||This course will examine representations of the modern and postmodern city in fiction and film, with particular emphasis paid to the way these representations reflect and interpret the social realities and felt experience of urban life. The course will be divided into three parts. In the first part, the instructor will pro-vide a close reading and contextualization of a sampling of literary and cinematic represen-tations of Paris, Chicago, Los Angeles and other cities that have been at the forefront of both urban development and generic innova-tions in fiction and film. In the second part of the seminar, the students, working in pairs, will prepare and present “case studies” of a major metropolitan center that has provided the setting and/or subject matter of a signifi-cant body of literary and cinematic work. In the third and final part, each student, prepara-tory to writing their final research paper, will present on a specific literary or cinematic text or genre that reflects or interprets the city they presented on in the second part of the course.
In addition to the aforementioned presenta-tions and final paper, which should be 10-15 pages long, course requirements include strict attendance, a considerable amount of reading, both primary and secondary, and a number of film screenings to be held outside class time. It is recommended that students intending to take this seminar read Jonathan Culler’s Lit-erary Theory: A Very Short Introduction and Timothy Corrigan’s A Short Guide to Writing About Film before the semester begins.