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120691 PS Proseminar Cultural and Media Studies (2020S)

Empire State of Mind: New York City in American Culture

5.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 12 - Anglistik
Continuous assessment of course work

Registration/Deregistration

Details

max. 25 participants
Language: English

Lecturers

Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Please note that there will be two sessions that will not take place on Thu 12-2pm.

IMPORTANT: Minor changes have been made to this class' set-up due to the university's safety measures regarding Covid-19. Any presently unforeseeable but eventually necessary changes will also be communicated with students in due time and updated here if necessary.

Thursday 05.03. 12:00 - 14:00 Raum 1 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-EG-05
Thursday 19.03. 12:00 - 14:00 Raum 1 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-EG-05
Thursday 26.03. 12:00 - 14:00 Raum 1 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-EG-05
Thursday 02.04. 12:00 - 14:00 Raum 1 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-EG-05
Thursday 23.04. 12:00 - 14:00 Raum 1 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-EG-05
Thursday 30.04. 12:00 - 14:00 Raum 1 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-EG-05
Thursday 07.05. 12:00 - 14:00 Raum 1 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-EG-05
Thursday 14.05. 12:00 - 14:00 Raum 1 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-EG-05
Wednesday 20.05. 18:30 - 20:00 Raum 2 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-EG-09
Thursday 28.05. 12:00 - 14:00 Raum 1 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-EG-05
Thursday 04.06. 12:00 - 14:00 Raum 1 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-EG-05
Wednesday 10.06. 18:30 - 20:00 Raum 2 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-EG-09
Thursday 18.06. 12:00 - 14:00 Raum 1 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-EG-05
Thursday 25.06. 12:00 - 14:00 Raum 1 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-EG-05

Information

Aims, contents and method of the course

“New York is the city of opportunity, they say” (39) reads a line in E.B. White’s essay Here is New York (1949). Similarly, the chorus of Alicia Keys’ and Jay-Z’s famous song Empire State of Mind (2009) starts with the lyrics “In New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of, there’s nothing you can’t do.” These hopeful depictions of the Big Apple are just some of the many different visions of the city that allegedly never sleeps. Representing (among other things) a place of possibility or the perfect melting pot but also symbolizing vulnerability and isolation, the vibrant metropolis stands at the center of many stories, both fictional or non-fictional. The city itself and the stories emerging from and about it are a testament to its long history and the many political, social, and cultural influences shaping its narratives.

In this class, we will look at a selection of representations of New York City by studying a wide variety of cultural texts depicting various historical periods. Following the spatial turn in cultural studies, we will uncover how the city is produced in cultural texts, how the city contributes to the construction of cultural identities, and how this influences the creation of an American cultural imaginary. Among others, we will explore the cultural significance of urban spaces through the lens of the myth of the American Dream in films such as Second Act (2019), try to read P.T. Barnum’s American Museum as a heterotopia, and study the ways in which NYC functions as a place of identification in Hip Hop music. We will look at the Harlem Renaissance, explore the post-9/11 city in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (Jonathan Safran Foer) and study queer (urban) spaces by taking a look at the movie Carol (2015).

At the end of this course, students will be able to critically analyze various media representations and the role New York City in American culture via methods such as visual and discourse analysis and close reading. Students will also have gained theoretical understanding of New York City in its cultural and historical context though secondary readings from the fields such as American studies, urban theory, and media studies.

Assessment and permitted materials

The assessment will be based on in-class and online participation, an expert group session, a research proposal and a proseminar paper.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

In-class and online participation: 15%
Expert group session: 20%
Research proposal (700 words) and annotated bibliography: 15%
Proseminar paper (3500 words): 50%
Overall Score of 100%, pass-mark 60%

Scale:
1: 100-90%
2: 89-80%
3: 79-70%
4: 69-60%
5: 59-0%

In order to pass, you need to fulfill each individual requirement and complete tasks on time. You can miss two classes.
The plagiarism detection software Turnitin will be used on most written assignments (research proposal, proseminar paper).

Changes due to the university's safety measures regarding Covid-19: during the time of home-learning, in-class participation will be accounted for on Moodle (either by actively participating in live classroom sessions and/or by doing tasks individually or in groups). Individual aspects of the expert session's assessment may change - students will be informed in due time via e-mail and/or in class.
Any presently unforeseeable but eventually necessary changes will also be communicated with students in due time and updated here if necessary.

Examination topics

Everything that was covered in class (primary and secondary readings). For some tasks you will have to do additional research.
There will be no written exam.

Reading list

Movies:
The Immigrant (2013)
Carol (2015)
Second Act (2018)

TV Shows:
Sex and the City (1998-2004)
Students will have to watch selected episodes and not more than one season.

Books:
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (Jonathan Safran Foer)

Further primary texts (shorter texts, photography etc.) and secondary readings will be made available on Moodle.

Association in the course directory

Studium: BA 612;
Code/Modul: BA09.1;
Lehrinhalt: 12-4040

Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:20