History | American Urban History: American Dreams and Nightmares in the Modern City
A347 | 24695 | Muhammad
A portion of the above section reserved for majors
Above section open to undergraduates only
For millions in search of better lives around the nation and the
world, American cities since the mid to late 19th century have been
imagined as the promised land with streets paved with gold. The
hopes, dreams, and aspirations of these individuals fuelled the
growth and development of American cities, as these cities rose to
new heights as world capitals for commerce and culture. But all was
not rosy for everyone who helped to build and shape these modern
meccas of opportunity and oppression. Indeed, for its life-long
residents and newcomers – from the 1860s to the present – the
American metropolis has often fallen far short of its idealized
This course will explore a range of topics, such as migration and
immigration, poverty, crime, social welfare agencies, urban
politics, labor, industrialization, transportation, race-relations,
suburbanization, leisure and housing. Students will be expected to
think critically and regularly participate in class discussions.
Lectures will include pictures, illustrations, film, and video.
There will be a short paper, two exams, and in-class assignments.