AMH3460 Syllabus

AMH3460 Syllabus - 1 American Cities and Suburbs (AMH-3460)...

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American Cities and Suburbs (AMH-3460) Class meetings: Section 12703 meets Monday and Wednesday, 3:00 – 4:15 PM, Building 51, Room 1209 Section 12709 meets Monday evening, 6:00 – 8:45 PM, Building 51, Room 1103 Instructor : Alan Bliss, Visiting Instructor, Dept. of History E-mail: Office hours: Building 8, Room 2549, Tuesday and Thursday, 11:00 – 12:00 PM, or by appointment. Contact me anytime by e-mail with questions about the course or material. Course Overview The founders created the United States in a climate of political and economic tension between agrarian values and those of city-dwellers. The tension shows up in debate over the rights of individuals versus the interests of society at large. Every minute of every day since its founding, America has gradually become more urban. Naturally then, that tension has increasingly run through every level of our national society, politics, and economy. When people live in more dense concentrations, they must constantly explore ways to reconcile differences and regulate excesses. They create infrastructure to make rational systems work, and political systems to protect what they value, whether that is in the form of accumulated wealth, or the opportunity to accumulate; knowledge, or the right to gain knowledge, privacy, or the freedom to enjoy public spaces; and so on. For Americans, the challenge is to perfect that set of collective, community arrangements in a society where growth seldom pauses, and technology constantly evolves, but traditions give way slowly, and the individual citizen is paramount. The project is sometimes difficult, and successes are usually temporary. At best, it is perpetually a work in progress. Cities and suburbs the physical results of the work earlier citizens have undertaken. The people who shaped cities and suburbs operated from their own assumptions and values, but we use urban space in a time when those conditions may no longer obtain. Though we might move into a brand new home in subdivision that did not exist last year, in the larger scheme of things, we all inhabit space that was shaped by others. This semester, we will look to the past for a better understanding of how and why our urban space became what it is. Observing that process of change over time prepares us to test our own values and assumptions, and place them into the context of what we know about the future. Developing a coherent view of America’s urban past helps us appreciate that we are the custodians of urban space that will soon be someone else’s inheritance. Course structure Due to holidays and spring break, the afternoon section (12703) meets twenty-nine times this semester, and the evening section (12709) meets fourteen times. No matter the section in which you are registered, those students who attend class meetings consistently will learn far more and out-perform those who do not. At each meeting, we will consider specific aspects or themes of urban and suburban history. Class sessions will include 1
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lectures, discussions of assigned readings, and supplemental audio or video resources. There will be occasional in-class quizzes, as well as two exams, a mid-term and final.
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This note was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course HIST HIS3051 taught by Professor Bruey during the Spring '08 term at UNF.

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AMH3460 Syllabus - 1 American Cities and Suburbs (AMH-3460)...

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