SPR19:HUM375

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Humanities 375-02: Biography of a City: Mexico City

SPRING 2019

M/W 2-3.15 in HUM 582

Sean Connelly Contact: connelly@sfsu.edu

Office location/ hours in HUM 416 on M 12.30-1.30, Tu 10-11 and by appt.

Prerequisite: ENG 114 or equivalent. This is an upper division course. First and second year students need instructor permission to enroll.

The Project

Biography of a City: Mexico City explores the history and culture of Mexico City from the Porfiriato to the turn of the 21st century. Along the way we will attempt to theorize CDMX (and The City as such) as an objective form of social organization shaping everyday consciousness and practices. How do we imagine and interpret Mexico City? In what ways do its forces configure its inhabitants dreams and lives? HUM375, then, engages with three discourses in order not only to learn Mexico City’s history and survey its representation in the arts, but to generate methods and critical concepts that will enable us to think The Urban itself.

Learning Outcomes

Students who do the work will complete the semester with a general knowledge of the culture and history of Mexico and Mexico City, a solid foundation in narratology and film analysis, and a basic critical toolkit derived from the humanities and urban theory.

Basic Etiquette

ARRIVE ON TIME,  work completed, with a hard copy of the assigned text. All assignments should be typed and include name/date/course.

Attendance

Make up assignments are available on request for students who miss class for documented medical or legal reasons only.

Electronic devices

On its own, a cell phone is not an adequate tool with which to pursue a college education. Surely by now everyone knows this. The course blog, for example, is best viewed on a computer. Unless I specifically request it, NO ELECTRONIC DEVICES SHOULD BE USED DURING CLASS.

Intellectual Honesty

CHEATING DESTROYS trust between teacher and student. If you can’t trust your teacher, then you deserve a new one. If you can’t trust your students, etc.

As a general rule any ideas/words that are not your own should be cited. Yet intellectual honesty encompasses more than actively avoiding plagiarism. For example, reading a wikipedia entry rather than an assigned novel or allowing others to do your work for you are examples of cheating.

See http://www.sfsu.edu/~vpsa/judicial/titlev.html

Accessibility

If there’s anything I should know about you as a student, please talk to me RIGHT AWAY and I’ll do my best to help. See also: Disability Program and Resource Center (338-2472 or dprc@sfsu.edu).

Resources

The SAFE Place – (415) 338-2208; http://www.sfsu.edu/~safe_plc/

Counseling and Psychological Services Center – (415) 338-2208; http://psyservs.sfsu.edu/

Additional information on rights and available resources: http://titleix.sfsu.edu

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The Work: Grading Rubric

Effort and Engagement (Attendance, verbal participation, in-class work) 25%

4 Keyword Tests 5% each for a total of 20% 2/11, 2/27, 3/18, 4/8

Presentation (presentation including a 4-5 page paper) 30% 3/18, 4/3, 4/15, 4/24, 5/1, 5/6

Final Exam 25% 5/15

Important Dates

2/15: Last day of Drop/Add

2/18: KW1

2/25: Santa completed

3/4: KW2

3/11: Queer completed

3/18: Religion & Architecture Presentation

3/20: KW3

3/22: CR/NC Deadline

4/1: ’68 Presentation

4/3: 68 Presentation

4/8: An Easy Thing completed

4/8: KW4

4/15: Youth Culture Presentation

4/24: Interior Circuit completed; Art Presentation

5/1: Food Presentation

5/6: Music Presentation

5/15: Final Exam

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Required Texts

You must buy HARD COPIES of the following editions of the books listed below. 

Burroughs, Queer 9780143117834

Gamboa, Santa 9780807871072

Goldman, Interior Circuit 9780802123770

Taibo, An Easy Thing 978-1590580066

eReader

Bennett et al, eds. Capitalism; Class; Commodity; Fetish; Ideology; Modern; Narrative; Postmodernism; Race; Society ; TextUtopia from New Keywords : A Revised Vocabulary of Culture and Society

Campbell, “Naturalism”: CampbellNaturalism

Debord, “Theory of the Dèrive”:

Diaz, “Arrival in the Splendid City of Tenochtitlan”: arrival

Harding, Urban Theory: A Critical Introduction (selections):

Gallo, The Mexico City Reader (selections): https://sfstate-primo.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/primo-explore/fulldisplay?

Garcia-Robles, Stray Bullet: William S. Burroughs in Mexico (selections): online at SFSU library.

Gottdiener, Hutchison, Ryan (eds), The New Urban Sociology: Ch.2 “The Origins of Urban Life”: The_New_Urban_Sociology_—-_(2_THE_ORIGINS_OF_URBAN_LIFE) Ch. 11 “Urbanization in the Developing World” The_New_Urban_Sociology_—-_(11_URBANIZATION_IN_THE_DEVELOPING_WORLD)

Hall, “The West and the Rest: Discourse and Power”: HallWestRest

Lefebvre, Urban Revolution (selections): https://sfstate-primo.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/primo-explore/fulldisplay?

Mumford, “What is a City?”: MumfordWhatCity

Simmel, “The Metropolis and Modern Life”: MMLSimmel

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Schedule
(note: this schedule of readings and screenings is subject to revision. )

WEEK ONE
1/28
Introduction
Assignment for Thursday 1/30: Complete the Political Compass test and record your score; upload a recognizable headshot to ilearn; read “The Project” and Diaz, “Arrival in the Splendid City of Tenochtitlan” (see above)

1/30
Due: “The Project” (see above) and Diaz, “Arrival in the Splendid City of Tenochtitlan”

Assignment:

1. Screen the following films via the library website. Be sure to take notes.

Mexico, a 28 min. documentary by Global Screen. OCLC #: 890329627

Mexico City: The Largest City, a 26 min. documentary by Tapestry International. OCLC#: 712798723

2. Complete the Political Compass assignment.

WEEK TWO
2/4
Due:

1. Screen the following films via the library website. Be sure to take notes.

Mexico, a 28 min. documentary by Global Screen. OCLC #: 890329627

Mexico City: The Largest City, a 26 min. documentary by Tapestry International. OCLC#: 712798723

2. Complete the Political Compass assignment

2/6
Due:

1, “Mexico City on Paper” from The Mexico City Reader available online through the library.

2. Respond to the forum prompt by Tuesday at 3 pm

WEEK THREE
2/11
Due: Mumford, “What is a City?”; Gottdiener, et al, “The Origins of Urban Life”

2/13
Due: Santa

WEEK FOUR
2/17
LAST DAY OF DROP/ADD

2/18
Due: Santa

Keyword Test #1

2/20
Due: Santa; Campbell, “Naturalism”

WEEK FIVE
2/25
Due: Santa completed

2/27
Due: Santa; Simmel, “The Metropolis and Mental Life”

WEEK SIX
3/4
Due: Queer

Keyword Test #2

3/6
Due: Queer

WEEK SEVEN
3/11
Due: Queer; García-Robles, Stray Bullet (excerpts)

3/13
Due: Queer Completed

Assignment for 3/18: Screen William S. Burroughs: A Man Within

WEEK EIGHT
3/18
Due: Queer; William S. Burroughs: A Man Within
Religion and Architecture Presentation: Jacob, Merleen, Angelica, Yitian

3/20
Due:

Keyword Test #3

3/22
CR/NC DEADLINE

WEEK NINE

SPRING BREAK

WEEK TEN
4/1

NO CLASS

4/3

Due: An Easy Thing

68 Presentation: Guadalupe, Gabby, Ruben, Juana

WEEK ELEVEN
4/8
Due: An Easy Thing Completed

4/10
Due: An Easy Thing

WEEK TWELVE
4/15
Due: Interior Circuit

Keyword Test #4

Youth Culture Presentation: Andy, Olivia, Yoshi

4/17
Due: Interior Circuit

WEEK THIRTEEN
4/22
Due: Interior Circuit

4/24
Due: Interior Circuit

Art Presentation: Daylan, Emily, William

WEEK FOURTEEN
4/29
Due: Interior Circuit

5/1

Food Presentation: Isabella, Velinda, Martha

WEEK FIFTEEN
5/6

Music Presentation: Raul, Jose, Alexis, Steve(?)

5/8

WEEK SIXTEEN
5/13
REVIEW

5/15
FINAL EXAM