The City in American Arts and Popular Culture


From the mid-nineteenth century forward, artists, writers, sociologists, and cultural critics have identified the city as the primary site of a vast array of historical changes associated with modernization. This course will explore the range of cultural responses to the new 20th century city up to World War II. The American city was seen as both an incubator of difference, and of mass conformity and manipulation; a dynamic space in which to form fluid networks that catalyzed new forms of creativity, and a place of strangers and social alienation. We will trace the history of these polarized responses in the 20th century arts and literature of the city, looking at the vibrant popular culture of film, vaudeville, and cross-dressing; new aesthetic forms such as collage and expressionism; and new urban subjects. Prerequisites: 300-level course in American 20th c. Cultural History, American Art, Literature, or permission of instructor.
Course Attributes: FA AH; EN H; BU Hum; AS HUM; GF AH; FA HUM; AH MEA; AH A; FA CPSC

Section 01

The City in American Arts and Popular Culture
View Course Listing - FL2022