California Dreamin': Los Angeles Culture and the Making of the 20th Century


"California Dreamin' delves into the many cultures of Los Angeles, a dynamic global city with its cultural origins in the early 20th century. Over its decades of development and transformation we will explore continuities and new directions. The region has always been an encounter zone: between indigenous cultures, colonizers from Mexico, Pacific rim, and Anglo settlers. How has this cultural richness taken different shapes over the course of the 20th century? LA offers an especially cogent site for understanding how a city with a very specific if layered urban identity has been constituted by and through representation. Over the semester we traverse a range of cultural texts--the arts and architecture, film, literature, and urbanism--where the image of the city has been shaped. The course asks how Los Angeles culture at various points struggled to find new articulations and avenues into the future, against the weight of its own defining histories. A week-long trip to Los Angeles -supported through our dedicated travel fund in AHA-will give students an opportunity to see firsthand how the presentday city and its many sectors find expression in the arts and visual culture, or give evidence of different realities. Prerequisite: Minor or major status in AHA; Any course in 20th c. American arts, literature, or film. Or permission by instructor
Course Attributes: EN H; AS HUM; FA HUM; AR HUM; FA AH

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California Dreamin': Los Angeles Culture and the Making of the 20th Century
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