90POLS 490-06: CITIES, POWER, AND CINEMA 2012 Spring 2012

Instructor: Michael Leo Owens, Ph.D. Office: Tarbutton 333 Office Hours (in person or Skype/FaceTime): Mondays 12:30 P.M. – 2:00 P.M. or by appointment Phone: 7x9322 Email: michael.leo.owens@emory.edu SEMINAR DESCRIPTION This seminar will view and critique the “reel city.” It will explore definitions of power and powerlessness, using films about cities as visual texts for studying the use (and perhaps abuse) of political power. It will explore through 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 concern ourselves 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 the intersections of power, politics, and policy, students will learn to employ narrative films and documentaries to speak 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. Note: Note The seminar will meet once a week for three hours but the course requires students to watch films outside of and before class sessions. The seminar’s participants will collectively choose the day of the week for “movie night.” Also, during each seminar session one or two students will function as "co-leaders" of the session, which requires careful preparation and even consultation with Professor Owens before sessions. SEMINAR GOALS Professor Owens’s goals of the seminar include: 1. Examining how cinema (i.e., popular movies and documentaries) provide visual and aural texts for analyzing a set of historical and theoretical perspectives about the distribution and organization of power and politics in cities; Laying a foundation for students to engage in critique, introspection, and reflection about the import of politics to social relations in and around cities; and Exposing students to a resurgent and dynamic subfield of Political Science.



SEMINAR MATERIALS The seminar has three required books: 1. 2. 3. Daniel Franklin, Politics and Film: The Political Culture of Film in the United States (2006) Mike Davis, Planet of Slums (2006) 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. All of them are available from the online reserve system of the Woodruff Library.

SEMESTER OUTLINE 1/18 Introduction to the Course • • • • 1/25 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-leadership

Preparing to View and Discuss Cities, Power, and Cinema Cities, Power, • • • • • • • • 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. 115 Timothy Corrigan, “Beginning to Think, Preparing to Watch, and Starting to Write,” A Short Guide to Writing About Film, pp. 17-34 Manohla Dargis, “Movie Review: The Dark Knight,” The New York Times (2008)


GooCities Political Machines vs. Goo-goos (“Good Government Guys”) in Cities Narrative Film: The Last 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 American Cities, 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-Class Regimes of Municipal Reformers,” Urban Affairs Review (1999), 691-706

• • • • 2/8

From Political Machines to Machine Politics Documentaries: Daley, The Last Boss and Buddy: The Rise and Fall of America’s Most Notorious

• • • 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


• • • 2/15

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.

PostElites, Pluralism, and the “Powerless” – The Case of the Post-Industrial City Documentary: 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. 2937 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 State and Market Reconsidered," Journal of Urban Affairs (1998): 233-248


Intraracial/Intergenerational Conflict in the City

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 Community in Los Angeles,” Qualitative Sociology (1999), pp. 161-175

• • • • •



Sexuality Identity & Political Power in Cities Documentary: Milk • • • • • Robert Bailey, “Lesbian and Gay Politics in the Urban Setting” from Gay Politics, Urban Politics (1998), pp. 3-8 Robert Bailey, “Identity Formation and the Urban Gay and L:esbian Vote” from Gay Politics, Urban Politics (1998), pp. 96-136 Arnold Fleischmann and Jason Hardman, “Hitting Below the Bible Belt: Development of the Gay Rights Movement in Atlanta,” Journal of Urban Affairs (2004), pp. 407-426 James Button, Kenneth Wald, and Barbara Rienzo, “The Election of Openly Gay Public Officials in American Communities,” Urban Affairs Review (1999), pp. 188-209 Donald Haider-Markel, Mark R. Joslyn, and Chad J. Kniss, “Minority Group Interests and Political Representation: Gay Elected Officials in the Policy Process,” Journal of Politics (2006), pp. 568-577 Kames McKinley, “Houston Is Largest City to Elect Openly Gay Mayor,” The New York Times (2010)

• 3/7

NonImmigrants and Non-Citizens as Political Actors in Cities Documentary: The Garden • John Mollenkopf et al., “Immigrant Political Participation in New York and Los Angeles” from Governing American Cities: Inter-Ethnic Coalitions, Competition, and Conflict (2005), pp. 1768 Jonathan Benjamin-Alvarado, Louis DeSipio, and Celeste Montoya, “Latino Mobilization in New Immigrant Destinations: The Anti—H.R. 4437 Protest in Nebraska's Cities,” Urban Affairs Review, pp. 718-735. Nicholas Vaca, “Somewhere over the Rainbow Coalition: The Zero-Sum Game and BlackLatino Conflict,” from The Presumed Alliance: The Unspoken Conflict Between Latinos and Blacks and What It Means for America, pp. 48-61 Kenneth Meier et al., “Divided or Together? Conflict and Cooperation between African Americans and Latinos,” Political Research Quarterly (2004), pp. 399-409 Paula McClain et al., “Black Americans and Latino Immigrants in a Southern City,” Du Bois Review (2007), pp. 97-117 Sarah Song, “Democracy and Noncitizen Voting Rights,” Citizenship Studies 13 (2009): 607– 620 Ron Hayduk, “Democracy for All: Restoring Immigrant Voting Rights in the US,” New Political Science 26 (2004): 499-523

• • • •

3/14 3/21

Spring Break
Powerlessness, Exclusion, Powerlessness, and Response – Individuals and Institutions Narrative Film: La Haine • • Loic Wacquant, Urban Outcasts: A Comparative Sociology of Advanced Marginality (2008), pp. -1-7, 18-39, and 133-226 Romain Garbaye, “Introduction: The Election of Ethnic Minorities on European City Councils” from Getting into Local Power: The Politics of Ethnic Minorities and British and French Cities (2005), pp. 1-19. Romain Garbaye, “Lille, 1980s-2001: Machine Politics and Exclusion of Minorities in the French Municipal System” from Getting into Local Power: The Politics of Ethnic Minorities in British and French Cities (2005), pp. 144-186.



Politics, Poverty, and Power Narrative Film: Cidade de Deus • • • • • • Mike Davis, Planet of Slums (2007), pp. 1-150 Robert Neuwirth, “Rio de Janeiro: City Without Titles” from Shadow Cities: A Billion Squatters, A New Urban World (2004), pp. 25-65 Robert Neuwirth, “Are Squatters Criminals?” from Shadow Cities: A Billion Squatters, A New Urban World (2004), 251-280 John Haegedorn, “Introduction: Why Are Gangs Everywhere?” from A World of Gangs: Armed Young Men and Gangsta Culture, pp. xxiii-xxxii Robert Neuwirth, “Proper Squatters, Improper Property” from Shadow Cities: A Billion , Squatters, A New Urban World (2004), pp. 281-306 Alice Baroni, “Deliberation and Empowerment in Rio de Janeiro’s Favelas” unpublished report (n.d.), pp. 1-9


Global Political Institutions vs. Glocal Political Resistance Narrative Film: The Battle in Seattle Michael Lipsky, “Protest as a Political Resource,” American Political Science Review (1968), pp. 1144-1158 • Maria J. Stephan and Erica Chenoweth, “Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict,” International Security (2008), pp. 7–44 • David Harvey, “Neoliberalism as Creative Destruction,” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science (2007), pp. 21-44 • Bettina Koèhler And Markus Wissen, “Glocalizing Protest: Urban Conflicts and Global Social Movements,” International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 27(2003), pp. 942-51 • Bronwyn Mauldin, “Jubilee 2000: Breaking the Chains of Global Debt” from From ACT UP to the WTO: Urban Protest and Community Building in the Era of Globalization (2002), pp. 8387 • Norm Stamper, “Paramilitary Policing From Seattle to Occupy Wall Street,” The Nation, November 9, 2011: all pages • Bernard Harcourt, “Occupy Wall Street’s ‘Political Disobedience,’” The New York Times, October 13, 2011: all pages • Bernard Harcourt, “Occupy’s New Grammar of Political Disobedience,” The Guardian, November 30, 2011: all pages Dystopian Cities and Power in the Future (?) Dystopian (? Narrative Film: Blade Runner • • • • • • Jussi Jauhiainen, “Urban Utopias, Revolutions, and the 21st Century” from Place and Location (2003), pp. 131-137 Guy Baeten, “Western Utopianism/Dystopianism and the Political Mediocrity of Critical Urban Research,” Human Geography (2002), pp. 143-152 Andrew Milner, “Darker Cities: Urban Dystopia and Science Fiction Cinema” International Journal of Cultural Studies (2004): 259-279 Mike Davis, “Urban Control: Beyond Blade Runner,” Open Magazine (1992), p. 1 Craig Burnett, “Is Blade Runner in Our Future: The Persistence of Residential Segregation,” Law and Society Journal 2 (2002-2003), pp. 95-111



Class Cancelled Professor Owens will be at the Urban Affairs Association conference in Pittsburgh from 4/18-4/22. Students are to use the time to work on their comparative final film critiques. Conclusion and Evaluation



EVALUATION OF STUDENT PERFORMANCE Professor Owens will judge student performance in the seminar by the level and quality of their (a) seminar engagement and (b) written assignments. Engagement: Co-Leadership (20%) & Contributions to Discussion (20%) Co(20 The course is a seminar. Accordingly, Professor Owens expects active participation, which involves asking pertinent questions, answering questions voluntarily, sharing relevant insights, and contributing to the general learning of peers. The requirements are that you will read closely, take notes on the materials, and think critically about each assigned reading before coming to seminar. Following the first full session on 1/25, students will volunteer to co-lead the discussion of two seminar sessions of their choice. Effective leadership will require students to (a) prepare well in advance (e.g., watching the films, reading the materials, identifying themes for discussion and questions for deliberation, etc.), (b) assist Professor Owens in guiding others in a discussion of the movies and readings, and (c) encourage collective consideration and critique of the materials by their peers. Additionally, students are strongly encouraged to use the course’s Learnlink conference to post brief but thoughtful reactions/comments that relate to the films, readings, or the general topic of the seminar. Such posts will boost student’s engagement score, especially on the dimension of “contributions to discussion.” Attendance is mandatory and there will be an attendance log for the seminar's screenings and sessions. Absences influence active participation, which influence final grades. Excused absences (e.g., death in the family, severe personal or familial illnesses, or job interviews) will not influence your grade. Two or more unexcused absences from the screening of films or the seminar’s sessions will result in an automatic reduction of the final (overall) seminar grade by two increments (e.g., an A reduces to a B+). Film Critiques (60 percent) The seminar will screen five narrative films and six documentaries. Students will watch all narrative films and documentaries. To further explore the readings and films, as well as demonstrate comprehension of the materials, students will complete the following exercise for four films of their choice:

Write a critique of the narrative film or documentary. The critique must (1) incorporate central ideas, themes, theories, and/or issues raised by the scholarly readings and seminar sessions associated with the film; (2) explain why the film is a political film, providing evidence and illustrations from the films, it; and (3) argue for why the film is important to our understanding and thoughts about cities and power. The goal is to write a critique of the film, not write a review of the film. Critiques do not summarize the films; they interrogate them to get their meaning and value in relation to the seminar.
Critiques must be no more than 1,000 words, typed, and double-spaced. Use 1” margins on all sides, left justification, and 12 pt Times New Roman as the font. Critiques disregarding these requirements will be downgraded by one grade increment (e.g., B becomes B-). Critiques are due no later than one week following the screening of each film, no exceptions. Submit critiques via email to michael.leo.owens@emory.edu. DO NOT email them to Professor Owens’s Learnlink address. Additionally, in lieu of a final examination, students will independently watch one of the following four films of their choice and write a critique of it: Metropolis (narrative film); The Art of the Steal (documentary); City of Hope (narrative film); or Flag Wars (documentary) The format for the final critique will be the same as above, except students will have a maximum of 1,500 words. Additionally, the final critique must compare and contrast the independently watched film with at least one other film from the seminar, as well as provide a description or summary of the independently watched film. The deadline for submitting final critiques is 11:59 P.M. on April 27th.


EVALUATIO EVALUATION OF STUDENT WRITING Professor Owens will judge any and all written work on at least four dimensions: clarity, content, analysis, and grammar/punctuation. 1. Clarity Papers (always inclusive of reviews and exam essays) must answer directly and completely questions as they are posed. Papers should flow smoothly and logically, with topic sentences that clearly show how your major arguments fit together. Ideas and concepts must be developed sufficiently so that they can be easily understood; a reader should not have to wonder what you mean in the text or make assumptions about what you mean to follow your argument. An "A" paper is a polished work in all aspects, showing that the author has taken great care to make their writing as clear and cogent, eloquent and elegant, and focused as possible. Such a paper demonstrates that a student has not only carefully proofread the essay for grammar, punctuation, and source citations, but also has reread each sentence to confirm that they have presented well their information and analysis. Such a paper also not only employs short quotes and evidence drawn from the readings to support ideas and arguments, but also carefully integrates quotes and data into the flow of their paper in much the same way one finds in the reading assignments for the course. A "B" paper communicates most ideas clearly, but shows some degree of carelessness with respect to word choice, syntax, and writing elegance; all arguments in B papers are readily understandable, but these papers have a number of instances where ideas could be presented in a more straightforward and precise ways. A “C” paper reads as though the writing was rushed, and it contains basic errors with regards to subject matter, phrasing, word choice, and syntax glitches that proofreading normally catches. For your argument to be presented in the clearest fashion possible, you must also pay close attention to the overall organization of your paper. An "A" paper employs effective topic sentences to organize all major arguments, and it avoids long (i.e., multipage) and unwieldy paragraphs that combine several distinct arguments or ideas. A "B" paper typically has a number of paragraphs that does not clearly and logically connect to and support the author's larger argument or that fail to systematically group ideas into a tightly organized argument that stays on topic. A "C" paper has many paragraphs that begin with sentences that fail to carefully explain how these paragraphs connect to and support the author's larger argument. A reader should not have to read halfway through a paragraph to discover its main argument. A "D" paper ignores the logical development of ideas. Accordingly, the author's argument is extremely difficult to follow. For more specific information on how to achieve clarity, review a copy of William Zinsser's On Writing Well: An Informal Guide to Writing Nonfiction (pp. 3-58 and pp. 108-131). It is on reserve for this course at the Woodruff Library. 2. Content The content of papers must use the most appropriate arguments, evidence, data, and concepts covered in class sessions and the readings. An "A" paper displays the author’s mastery of the readings by judiciously reviewing and considering the most pertinent material from the class sessions and readings. Such papers also carefully support major arguments with evidence, short quotations, specific data, and conceptual examples.


A "B" paper displays the author's mastery of the great majority of class materials. They lack, however, reviews and considerations of important concepts and readings. The result is that their content tends to be underdeveloped in the essay. Instances where it is unclear that an author has not completed significant portions of the assigned readings as it relates to their paper topic will result in a grade lower than a B. A "C" paper make coherent arguments that speak to major themes and ideas in course, but it fails to incorporate ideas, concepts, and evidence from the class sessions and readings to support and defend its argument. "D" papers inaccurately represent facts and major points made in class sessions and readings. They also reproduce long tracts of reading materials that have only vague links to the question being answered. 3. Analysis Analysis is essential to papers in this course. Therefore, papers must include concrete specifics, examples, and data from the class sessions and readings. They must also analyze major concepts and carefully apply them to the arguments made in papers. An "A" paper suggests reflection and incorporates significant original analysis that demonstrates a mastery of theoretical concepts such that the author is able to apply concepts to issues beyond what they have discussed directly in class sessions. A "B" paper shows no problems with reporting facts, but displays moderate levels of reflection and original thought and analysis with regard to theoretical concepts. A "C" paper accurately reproduces arguments made in class sessions and readings, but displays low levels of reflection and original thought and analysis with regard to theoretical concepts. Major arguments in "C" papers are underdeveloped or muddled. A "D" paper indicates that a lack of understanding and/or the ability to comprehend major concepts covered by the class sessions and readings. 4. Grammar and Miscellaneous Papers should be free of grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors. Papers that have blatant grammar and spelling mistakes suggest to the reader that the remainder of the paper is unclear, error-prone in content, and sloppy in analysis.

ACCOMODATION AND INCORPORATION OF DISABLED INDIVIDUALS Emory University complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and offers accommodations to students with disabilities. No student is required to divulge to anyone, not even Professor Owens, that they have a disability. Also, Professor Owens is not required to accommodate students claiming a disability without proper documentation by Emory’s Office of Disability Services. If you have documented your disability with the Office of Disability Services and requested accommodations please make an appointment with Professor Owens as soon as possible to discuss the quantity, types, and suitability of accommodations you may need from him in this course. Note: Note Professor Owens is disabled. He has a hearing impairment. By choice, he does not wear a hearing aid. He asks that students accommodate his impairment by speaking up when asking a question or responding to comments.


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