Course Syllabus

Thursday, July 3rd

Critical Vocabulary, Part 1


Jürgen Habermas, “Introduction: Preliminary Demarcation of a Type of Bourgeois Public Sphere,” The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere(PDF pages 9-22)

Erving Goffman, "Introduction," Behavior in Public Places (PDF pages 3-12)

Anthony Hiss, “Experiencing Places-I,” The New Yorker


Tuesday, July 8th

Critical Vocabulary, Part 2


Henri Lefebvre, "Plan of the Present Work" (sections VIII, XII, XIII, & XV), The Production of Space (PDF pages 16-18, 26-30, 31-33)

William Whyte, "Introduction," "Life of Plazas," "The Street," and "Effective Capacity," The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces (PDF pages 10-23, 55-61, 68-77)

Jane Jacobs, "The Kind of Problem a City Is," The Death and Life of Great American Cities (PDF pages 431-451)

Steven Flusty, "Attributes of Insecurity," Building Paranoia (PDF pages 18-20)


Thursday, July 10th

Performance and Choreography


Erving Goffman, "Introduction" & "Performances," The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life (PDF pages 6-29)

Eric Jaffe, "Why People in Cities Walk Fast," CityLab (The Atlantic)

WATCH/LISTEN: "Dance and Space," New York Times

LISTEN: "Symphony of Sirens, Revisited," 99% Invisible Podcast

I/Eye in Space Assignment Due


Tuesday, July 15th



Kevin Lynch, "The Image of the Environment" and first three pages of "The City Image and Its Elements," The Image of the City

James Scott, "Nature and Space," Seeing Like a State (PDF pages 11-52)

OPTIONAL: Jeremy Neméth “The Closed City: Downtown Security Zones and the Loss of Public Space"


Thursday, July 17th

Feeling in Space


"Missed Connection" (ONLY read the text of the Craigslist posting)


Lyn Lofland, The Public Realm, selections

James Wilson and George Kelling, “Broken Windows,” Atlantic Monthly

Threading Texts Assignment Due


Tuesday, July 22nd



David Owen, “The Dark Side,” The New Yorker

Sam Shaw, "Run Like Fire Once More," Harper's Magazine

WATCH/LISTEN: “Sounds of Skateboarding”

LISTEN: “In and Out of LOVE,” 99% Invisible Podcast

Intervention Proposal Due


Thursday, July 24th

Public Sex


Lauren Berlant and Michael Warner, “Sex in Public”

Laud Humphreys, "Methods: The Sociologist as Voyeur," Tearoom Trade: Impersonal Sex in Public Places

OPTIONAL: Samuel Delany, Times Square Red, Times Square Blue (any section)

Other Orbits, Paratexts Assignment Due


Tuesday, July 29th

Remembering in Space



Danielle Rice, “The ‘Rocky’ Dilemma: Museums, Monuments, and Popular Culture in the Postmodern Era,” Critical Issues in Public Art

Marita Sturken, "The Wall and the Screen Memory: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial," Tangled Memories: The Vietnam War, the AIDS Epidemic, and the Politics of Remembering

WATCH: "The President's House: Freedom and Slavery in the Making of a New Nation"

LISTEN: “Monumental Disagreements,” BackStory Podcast


Thursday, July 31st



Sophia House, "Sleeping in the Living Room," Mercer Street

Margaret Kohn, "Homeless-Free Zones: Three Critiques," Brave New Neighborhoods: The Privatization of Public Space

Charles Baudelaire, “The Eyes of the Poor”


Tuesday, August 5th



Michel Foucault, “Panopticism,” Discipline and Punish (PDF pages 1-16)

OPTIONAL: Zygmunt Bauman and David Lyon, Liquid Surveillance

OPTIONAL: Kevin Walby, “How Closed-Circuit Television Organizes the Social: An Institutional Ethnography”


Thursday, August 7th


Final project presentations

Course Summary:

Date Details