LSP 200-307

DePaul University Dr. Jesse Mumm

Geography Department email: [email protected]

Spring Quarter 2019 office: Schmitt Academic Center Room 533

Friday 8:30 – 11:30 AM office hours: Friday 4 – 5 PM

Arts & Letters Hall Room 208 office phone: 773-325-4135

How do we make sense of our city – so full of the cultures of the world, yet so divided? This Seminar on Multiculturalism in the United States takes a geographic approach to how ideas of diversity and multiculturalism are imagined, debated and lived through lenses of race, class, gender, sexuality, culture and power. We will consider examples from across the United States but focus on the urban history and present struggles of the City of Chicago. We will think through “geographies of encounter” and experiences of multiculturalism in everyday life, and practice discussion and debate on how we navigate human difference in our city today. We begin by critically questioning the reality and the debate around multiculturalism, then dive into the “City of Neighborhoods” and examine the relationships between geography and power. We devote particular attention to black, Latino and white Chicagos, and then follow the historical upheavals that have rearranged the present urban landscape, as segregation, suburbanization, Urban Renewal, gentrification, privatization, and place-making contend to remake the city. Students will read critical texts assessed through weekly quizzes, write weekly reading reviews, conduct original ethnographic fieldwork in Chicago neighborhoods, and practice writing and presenting cogent arguments and interpretations of what it means to live in a multicultural city.


Achieve fluency in the major debates on multiculturalism in the United States.

Identify patterns, parallels and correlations in racialized urban landscapes.

Practice seminar engagement skills in listening, discussion, presentation and argumentation.

Develop analytical writing, critical thinking, and organizing evidence from multiple sources.

Find your own voice in writing interpretations of changes in multicultural Chicago.


Urban Life: Readings in the Anthropology of the City, sixth edition, George Gmelch & Petra

Kuppinger, editors, is available at our DePaul University Bookstore.

All the rest of the assigned articles and readings are posted for free online on our

Desire2Learn course site in the form of pdf or Word documents, to be printed at your expense or read in electronic form.

All readings are to be completed before Friday of the week assigned for discussion. Quizzes

are based on all the readings for that particular week only; Reading Reviews encompass two weeks at a time.


Reading Reviews: 20% GRADING:

Weekly Quizzes 10% A 90-100%

Presentation 10% B 80-89%

First Paper 25% C 70-79%

Final Paper 25% D 60-69%

Participation 10% F < 60%

Reading Reviews: This is a written engagement with the readings submitted online onto Desire2Learn under Submissions by 6PM on Thursdays during Weeks 2, 4, 6 and 8. Students are expected to move beyond the simple observations of a reader response in order to grapple with the texts analytically and argue for or against specific claims and evidence in 500 words or more. Each week choose one of the following 3 options in organizing your Reading Review, and specify your choice clearly in your heading, noting that each option must be chosen at least twice during the quarter. The options are:

Option 1- Summary: Write one short paragraph on each reading, identifying its site,

perspective, argument, data (if any), evidence, methods, and claims.

Option 2 - Compare & Contrast: Select two or more similar readings and compare and

contrast their approaches to the same problems, issues, and objects of study.

Option 3 - Critique: Analyze the ideas and data of one reading and challenge them with a

convincing counterargument or reinterpretation of the evidence presented.

Weekly Quizzes: Each class except Week 1 begins with a reading quiz on the materials for that week. Please bring paper and pen. You will be presented with 5 short answer questions on content from the readings, or terms to explain, and one short essay extra credit question.

Group Presentation: Once during the quarter, each student will prepare a brief presentation on a specific neighborhood, a racial or cultural group, or a historical event, migration or shift in the urban landscape, related to the themes for that week. Students will select preferred weeks in advance and be scheduled by Week 2 as best as your professor can allow. The presentation is open in form and format but should be 20 minutes in duration, consist mostly of your own original words and discussion, but involve some form of visual, quotes, or data, and represent some amount of additional research beyond the readings for that week, and include 5 or more questions for discussion to be presented to the class. Your group grade will reflect an average of 4 grades in content, delivery, relevance and engagement with the class in discussion.

First Paper – Ethnographic Report: By Week 5 you are to complete an Ethnographic Report based on your observations or interviews on issues of diversity and multiculturalism somewhere of your choosing in the Chicago landscape. You will pose an open, interpretive research question and then take detailed field notes, or conduct formal or informal interviews, or a combination, resulting in a set of ethnographic data you will use to write a brief report on the meaning of your findings. The paper should be 5 – 7 double-spaced pages in 12 point font, submitted with an additional 5 – 10 pages of field notes, in printed copy in class, and also under Submissions online on D2L. Guidelines for conducting an Ethnographic Report will be posted on D2L and discussed in class ahead of the deadline, and you are highly encouraged to make use of these recommended readings posted under Course Resources on the process of ethnography:

“Fieldnotes in Ethnographic Research,” R. M. Emerson, etal.

“The Ethnographic Interview,” James Spradley

“Transcript Handling,” Michael Agar

Final Paper – Persuasive Essay: The Final Paper is a rigorous Persuasive Essay using original sources, making a concrete argument about a specific question, idea, or issue of significance. Students will write 5 – 7 double-spaced pages, in 12 point font, expounding on a clear argument regarding diversity in the multicultural landscape. Each paper takes one of these 3 approaches:

1. HISTORY: Argue for how or why one present day problem reflects the historical effects of

segregation, disinvestment, Urban Renewal or gentrification in the 20th century.

2. POLICY: Argue for or against a proposed city policy change currently debated, or one you

propose yourself, and how it would address issues of structural racism and diversity.

3. NEIGHBORHOOD: Offer a critical analysis of social inequality in one neighborhood, its

leaders, institutions, and their actions, and answering: “What must be done?”

Using terms and ideas from class, outside research and personal observations, and drawing on scholarly and popular sources, each paper should arrive at an original interpretation, citing at least 10 sources, including 3 or more course readings, and 3 or more outside scholarly sources. For guidance students are referred to “Writing the Persuasive Essay” available under Class Resources on D2L, and guidelines on the paper will be discussed in class as part of our Wednesday sessions focusing on developing these positions on real issues.

Participation: Your attendance is required. We look forward to your presence at all class

sessions, and students are awarded the full 10% in Participation for taking a strong and active role in discussions, workshops, and class activities. You are here to engage.


There will be no make-up exams for quizzes missed due to absence, except in verified cases of an unforeseen medical or family emergency. Any Paper or Reading Review submitted late will be reduced by one letter grade, and submissions more than one week late will not be accepted, and result in an automatic F. Papers must consist of original work done specifically for this course during this quarter. Cheating of any kind will result in a failing grade on all work for that week, a required meeting with the professor, and possible failure of the course. Plagiarism is considered cheating and any cases of plagiarism will be reported to the Dean of Students. While you are welcome to work with other students on your papers, and to quote and paraphrase scholarly work with the proper citations, all writing with your name on it must be your own words. If there is any confusion about how to cite, or the meaning of plagiarism, please feel free to talk to the professor outside of class, and to consult sites such as www.plagiarism.org

To ensure a more productive discussion, there will be no use of laptop computers in class (See “For Better Learning..” by Susan Dynarski, on D2L), unless allowed for a class activity. Please turn off all cell phones and wireless devices and do not use them during class sessions.

Students who feel they may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact me privately to discuss their specific needs. All discussions will remain confidential. To ensure that you receive the most appropriate reasonable accommodation based on your needs, contact me as early as possible in the quarter (preferably within the first week of class), and make sure that you have contacted the Center for Students with Disabilities at 773-325-1677, Student Center #370.



8:30AM announcements, questions

8:40 readings quiz

9:00 lecture & class discussion

10:00 ~ BREAK ~

10:15 student presentations

10:45 project discussion, activity, film, or small group talks


All of the above format and the schedule below is a general guideline, and may be adapted to the materials and the nature of our living discussion. In addition the Instructor reserves the right to make any changes in dates, sources, or other details deemed necessary, provided there is communication to all students, and with notification of an edited syllabus posted online.



WEEK 1 April 5th


Read: “A Different Mirror: The Making of Multicultural America,” Ronald Takaki

“An Overview and Point of View,” John Koval

“Urban Fieldwork,” George Gmelch & Petra Kuppinger, from Urban Life (our

required course text)

WEEK 2 April 12th


Read: “Race Relations Chicago Style: Past, Present and Future,” Michael Bennett & Richard


“Transnationalism, Old and New: New York Immigrants,” Nancy Foner, Urban Life

“A Tale of 3 Cities: The State of Racial Justice in Chicago Report,” Executive

Summary, pp. 1 – 10, Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy, UIC

Due: Reading Review, for Weeks 1-2, online under Submissions on D2L by 6PM Thursday

WEEK 3 April 19th


Read: “The Shadow of the Skyscraper,” Harvey Zorbaugh

“Urban Danger: Life in a Neighborhood of Strangers,” Sally Engle Merry, Urban Life

“How Urban Ethnography Counters Myths About the Poor,” J. Goode, Urban Life


WEEK 4 April 26th


Read: “The Black Ghetto,” St. Clair Drake & Horace Cayton

“Less Than Plessy: The Inner City, Suburbs, and State-Sanctioned Residential

Segregation in the Age of Brown,” Arnold R. Hirsch

Due: Reading Review, for Weeks 3-4, online under Submissions on D2L by 6PM Thursday

WEEK 5 May 3rd


Read: “From the Near West Side to 18th Street: Mexican Community Formation and

Activism in Mid-Twentieth Century Chicago,” Lilia Fernandez

“Pushing Puerto Ricans Around: Urban Renewal, Race, and Neighborhood Change,”

Lilia Fernandez

Due: First Paper: Ethnographic Report, Wednesday, printed form, plus in D2L Submissions

WEEK 6 May 10th


Read: “The Possessive Investment in Whiteness,” George Lipsitz

“What We Lost,” Ray Suarez

The Moral Order of a Suburb, “Conclusion,” Mary Pat Baumgartner

Due: Reading Review, for Weeks 5-6, online under Submissions on D2L by 6PM Thursday


WEEK 7 May 17th


Read: “Gangs, Poverty, and the Future,” James Diego Vigil, Urban Life

“The View from the Front Desk: Addressing Homelessness and the Homeless in

Dallas,” Julie Adkins, Urban Life

“The Edge and the Center: Gated Communities and the Discourse of Urban Fear,”

Setha Low, Urban Life

WEEK 8 May 24th


Read: “Chicago’s Central Area,” Charles Suchar

“Eminent Domain and African Americans,” Mindy Thompson Fullilove

“The Erosion of Public Space and the Public Realm,” Setha Low

Due: Reading Review, for Weeks 7-8, online under Submissions on D2L by 6PM Thursday

WEEK 9 May 31st


Read: “No-Man’s-Land,” Eula Biss

“Gentrification in Color and Time: White and Puerto Rican Racial Histories at Work

in Humboldt Park,” Jesse Mumm

“Chicago School Reform: Advancing the Global City Agenda,” Pauline Lipman

WEEK 10 June 7th


Read: “Defense of Neighborhood: Sunset Park,” Vicky Muñíz

“Elders, Urban Community Gardens, Civic Ecology, and the Quest for Community,”

Jay Sokolovsky, Urban Life

Due: Final Paper: Persuasive Essay, online under Submissions on D2L, by June 14th