CRN 14458 – TR 9:30-10:45
CRN 14460 – TR 3:30-4:45
Everything By Design: Writing About Chicago’s Infrastructure
Infrastructure is all around you. The roads you drive to work or school, the water that comes out of the faucet in your home, the lights you turn on when it gets dark, and even the schools you have attended are all examples of infrastructure. These intricately designed systems for organizing space are fundamental parts of our lives that we often take for granted until they malfunction. But what is the logic behind the systems that make up infrastructure and how were those systems created? What is the future for infrastructure, particularly in the Chicago area? These are just a few of the questions we will explore in this class as we use the subject of infrastructure to learn some basic skills of academic research and writing.
CRN 24547 / 24548 – TR 11:00-12:15
You Were Never Here: Author’s Writing In And About Chicago
What comes to mind when you hear the word Chicago? For some it’s stockyards and steel mills, but these have been gone from the city’s landscape for nearly three generations. For others it’s the stories of violent crime, but Al Capone is a distant memory and many neighborhoods are not touched by the gang activity on the evening news. Some see the city as a patchwork of neighborhoods with different ethnic backgrounds at their core, but rising rents and mortgage prices have turned many ethnic neighborhoods into urban shopping malls. The Chicago that seems ‘real’ to you depends on what you already believe before picking up the book. In this class, we will examine the strong emotions that readers have about Chicago and the narratives that either seem real or fake to those reading them. Readings for the class will include classic novels such as Sister Carrie and Native Son alongside more recent works by local authors such as The Old Neighborhood. We will also read poems by Carl Sandburg, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Louder Than a Bomb youth poetry slam founder Kevin Koval’s recent collection A People’s History of Chicago.