysteele.com/hogarth/plates/rake.html, http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Troy/5201/hogarth.html): This series of 18th century engravings/ paintings by William Hogarth tells the story of the dissolution of a young man within an urban context. Hogarth's other engraving and painting series also tell cautionary tales about the city. The Harlot's Progress depicts the story of a Moll Flander's style woman, only with a moralistic tone lacking in Defoe's depiction. (http://www.haleysteele.com/hogarth/plates/rake.html). Out of Hogarth's Rake's Progress, W. H. Auden and Igor Stravinsky spun a neoclassical, English language opera in 1954 that clearly juxtaposes the pastoral and urban world both in the language and music. See Auden and Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress under opera. (Nature and the city, Crime and Danger; painting/engravings)

The Rake's Progress (1954) Stravinsky and Auden: A morality tale, part Faust story, part 18th century fairy-tale, part 20th century drama. It is loosely based on a series of William Hogarth's engravings also entitled The Rake's Progress (see William Hogarth's The Rake's Progress for more details). With stunning arias and humorous and poetic language, this neo-classical opera tells the story of the dissolution of a young man within an urban context. The pastoral setting is depicted in woodwinds, a standard trope in music, while the city has a variety of more menacing sounds, including and often featuring the brass section. (Nature and the city, Crime and Danger; opera/music)

Street Scene by Elmer Rice: One may regard the main character of the play/film/opera as the tenement house on the Lower East Side where people from different ethnic groups live together and banter on the steps outside on hot summer days. Although there is a palpable camaraderie and concern among those who share the tenement, the pressure caused by difficult living conditions, poverty, racism, sexism, and loneliness lead to the tragic destruction of a family. (Immigrant Experience, Women and the City, Crime and Danger; drama)

Street Scene by Elmer Rice, Langston Hughes and Kurt Weill: One may regard the main character of the play/film/opera as the tenement house on the Lower East Side where people from different ethnic groups live together and banter on the steps outside on hot summer days. Although there is a palpable camaraderie and concern among those who share the tenement, the pressure caused by difficult living conditions, poverty, racism, sexism, and loneliness lead to the tragic destruction of a family. (Immigrant Experience, Women and the City, Crime and Danger; opera/music)

Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence Silver Medal Winner - Project Row Houses: Project Row Houses has forged new connections among Houston communities through the rehabilitation of 22 historic "shotgun" style houses which now provide art gallery and installation space, showcasing the work of prominent African-American artists. In addition, Project Row Houses provides 5 houses and support services for single working mothers, and a variety of daycare and after school programs for neighborhood youth. (http://www.brunerfoundation.org/p/1997rba.html. See also http://www.neosoft.com/%7Eprh/default.html). Theme: History and Urban Renewal, Art and Danger. Social Sciences.

Defensible Space; Crime Prevention Through Urban Design, by Oscar Newman (MacMillan Publishing Company October 1973). (also see "Creating Defensible Space" available at http://www.defensiblespace.com/book/thebook.htm): Newman initiated the field of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) with his 1973 studies comparing the design of public housing projects that were safe or dangerous for residents. He concluded that the architecture of the facilities was key to safety (including the use of low-rise buildings that created good semi-private spaces for social support). Newman's concepts have been extraordinarily influential in the design of public housing and private residential areas. Theme: Crime, Danger. Social Sciences.

Chapter 2, "The uses of sidewalks: safety" in The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs (New York: Vintage Books, 1992): This is a reissue of the classic book from the 1960s that promoted organic elements of city neighborhoods over artificial new towns of suburban subdivisions. Jacobs described how density in the context of good, small scale urban settings, supports safety by, among other things, providing natural "eyes on the street." Theme: Crime, Danger. Social Sciences.

Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence Gold Medal Winner - Harbor Point: The transformation of Columbia Point, a 1,504 unit public housing project serving mainly low-income minorities into a newly renovated 1,283 unit Harbor Point mixed-income community. The project introduced new models of tenant participation, mixes of affordable and market rate housing in a well designed complex. (http://www.brunerfoundation.org/p/1993rba.html). Theme: Crime, Danger. Social Sciences.

Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence Gold Medal Winner - The Maya Angelou Community Initiative: An exceptionally democratic and inclusive process by Housing Our Families led to the successful conversion of one of Portland's most troubled properties into 42 units of low income housing for mostly single, female-headed households. By reaching out to the community, the project became the impetus for revitilization and reinvestment in the surrounding neighborhood. (http://www.brunerfoundation.org/p/1995rba.html). Theme: Crime, Danger. Social Sciences.

The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces by William H. Whyte - film: http://www.buyindies.com/listings/1/-/DCNE-1-55974-147-3.html; and book: (New York: Project for Public Spaces, 2001): This one-hour film (originally aired on PBS' Nova series) and companion book show the landmark research of William H. Whyte on the nature of design and behavior relationships for urban plazas. The film is especially powerful in demonstrating his methods (time lapse photography, film, behavior observations) and his insights. Whyte conducted this research in order to help reshape New York City's zoning rules for the design of plazas. He lays out for the reader/viewer the design requirements of good public plazas (including location, sun/light, water, seating, and public art) and shows how he developed these criteria. The film is engaging and clear and serves as a good segue into a homework project for students to analyze design and use of a local plaza. Themes: Introduction, Methods, Art and Preservation, Crime and Danger. Social Sciences.

Theme 7: Women and the City
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison (NY: Penguin, 1970): Excerpts from the second and third sections of the novel explore the relationship between landlord and tenant and between renter and owner. They also address the gaps that often exist between cultures within a city in the example of the European immigrant store owner who is incapable of understanding the poor little black girl who comes in for some Mary Janes as well as the culture that could create such a child as Pecola, who eats the Mary Janes in the hopes of becoming Mary Jane - blonde and blue-eyed, so that she can be loved. Theme: Immigrant, women. Humanities: Novel.

"London" by William Blake: Presents a vision of urban life in which all social classes are implicated in its suffering and its disease. Blake reveals the veiled connections that exist between man and woman, rich and poor, marriage and death, outer and inner life in the city. (Urban Art/ Crime, Danger, / Women and the City; Poetry)

"From the Poets in the Kitchen" by Paule Marshall: An essay on the formation of a Bajan writer in New York City. She talks about her early training as a writer in the kitchen where she listened to the natural poetry of the Bajan English and the women who use it as their only tool with which to struggle against the triple marginalization they experience as black, female, and foreign in an alien country. She explains how the space of the island has traveled with these women to the city, and she demonstrates the poetry, philosophy and power that their use of language contains. (Immigrant Experience; Women and the City; Essay)

"The Cafeteria" by Isaac Bashevis Singer: Through a glance at the Eastern European Jewish community, Singer's "The Cafeteria" asks the question, "what happens to the past when immigrants begin life afresh in New York City?" In the story, the cafeteria becomes a liminal space between the old country and the new, the past and the present. The trials and traumas of life in Europe (the holocaust, in particular) does not die; its distant ghosts wander still on the streets of New York. (Immigrant Experience, Women and the City; short story)

The Lesson by Toni Cade Bambara: Tells the story of a teacher who brings her Harlem pupils to F. A. O. Schwartz to witness first hand the injustice of their situation and the disparity of wealth in the city. The power and exuberance of this story lies in its point of view; told from the perspective of a young, defiant junior high schooler, Bambara captures the humor and horror that this child experiences in the course of her journey downtown. (Crime and Danger, / Women and the City; short story)

Street Scene by Elmer Rice: One may regard the main character of the play/film/opera as the tenement house on the Lower East Side where people from different ethnic groups live together and banter on the steps outside on hot summer days. Although there is a palpable camaraderie and concern among those who share the tenement, the pressure caused by difficult living conditions, poverty, racism, sexism, and loneliness lead to the tragic destruction of a family. (Immigrant Experience, Women and the City, Crime and Danger; drama)

Street Scene by Elmer Rice, Langston Hughes and Kurt Weill: One may regard the main character of the play/film/opera as the tenement house on the Lower East Side where people from different ethnic groups live together and banter on the steps outside on hot summer days. Although there is a palpable camaraderie and concern among those who share the tenement, the pressure caused by difficult living conditions, poverty, racism, sexism, and loneliness lead to the tragic destruction of a family. (Immigrant Experience, Women and the City, Crime and Danger; opera/music)