"Fantasizing the Urban" - Freshman Seminar
- Brian James Sheerin
- Annenberg Hall G29 - MoWeFr 10:00AM - 10:50AM
Overview of classCities are places of encountermatrices of contact zones that promise, threaten, or conceal the presence of others. These spaces can be inviting, but perhaps more often they are mysterious, claustrophobic, or even sinister. How does our imagination interact with and even help create the mystique of urban space? How does it affect the way we categorize people, objects, and our negotiation between them? Most of all, what kinds of fears or anxieties do cities elicit, and how do we process those anxieties? This class will address questions such as these as we explore the "dark regions" of the urban as depicted in literature, science fiction, popular culture, and film. Using the windy city itself as our point of reference, we will pay particular attention to the border regions that connect the familiar with the strange. A number of response papers and other writing exercises will mark our progress through the class, culminating in a research project that explores a specific aspect of the urban spaces around us.
Teaching MethodThis is a discussion-based class that facilitates conversations and encourages the consideration of multiple viewpoints regarding the material at hand. Students are expected to come to class ready to share thoughts and ideas, and willing to listen to and interact with the ideas of others. I will guide and participate in the discussion in order to keep the subject matter organized and moving forward.
Evaluation MethodEvaluation will take into consideration three brief writing assignments; one longer, research-based assignment; an oral presentation; participation in class; and attendance. There will be three shorter papers (about 3 pages each) and one longer paper (about 7 pages).
Class NotesDr. Sheerin specializes in Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature, and is currently working on a project that studies economies of urban interaction in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. He is an avid reader of science fiction and an avid pedestrian of Chicago.
Enrollment RequirementsEnrollment Requirements: Reserved for Freshmen and Sophomores
Current as of 03/20/14 10:52:50 AM