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Syllabus for "Cities, Power, and Cinema"

Syllabus for "Cities, Power, and Cinema"

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Published by Michael Leo Owens
This is a political science course I designed and teach biennially (or so) at Emory University. I welcome suggestions for other films and readings. MiLO
This is a political science course I designed and teach biennially (or so) at Emory University. I welcome suggestions for other films and readings. MiLO

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Published by: Michael Leo Owens on Jan 29, 2013
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POLSPOLSPOLSPOLS 444490909090----00006666:::: CITIES, POWER, AND CINEMA CITIES, POWER, AND CINEMA CITIES, POWER, AND CINEMA CITIES, POWER, AND CINEMA Spring 20Spring 20Spring 20Spring 2012121212Instructor: Michael Leo Owens, Ph.D.Office: Tarbutton 333Office Hours (in person or Skype/FaceTime): Mondays 12:30 P.M. – 2:00 P.M. or by appointmentPhone: 7x9322Email: michael.leo.owens@emory.eduSEMINARSEMINARSEMINARSEMINAR DESCRIPTIONDESCRIPTIONDESCRIPTIONDESCRIPTIONThis seminar will view and critique the “reel city.” It will explore definitions of power and powerlessness, usingfilms about cities as visual texts for studying the use (and perhaps abuse) of political power. It will explorethrough readings (e.g., academic books, scholarly journal articles, and chapters from books), narrative films,documentaries, photography, and music, as well as seminar discussions, the definition, possession, and use of political power by groups within cities in and beyond the United States of America. Primarily, we will concernourselves with the exercise of power to address individual and community needs and values, and how the“powerful” wield it and the “powerless” respond, inclusive of conflict among groups. Beyond learning about theintersections of power, politics, and policy, students will learn to employ narrative films and documentaries tospeak to theoretical and empirical issues central to the scholarship on urban politics, urban political economy,and racial politics, as well as how to better see the real and reel worlds of cities through scholarship.NoteNoteNoteNote: The seminar will meet once a week for three hours but
the course requires students to watch films outside the course requires students to watch films outside the course requires students to watch films outside the course requires students to watch films outside of and before class sessions of and before class sessions of and before class sessions of and before class sessions 
. The seminar’s participants will collectively choose the day of the week for “movienight.” Also, during each seminar session one or two students will function as "co-leaders" of the session, whichrequires careful preparation and even consultation with Professor Owens before sessions.SEMINARSEMINARSEMINARSEMINAR GOALSGOALSGOALSGOALSProfessor Owens’s goals of the seminar include:1.
 
Examining how cinema (i.e., popular movies and documentaries) provide visual and aural texts foranalyzing a set of historical and theoretical perspectives about the distribution and organization of power and politics in cities;2.
 
Laying a foundation for students to engage in critique, introspection, and reflection about the import opolitics to social relations in and around cities; and3.
 
Exposing students to a resurgent and dynamic subfield of Political Science.SEMINARSEMINARSEMINARSEMINAR MATERIALSMATERIALSMATERIALSMATERIALSThe seminar has three required books:1.
 
Daniel Franklin,
Politics and Film: The Political Culture of Film in the United States 
(2006)2.
 
Mike Davis,
Planet of Slums 
(2006)3.
 
Loic Wacquant,
Urban Outcasts: A Comparative Sociology of Advanced Marginality 
(2008)Paperback (and good used) copies are available from online booksellers like amazon.com.The seminar also has a set of required from book chapters, journal articles, newspapers, and other sources. Allof them are available from the online reserve system of the Woodruff Library.
 
 
2
SEMESTERSEMESTERSEMESTERSEMESTER OUTLINEOUTLINEOUTLINEOUTLINE1/181/181/181/18 IntroductionIntroductionIntroductionIntroduction to the Courseto the Courseto the Courseto the Course
 
B. Bain, “What’s in a Seminar”
 
Michael Leo Owens, “How to Read Nonfiction Well”
 
Michael Leo Owens, “Professor’s Teaching Philosophy”
 
Sign up for co-leadership1/251/251/251/25 Preparing to ViewPreparing to ViewPreparing to ViewPreparing to View and Discussand Discussand Discussand Discuss CitiesCitiesCitiesCities,,,, PowerPowerPowerPower, and Cinema, and Cinema, and Cinema, and Cinema
 
Edward Glaeser, “Introduction: Our Urban Species” from
Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier 
, pp. 1-15
 
Keith Dowding,
Power 
, pp. ix-8
 
Douglas Muzzio, “Decent People Shouldn’t Live Here: The American City in Cinema,”
Journal of Urban Affairs 
(1996), pp. 189-215
 
Daniel Franklin,
Politics and Film 
, pp. 1-118
 
Terry Christensen and Peter Haas, “Setting the Scene: A Theory of Film and Politics” from
Projecting Politics: Political Messages in American Films 
, pp. 3-17
 
Timothy Corrigan, “Writing About Movies” from
 A Short Guide to Writing About Film 
, pp. 1-15
 
Timothy Corrigan, “Beginning to Think, Preparing to Watch, and Starting to Write,”
 A Short Guide to Writing About Fil 
m, pp. 17-34
 
Manohla Dargis, “Movie Review: The Dark Knight,”
The New York Times 
(2008)2/12/12/12/1 Political MachinesPolitical MachinesPolitical MachinesPolitical Machines vs. Goovs. Goovs. Goovs. Goo----goos (“Good Government Guys”)goos (“Good Government Guys”)goos (“Good Government Guys”)goos (“Good Government Guys”) in Ciin Ciin Ciin CitiestiestiestiesNarrative Film:Narrative Film:Narrative Film:Narrative Film:
The Last The Last The Last The Last Hurrah Hurrah Hurrah Hurrah 
 
 
Robert K. Merton, “The Latent Functions of the Machine” from
The Politics of Urban America:  A Reader 
, pp. 83-90
 
William Riordan, “To Hold Your District: Study Human Nature and Act Accordin” from
The Politics of Urban America: A Reader 
, pp. 80-81
 
Rebecca Menes, “Limiting the Reach of the Grabbing Hand: Graft and Growth in AmericanCities, 1880-1930” from
Corruption and Reform: Lessons from America’s Economic History 
 (2006), pp. 63-93
 
 Andrew White, “City Affairs are not Political” from
The Politics of Urban America: A Reader 
,pp. 123-125
 
Samuel Hays, “The Politics of Reform in Municipal Government in the Progressive Era” from
The Politics of Urban America: A Reader 
, pp. 126-144
 
Clarence Stone, “Urban Political Machines: Taking Stock,”
PS: Political Science and Politics 
(1996), pp. 446-450
 
 Amy Bridges and Richard Kronick, “Writing the Rules to Win the Game: The Middle-ClassRegimes of Municipal Reformers,”
Urban Affairs Review 
(1999), 691-7062/82/82/82/8 From Political Machines to MachineFrom Political Machines to MachineFrom Political Machines to MachineFrom Political Machines to Machine PoliticsPoliticsPoliticsPoliticsDocumentaries:Documentaries:Documentaries:Documentaries:
Daley, The Last Boss Daley, The Last Boss Daley, The Last Boss Daley, The Last Boss 
andandandand
Buddy: The Rise and Fall of America’s Most Notorious Buddy: The Rise and Fall of America’s Most Notorious Buddy: The Rise and Fall of America’s Most Notorious Buddy: The Rise and Fall of America’s Most Notorious Mayor Mayor Mayor Mayor 
 
 
Jack C. Ellis, “What is a Documentary” from
The Documentary Idea: A Critical History of  English-Language Documentary Film and Video 
(1988), pp. 1-8
 
James M. Curley, “I’d Do It Again” from
Big City Mayors: The Crisis in Urban Politics 
(1970),pp. 47-51
 
Steven P. Erie, “The Last Hurrah? Machines in the Postwar Era, 1950-1985” from
Rainbow’s End: Irish-Americans and the Dilemmas of Urban Machine Politics, 1840-1985 
(1990), pp.140-177
 
 Adam Cohen and Elizabeth Taylor, “Prologue” from
 American Pharaoh: Mayor Richard J.Daley: His Battle for Chicago and the Nation 
(2001), pp. 3-12
 
 
3
 
Jessica Trounstine, “The Rise and Fall of Bosses and Reformers”
from Political Monopolies in  American Cities: The Rise and Fall of Bosses and Reformers 
(2008), pp. 217-229
 
Wilbur Rich, “Vincent Cianci and Boosterism in Providence, Rhode Island” from
Governing Middle-Size Cities: Studies in Mayoral Leadership 
(2000), pp. 197-214.
 
Marion Orr and Darrel West, “Citizens’ Views on Urban Revitalization,”
Urban Affairs Review 
 (2002), pp. 397-419.2/152/152/152/15 Elites, Pluralism,Elites, Pluralism,Elites, Pluralism,Elites, Pluralism, andandandand thethethethe “Powerless”“Powerless”“Powerless”“Powerless” –  ––  – The Case of theThe Case of theThe Case of theThe Case of the PostPostPostPost----IndustrialIndustrialIndustrialIndustrial CityCityCityCityDocumentary:Documentary:Documentary:Documentary:
Roger and Me Roger and Me Roger and Me Roger and Me 
 
 
Nelson Polsby, “How to Study Community Power: The Pluralist Alternative,”
Journal of  Politics 
(1960), pp. 474-484
 
Peter Baratz and Morton Barach, “Two Faces of Power,”
 American Political Science Review 
 (1962), pp. 947-952
 
Harvey Molotch, “The City as a Growth Machine: Toward a Political Economy of Place,”
 American Journal of Sociology 
(1976), pp. 309-332
 
Jeanie Wylie, “Foreword” “from
Poletown: Community Betrayed 
(1990), pp. ix-xii
 
Jeanie Wylie, “Detroit’s Back to the Wall” from
Poletown: Community Betrayed 
(1990) pp. 29-37
 
Jeanie Wylie, “Appendix B: Wheelings and Dealings by GM Elsewhere” from
Poletown: Community Betrayed 
(1990), pp. 225-231
 
Danny Hakin, “For a G.M. Family, The American Dream Vanishes,”
The New York Times 
,November 19, 2005, pp. 1-2
 
Todd Swanstrom, “Semisovereign Cities: The Politics of Urban Development,”
Polity 
(1988):83-110
 
David Imbroscio, “Reformulating Urban Regime Theory: The Division of Labor between Stateand Market Reconsidered,"
Journal of Urban Affairs 
(1998): 233-2482/222/222/222/22 Intraracial/Intergenerational Conflict in the CityIntraracial/Intergenerational Conflict in the CityIntraracial/Intergenerational Conflict in the CityIntraracial/Intergenerational Conflict in the City
Documentary: Street Fight Documentary: Street Fight Documentary: Street Fight Documentary: Street Fight 
 
 
Rufus Browning et al., “Can People of Color Achieve Equality” from
Racial Politics in  American Cities 
, pp. 3-15
 
Melissa Marschall and Anirudh Ruhil, “The Pomp of Power: Black Mayoralties in Urban America,”
Social Science Quarterly 
(2006): 828-850
 
Brad Tuttle, “Sharpe Change: A New Mayor Charts the Meandering Road to Recovery” from
How Newark Became Newark: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of an American City 
(2009), pp.211-239
 
 Andra Gillespie, “Losing and Winning: Cory Booker’s Ascent to Newark’s Mayoralty” from
Whose Black Politics: Cases in Post-Racial Black Leadership 
(2009), pp. 67-84
 
 Alan Feuer and Nate Schweber, “Former Newark Mayor Is Sentenced To 27 Months,”
The New York Times 
(2008)
 
Nate Schweber, “For Sharpe James, Harsh and Loyal Words,”
The New York Times 
(2008)
 
 Alan Feuer, “From a Seat of Power to One on Greyhound, ”
The New York Times 
(2010)
 
Edward Park, “Friends or Enemies? Generational Politics in the Korean American Communityin Los Angeles,”
Qualitative Sociology 
(1999), pp. 161-175

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