New York City
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Level: Undergraduate
Division: The New School for Public Engagement
School: Bachelor's Program for Adults and Transfer Students
Department: Humanities
Course Number: NLIT 3150
Course Format: Lecture
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
  • Cultural Studies
  • Literature
  • History
The novelist Paul Auster has said that New York is the most American of cities, a living embodiment of what America is all about: diversity, tolerance, and equality under law. He says that despite its often antagonistic relationship with the rest of the country, New York City is the nation’s true heartland. This course examines the literary and cultural history of New York City. We roam through textual neighborhoods, including Wall Street, the Lower East Side and East Village, Greenwich Village, the Upper East Side, and Harlem, and even across the bridges into other boroughs. The course considers the role of immigrants in the formation of New York; battles between gangs, police, and politicians; the bohemian community and the Beat subculture; the idea of Central Park; and the glory of the Harlem Renaissance. We read Walt Whitman, T.S. Eliot, Herman Melville, Stephen Crane, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Dos Passos, Henry Roth, Hubert Selby Jr., Diane di Prima, Claude Brown, Bret Easton Ellis, Tama Janowitz, Mary Gaitskill, Jay McInerney, Toni Morrison, and Patrick McGrath. We consider the representations of the city in films and TV shows: Manhattan, Saturday Night Fever, The Warriors, Friends, Seinfeld, and Sex and the City. Note: Course previously listed as NHUM3025.
Course Open to: Degree Students